HRCSD Wellness Policy
I. Underlying Philosophy
The district acknowledges these basic principles:
- Students need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;
- Healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can prevent poor health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and tooth decay;
- Modeling good health behavior and easy access to healthful food can encourage more healthy behavior among our children;
- Community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies; and
- It is a community responsibility to promote and protect children’s health and well-being and their ability to learn.
Because of these basic principles, the district is committed to creating a safe, healthy environment where students learn and practice developing their nutritional and physical health habits supported by school district staff at every level, by families and by the community.
Overall Goals. The district's goal is to ensure that all foods available on school campuses, including those served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
- Be appealing and attractive to students;
- Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
- Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
- Promote improved nutrition through promotion of increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased consumption of dietary fiber, and decreased consumption of unhealthy fats and added sugars.
Finance & Budget. The child nutrition program will aim to be financially self-supporting. However, the program is an essential educational support activity. Budget neutrality or profit generation will not take precedence over the nutritional needs of the students. If subsidy of the child nutrition fund is needed, it will not be from the sale of foods that have minimal nutritional value and/or compete nutritionally with program meals.
Breakfast. The district will encourage all students to eat breakfast daily, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn
Free and Reduced-priced Meals. Schools will promote participation by eligible students, and endeavor to eliminate any social stigma attached to eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals.
The dining environment. The district acknowledges that inadequate dining facilities, chaotic dining environment and insufficient time to eat may encourage students to turn to less nutritious foods that can be eaten quickly. The district will promote measures that ensure students have adequate time to eat, and that meals are served and consumed in clean, pleasant and orderly environments
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff. Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs.
Sharing of Foods and Beverages. The district acknowledges concerns about students sharing food and its potential impact on students with allergies or other dietary restrictions. The district will discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times.
Family & Community Involvement, and Feedback. The district recognizes that children's nutritional habits are not formed in the school setting alone, and that to maximize lifelong health benefits, the schools' efforts to improve nutrition must be coordinated with, and ideally synergistic with, the efforts of families. The district also recognizes that changes are most likely to be relevant and long lasting when input and feedback from those affected by the changes are encouraged and facilitated. With these points in mind, the district will encourage and facilitate involvement by students, families and teachers, in efforts to improve nutrition in the school
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually. The HRCSD acknowledges that for many students, a significant part of their daily food intake consists of foods and beverages sold individually on school campuses (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte lines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.). Given this fact, the HRCSD will endeavor to ensure that such foods maximize student opportunities for good nutrition.
School-sponsored Events, Rewards, Fund-raisers & Celebrations. The district acknowledges that all foods made available to students under school auspices, including those available at school-sponsored events, sold as fund raisers and used for motivators in the classroom, not only contribute to the children's nutritional status for good or for ill, but also are part of the perceived health messages. With this in mind, it will be encouraged that foods offered as rewards, sold as school-sponsored fund raisers, or available at celebrations or school-sponsored events be of high nutritional value. The practice of using non-food items as rewards will be encouraged, especially those that involve physical activity.
Nutrition Education and Promotion. The district aims to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students, now and for a lifetime. The district recognizes that for students to embrace healthy eating habits they need:
a) Opportunities to make healthy food choices within and beyond the school day;
b) The knowledge and understanding to make healthy choices; and
c) The support of their schools and families.
These goals will be pursued by providing nutritious options in all school food settings, through integrated education and activities in the classroom, and by education and involvement of their families.
Physical Activity Education and Promotion Beyond PE Class.
The Hood River County School District recognizes the importance of lifelong daily physical activity. The District will endeavor to provide opportunities and support for students to be physically active for at least 60 minutes per day, consistent with national recommendations. It will do so by providing opportunities and support for physical activity throughout and beyond the school day. The Hood River County School District aims to teach, encourage, and support a healthy active lifestyle for students through physical education classes, through integrated education and activities in the classroom, and by education and involvement of their families.
Communications with Families. The district will encourage and support the efforts of all families to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.
Lifestyle Marketing in Schools. The district recognizes the influence that commercial marketing may have on student behavior and acknowledges that at times there are conflicts between the good health habits the schools are endeavoring to teach and the messages students are exposed to through commercial marketing within the schools. The district will endeavor to ensure that commercial school-based marketing is consistent with nutrition education and health promotion
Staff Wellness. The district highly values the health and well-being of every staff member, and also acknowledges that school staff serve as important role models for student behavior, including healthy lifestyles. The district will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The district will encourage the establishment and maintenance of a staff wellness committee, with representatives from each school.
Physical Activity and Physical Education PoliciesDaily Physical Activity The district agrees with standards set by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommending 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, most days, for all students in grades K-12. This standard includes students with disabilities, special health care needs and in alternative educational settings. The district will support practices to help every student achieve this recommended daily level of physical activity throughout the school year. This 60 minutes can be at least partly fulfilled by activity during physical education classes (below)
Physical Education (P.E.) Programs. The district recognizes that a quality physical education program is an essential component for all students to learn about and participate in physical activity. Physical activity should be included in a school's daily education program from grades pre-K through 12. Physical activity should include regular instructional physical education as well as co-curricular activities and recess. The district will develop and assess student performance standards in order to meet the Oregon Department of Education's physical education content standards.
Physical education programs in the district should emphasize knowledge and skills for a lifetime of regular physical activity, teach self-management skills as well as movement skills and promote participation in physical activity outside of school. At the high school level, the Local Wellness Program - EFA 3-5physical education program should focus on helping adolescents make the transition to an active adult lifestyle.
The physical education programs will address the needs of all students, including those who are not athletically gifted. They will take into account gender and cultural differences in students' interests, and be an enjoyable experience for students.
Physical education classes should be taught by qualified physical education specialists, and to the extent possible, should not be taught by classroom teachers.
Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School. All elementary, middle and high schools will encourage and promote extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs, intramural programs and community education offerings. All high schools and middle schools as appropriate will offer interscholastic sports programs (to the extent allowed by available funding).
Physical Activity and Punishment. Teachers and other school personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) as punishment. Withholding opportunities for physical activity as punishment is only to be used as a last resort, and to the extent possible, students will not be withheld from opportunities for physical activity for any reason.
Safe Routes to School. The district acknowledges the health benefits of daily walking, and will encourage practices that make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school. The district will also consider the opportunities for walking and biking to school when locating and building new schools and enhancing existing schools.
Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours. To promote increased physical activity in the community and school spaces, facilities will be available for activities involving physical activity, to students, staff and community members before, during and after the school day, on weekends and during school vacations whenever possible.
V. Implementation, Monitoring, and Review Policies
School Health Advisory Council. The district will create a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) to serve as a resource to both the Board and district administration as they work to develop, implement, monitor, review and, as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity policies and procedures. The SHAC also will serve as a resource to school sites for implementing those policies. The SHAC should include families, students, representatives of the school food authority, members of the board, school administrators, school staff, community health professionals and members of the public
In addition to the districtwide SHAC, individual schools are encouraged to establish or expand the scope of existing site-specific committees, to help identify school-specific needs, challenges and strategies.
Data Collection & Benchmarking. In order to establish the benchmark against which progress will be measured, a baseline assessment of each school's existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies will be conducted. The process by which these assessments will be carried out, including identification of manpower and resources, will be the responsibility of the superintendent or designee, with support and consultation from the SHAC. The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled by the Local Wellness Program - EFA 4-5superintendent or designee and shared with the SHAC, Board, administration, school staff, students and their families.
Monitoring & Policy Review. The district acknowledges that creation and implementation of a district Wellness Policy is a dynamic process that will need ongoing reassessment and review. The goals of these ongoing efforts are:
- To monitor the degree of compliance across the district;
- To identify and find ways to propagate strategies that have led to success;
- To identify barriers to implementation; and
- To identify previously unrecognized or evolving wellness-related issues that necessitate new or revised policies or procedures.
The superintendent or designee will work together with the School Health Advisory Council to monitor the implementation of the Wellness Policy.
As part of the monitoring process, data collection may be conducted intermittently to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.
The district will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop procedures and work plans to facilitate their implementation.
HRCSD Board Policy #EFA, Adopted 9/13/06