This policy is reflective of the district’s mission, “The mission of the Au Sable Valley Central School District is to prepare all AVCS students for the demands and challenges of life. The District will work to achieve this goal in cooperation with students, parents, and the community.” This policy also supports the district’s vision, “to ensure that every Au Sable Valley graduate possesses skills for career and life-long learning.” The policy has been created in support of the district’s mission and in response to federal legislation including Public Law 108-265, also known as the Federal Child Nutrition and WIC reauthorization Act of 2004.
Au Sable Valley Central School District promotes student well-being and academic achievement by supporting quality nutrition and physical activity as part of the learning environment. The district recognizes that collaborating with parents, teachers, students, school personnel and community members is the most effective method of creating a healthy environment where children can learn about and adopt positive lifestyle habits that are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential as well as lifelong good health.
Components of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy
- Goals for nutrition education, physical activity and other school based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in a manner that the local school determines is appropriate.
- Nutrition guidelines set for all foods available on each school campus during the school day with the objectives of promotion of student health and reducing childhood obesity.
- Assurances that guidelines for reimbursable school meals (school breakfast/lunch programs) are not less restrictive than those issued by the USDA.
- Ways of measuring how well the policy is being implemented with designation of person or persons responsible for assuring policy is being followed.
- Show involvement of parents, students, school nutrition program, school board, administration and public in development of the policy.
- Every three years the Executive Principal of Athletics/Athletic Director, will initiate a triennial assessment by consulting with wellness committee, each building wellness representative, and the public.
- The NYS Wellness Policy Assessment Tool will be used in this process to identify improvements needed. Based on those results, school priorities, and the latest national recommendations pertaining to school health, this policy, and its objectives and goals, may be revised as needed
- A representative from each school building will be identified to sit on Wellness Committee
Four areas of review:
Nutrition I – school meals, celebrations, and rewards
Nutrition II – fundraising and nutrition education of students
Marketing and Promotion of Policy – school staff, community members, students
Physical Activity – Physical Education scheduling and curriculum, recess, before and after school programs, additional opportunities to increase student activities
Reimbursable School Meals – the District shall:
- Provide breakfast through the USDA School Breakfast Program
- Make efforts to ensure that families are aware of need-based programs for universal free or reduced price meals and encourage eligible families to apply. Applications are sent home annually and will be made available on the school website.
- Free drinking water will be available where meals are served
- Follow USDA Professional Standards for State and Local Nutrition Programs to ensure professional development in the area of food and nutrition is provided for food service directors, managers and staff
- Consider serving produce and food from local farms and suppliers
- Continue to address the steps the district takes to protect the privacy of students who qualify for free/reduced meal (ex. Lunch code system at registers)
- Continue to address how to handle feeding children with unpaid meal balances (ex. The child will be given a meal even if a balance is due and the communication is with the parent not the student.)
School Meal Goals:
To increase fresh fruit/vegetable offerings:
- Offer a greater variety of fresh fruit and vegetables at least two days per week – utilize prepackaged when available – cut apples, mandarin oranges, raisins, yogurt raisins, carrots w/ dip,
- Continue with salads available a minimum of 2 days per week and possible increase to every day – utilize leftovers from previous day meal to offer a variety of salads – chef salad w/ meat/cheese/eggs, salad w/ chicken, taco salad, fruit salad, oriental chicken salad, chicken nugget salad, spinach salad, broccoli salad
To increase amount of whole grains:
- Offer more whole grain products such as whole wheat bread products (including English muffins, bagels, sandwich wraps, whole grain cereals and muffins, brown rice, pizza crust, pastas.
To provide low fat /fat free dairy products:
- Only low fat/fat free milk on service line and milk machine
- Provide low fat/fat free dairy products as alternate choices – cottage cheese, yogurt, string cheese, sour cream, cheese, salad dressing, and cream cheese
To make school meals more appealing and attractive:
- Marketing of Smart Choices – posters in cafeteria area highlighting smart choices, provide a visible and attractive menu choice, information on school web site and menu highlight nutritional info and new offerings, smart choice stickers on prepackaged food items
- Provide more variety of foods that are healthy, nutritious and popular – sandwich wraps, deli sandwiches, yogurt/fruit parfait, low fat muffins, broccoli/cheese baked potato, create packaged “lunchables” (i.e.: veggies w/ dip, cottage cheese, crackers, cheese, trail mix, raisins, ham, bologna, turkey, hard boiled eggs)
- Utilize disposable packaging that will make food easily recognizable by students (similar to fast food restaurants) – yogurt parfaits, shaker salads, lunchables
- With the exception of the school meal program, foods and beverages cannot be sold until the end of the last lunch period. Foods and beverages sold after the last lunch period incorporate healthier food choices set forth by the Alliance of Smart Snack guidelines
To improving the cafeteria environment:
- More detailed attention given to the sanitary environment of the cafeteria – washing tables, cleaning up food on floor between each lunch set
- Discuss with students the expected conduct and voice level when in cafeteria
- Personal supervising cafeteria model and monitor proper conduct and appropriate voice level
- Schedule meal times to allow students adequate time to eat
- Provide furniture and seating arrangements that will help reduce noise level
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (e.g., a la carte, vending machines, school stores) – the district shall:
- Ensure that all items meet nutrition standards set in federal regulations for competitive foods regarding whole grains, fruits, vegetable, calories, fat, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, sodium, and caffeine, and discourage items high in sugar, fat, and that are highly processed.
- Smart Snack Standards:
- 100% whole grain products which are high in fiber
- Non-fat and/or low-fat real cheese rather than imitation cheese
- Nuts, seeds and trail mix snacks
- Fresh fruit and/or vegetables
- Snacks that meet the following criteria, per serving:
- Less than or equal to 200 calories,
- Less than or equal to 7 grams of fat,
- Less than or equal to 2 grams of saturated fat,
- 0 grams of trans fat,
- Less than or equal to 15 grams of sugar,
- Less than or equal to 200 milligrams of sodium and
- High-fructose corn syrup cannot be listed as the first ingredient on the product label.
- Most beverages containing caffeine (soda, Monster drink, Mountain Dew Kickstart, etc.) will not be sold on the high school campus during the school day.
- Guarantee all snacks and beverages served/sold during school hours on school ground meet Smart Snack Nutrition Standards.
- Ensure access to free, safe and fresh drinking water throughout the school day for all students and staff.
- Provide monthly birthday celebrations rather than several birthday celebrations per month.
- Create class/holiday celebrations that center around physical activities.
- Provide teachers with list of healthy class celebrations.
- Provide teachers and parents information on food safety guidelines for classroom celebrations.
- Provide teachers and parents with list of smart choice snacks
- 50% of foods offered at all celebrations will be Smart Snack standard compliant.
- Encourage physical activity as a reward (class dance, nature walk)
- Provide teachers with a list of alternate rewards that can be utilized
- Food rewards or incentives shall rarely be used to encourage student achievement or desirable behavior
- Prohibit the sale of candy during school hours
- Provide a list of non-food fundraising activities
- Encourage fundraising that encourages physical activity
- Ensure that all vending machines available to staff during school hours are not available to students
- Smart Snack Nutrition Standards apply to all food and beverage sold
Nutrition promotion and education that teaches the knowledge, skills, and values needed to adopt healthy eating behaviors shall be integrated into the curriculum (Grades K-12). The Board’s goals for nutrition promotion and education include that the districts will:
- Nutritional education will be integrated into the core curriculum (math, social studies, language arts, etc.) whenever possible.
- Professional development activities will be provided to all staff to gain the basic knowledge and importance of good nutrition as well as instructional techniques, activities, and strategies designed to promote healthy eating habits
- The school cafeteria will serve as a learning resource to link the lessons learned in the classroom with the practice of making healthy eating choices.
- The school district will build awareness among parents and community members about the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating habits through flyers, media, newsletters, open house, parent nights, etc.
- Conduct an assessment of current nutrition education programs in each of the buildings
- Include enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens.
- The nutrition education curriculum will use school’s gardens as a teaching tool and/or visit local farms.
The written school district’s comprehensive physical education curriculum shall incorporate the appropriate NYS Learning Standards. The school district shall provide all physical education teachers with professional development opportunities focused on physical activity topics. The Board’s goals for physical activity and education include that the district will:
- Strive for students in K-6 to receive a minimum of 120 minutes of physical education per week and in grades 7-12 to maintain a 3day/2day per week schedule.
- Provide physical education classes taught by certified physical education teachers that have a student/teacher ratio comparable to other classes within the district.
- Not allow other courses or activities to be substituted for physical education.
- Provide equipment and activities that encourage physical activity during recess, and provide all elementary students with recess.
- Strive to develop additional activity based opportunities for the students during the school day.
- Provide educational information to parents and community members about the importance of physical activity and fitness.
- Encourage parents to become partners with the school by providing family based activities that promote physical activity.
Physical Education lessons should:
- Be designed to be activity based and will include a warm up and cool down period.
- Be designed to utilize space and equipment to encourage maximum student participation.
- Emphasis the importance of physical activity and personal fitness.
- Provide instruction and activities that will enable students to create a personalized fitness program and promote a physically active lifestyle.
Classroom teachers will be encouraged to:
- Design lessons that encourage student movement and activity.
- Provide short activity breaks, which are grade level appropriate, when extended periods of inactivity have occurred.
- Provide student or class “rewards” that are activity based.
- All students (K-12) shall be required to take physical education class. Schools will not allow students to be exempt from required class except for approved medical and/or academic reasons.
- Promote clubs and activities that meet the various physical activity needs, interests, and abilities of all students (e.g., walking, hiking and climbing, snowshoeing, ski club, and running club.)
- Develop joint-use agreements with community partners in order to provide expanded physical activity opportunities for all students and community members.
- Support Safe Routes to School Program by partnering with local government and community-based organizations to support active transport to school for students who live within walkable/bikeable distance at schools in safe locations. Safe school locations are defined as schools with low traffic streets, crosswalks, and crossing guards. (Current safe school location is Au Sable Elementary.)
- Encourage teachers to not use the performance of physical activity as a form of discipline or punishment and physical activity shall not be withheld as a punishment.
Marketing and Promotion of Policy:
- Wellness Committee will meet 4 times per year to establish goals and review implementation.
- Provide community, parents, staff and students of yearly goals and their role for implementation.
- Create ways to encourage family activity times both at home and at school.
- Make pool and fitness room available to community, parents, staff and students after school and evening hours.
- School staff members shall be encouraged to model healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.
- Before purchasing items or accepting donated items, consider not accepting items that have advertisements of food and beverages that are not available for sale in district schools on any school property, educational materials, or school publications and media. (e.g., signs, scoreboards, sports equipment, vending machines, food and beverage containers, food display racks, coolers, trash and recycling containers, textbooks, curricula, computer screen savers, school ratio/tv stations, newsletters). Current branded materials (such as Gatorade branded water jugs) will be replaced as updated materials are needed.
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