Policy P7-51

A. Policy Goal
Lynchburg City Schools is committed to providing school environments that promote, educate and protect each student's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating, physical activity and emotional growth.

B. Definition
Student wellness is a balance of physical and emotional well-being that empowers students to make healthy life-long choices to achieve an optimal quality of life.

C. School Nutrition Program
The Lynchburg City Schools Nutrition Program oversees all foods and beverages prepared and served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.

1.  Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Prepared and Served by School Nutrition

School Meals: All meals prepared and served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

  • meet or exceed nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
  • be appealing and attractive to children; and
  • be served in clean and pleasant settings.

Breakfast: To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn, the school nutrition program:

  • will operate the School Breakfast Program in all Lynchburg City Schools;
  • will to the extent possible, utilize methods to serve school breakfasts in a manner that encourages participation;
  • will notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program; and
  • will encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through monthly menus, newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.

The school nutrition program will encourage students to identify and select new, healthy foods offered through the school meals programs through periodic taste testing, signage in the cafeteria, monthly printed menus and positive student/employee interaction during meal service.  In addition, the school nutrition program will provide nutritional content information to parents, nurses, and health assistants.  Such information will also be made available upon request through the School Nutrition Office.

2.  Meal Times and Scheduling

The school division:

  • will provide students with an adequate and reasonable amount of time to purchase and eat their lunch; bus schedules will not prohibit students from accessing School Breakfast; and
  • will provide access to water during mealtime.

3.  Qualifications of School Food Service Staff

Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs.  As part of the school division’s responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals in schools. Staff development programs will include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, school nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.

4.  Sharing of Foods and Beverages

Students will be discouraged from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children’s diets.

5.  A La Carte Food and Beverage Sales

All foods and beverages sold individually during the school day by the school nutrition program outside the reimbursable school meals programs, including those sold through a la carte lines and vending machines during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day, will meet the USDA Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools.

D. Nutrition Education and Promotion
Lynchburg City Schools classroom teaching for health education will follow the Health Education Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools.

Lynchburg City Schools strives to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students; schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • provides nutritional information about foods served in the School Nutrition Program to students, parents and staff;
  • enhances the SOL health curriculum with cross-curriculum integration of nutrition education materials such as My Plate (www.choosemyplate.gov);
  • provides helpful hints related to diet and healthy activities to students, parents and staff;
  •  displays information in the school building and cafeteria that relates to nutrition;
  • coordinates with community professionals to assist with nutrition education and promotion;
  • provides ongoing staff development related to wellness education; and
  • is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects.

Nutrition education can include enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally- relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens.  Nutrition education shall promote fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices.  Nutrition education shall emphasize caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise).

E. Foods and Beverages Sold/Served and Marketed on School Campus Outside of the School Nutrition Program

1.  Vending

Vending in the Lynchburg City Schools will provide a variety of healthy food and drink choices. There should be no vending machines available to elementary school students and after school only vending available to middle school students. No vending machines outside the control of the School Nutrition Program will be operated during the operating hours of the school lunch and breakfast programs. The beverage vending contracts for high schools and middle schools should create vending machines which offer 100 percent juice and water, low calorie soda and zero calorie sports drinks. Food vending contracts for high schools and middle schools will include items that meet the standards of the School Nutrition Program.

2.  Snacks

Snacks served by the Lynchburg City Schools during the school day, or in after- school care or enrichment programs, will meet school nutrition standards (this will also include any snacks provided as a part of classroom curriculum), and make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations. The school division will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, PTO’s, after-school program personnel and parents that meet School Nutrition Program standards with a focus on fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and water.

3.  Rewards/Incentives

Teachers should not use foods or beverages as rewards or incentives for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages including food served through the School Nutrition Program meals as a consequence. It is also recommended that alternatives for incentives and rewards should be used.

4.  Celebrations

Schools should limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one event per class per month.  Each event should include food or beverage that meets nutrition standards for foods and beverages served by the School Nutrition Program. (To ensure the safety of our students, food brought into schools must be in original packaging, and it is highly recommended that fresh fruits and vegetables be used for events.) Parents have a responsibility to alert the school of food allergies, and teachers need to be made aware of potential food allergy issues. The division will disseminate a list of healthy food choices to parents and teachers.

5.  School PTO and Booster Club-sponsored Events, Sports Events and Carnivals

Groups sponsoring events are encouraged to offer healthy food and beverage options. The schools should have resources available for PTOs, booster clubs, teachers, parents and students regarding healthy food and beverage options.

6.  School-sponsored/Student Solicited Fundraising Activities

Schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity and healthy nutritional lifestyles, including promoting non-food related options as a first choice for fundraising.  The school-sponsored sale of food items that do not meet the nutritional standards set forth in the Standards for School Nutrition Program is not permitted on school property during regular school hours. There will be no restrictions implemented on items sold for fundraising purposes that happen off school property.

F.  Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education
Lynchburg City Schools will meet or exceed the current Department of Education Standards of Quality for physical education for all elementary, middle and high school students.

1.  Daily Recess Activity Time

All elementary school students will have at least 25 minutes a day of supervised activity time, 10 minutes may be structured play, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity, through the provision of space and equipment.  Removal or restriction from activity time as a consequence of student behaviors should be used sparingly and as a last resort.  Removal or restriction may also be used if the student poses a safety issue to other students.

2.  Integrating Physical Activity into Classroom Settings

All schools should discourage extended periods of inactivity. When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students of all grade levels periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:

  • classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically- active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;
  • opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons, and classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.

3.  Movement Education

In addition to activity time, elementary students will have 40 minutes per week of movement education, 75 percent of which time should be moderate to vigorous activity.  Qualified movement education professionals will follow a curriculum of health education per the Virginia Standards of Quality which will prepare students for SOL’s. Classes will provide age-appropriate skill development for all students, including those with special needs. Removal or restriction from movement education class as a consequence of student behaviors should be used sparingly and as a last resort.  Removal or restriction may also be used if the student poses a safety issue to other students.

4.  Communications with Parents

The division/school will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The division/school will send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school websites, and provide nutrient analyses of school menus. Schools should encourage parents to utilize the school breakfast and lunch programs to provide their children with convenient, economical, and nutritious meals. When packing food from home, parents should also be encouraged to provide healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the nutrition standards of the School Nutrition Program.

The division/school will provide parents a list of foods that meet the division’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/events, rewards, and incentives.

The division/school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day, and support parents’ efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school.  Such supports will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, or physical education homework.

G. Additional School-based Activities Designed to Promote Wellness

1.  The School Nutrition Program will be accessible to all students.

2.  Schools will ensure an adequate time for students to enjoy eating healthy foods with friends in school.

3.  Lunch will be scheduled as near to the middle of the school day as possible.

4.  The school division will provide a clean, safe enjoyable meal environment for students.

5.  The school division will provide drinking fountains in all schools, so that students can get water at meals and throughout the day.

6.  The school division will take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth- brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).

7.  The school division will not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.

8.  The school division will provide convenient access to hand washing or hand sanitizing facilities before and after meals.

9.  The school division will provide students and parents information and outreach materials about community support programs on wellness, and nutrition as requested.

10. The school division will work with a variety of media to spread the word to the community about a healthy school nutrition environment and encourage community participation in activities promoting an environment of health and wellness in the schools and utilize media outlets to promote current activities.

11. Campus-based personnel should be responsible for knowing and helping to promote components of the Wellness Policy.

12. The school division will provide opportunities for on-going professional training and development for foodservice staff and teachers in the areas of nutrition and physical education.

13. Each School Improvement Team will complete an annual “checklist” regarding how well the school has encouraged physical activity, positive nutritional choices, and the school’s overall compliance with the Wellness Policy.

H. Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours
Subject to Lynchburg City School Board’s policies concerning Community Use of School Facilities, outdoor school spaces and facilities should be available to students, staff, and community members before, during, and after the school day, on weekends, and during school vacations.

I.    Safe Routes to School
When appropriate the school division will work together with local public works, public safety, and/or police to explore options for students to walk or bike to school.

J.  Mental and Emotional Wellness
Mental and emotional health problems in students can disrupt their ability to function at home, in school, or in the community.  Less serious problems can disrupt relationships, cause problems with physical health, and affect school performance. More serious problems can lead to running away and death through suicide or bad life decisions.

Mental health determines how we think of ourselves and interpret what goes on in the environment around us. It affects the decisions we make in life, our relationships with others, and virtually every other aspect of our lives.

Emotional health is the ability to live life to its fullest, realize ones potential, and support others in doing so.  It begins with a true understanding of how one feels about oneself, working to change circumstances or conditions that can be changed, coping or accepting those that can’t be changed.

1.  The school division will create/maintain a preventive response team to support students in crisis without causing them to feel stigmatized.

2.  The staff in each building will complete annual training related to suicide prevention.

3.  The school division will make available community resource information to parents and students about mental health services.

K. Staff Wellness
Lynchburg City Schools highly values the health and wellbeing of every staff member, and will plan and implement activities that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

L.  Measurement and Evaluation
Lynchburg City Schools will maintain an active School Health Advisory Board. The School Health Advisory Board will collaborate with the School Nutrition Program and community agencies to recommend wellness guidelines for the school division.

Each School Improvement Team will complete an annual “checklist” regarding how well the school has encouraged physical activity, positive nutritional choices, and the school’s overall compliance with the Wellness Policy.  The division wellness policy data and individual school scorecards will be reviewed by the superintendent and shared with groups as requested.

Lynchburg City Schools will collect a weight and height Body Mass Index (BMI) on all students in Kindergarten, and grades 4 and 8. Parents may opt out by contacting their school administrator.

Legal Reference
42 U.S.C. § 1785b
7 C.F.R. Pt. 210 and 220
Code of Virginia 1950, as amended § 22.1-253.13:1.D.14, § 22.1-78

Approved by School Board:  June 20, 2006
Revised by School Board:  November 5, 2013