Oral Health Information : School Wellness Policy
SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
MODEL WELLNESS POLICY
Introduction and Rationale
In the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 105-268, the
U.S. Congress established a new requirement for all local agencies (including
public and nonpublic, as well as, Residential Child Care Institutions) with a
federally-funded National School Lunch program. The local agencies are required
to develop and implement wellness policies that address nutrition and physical
activity by the start of the 2006-2007 school year. In response to this
requirement the South Dakota Department of Education convened a work group
consisting of health, physical activity, nutrition, and education professionals
representing a variety of organizations, plus students and parents, to develop a
wellness policy for local agencies.
The model wellness policy developed by DOE meets the new federal requirement. It
is based on science, research, and existing practices from exemplary states and
local school districts around the country. The first priority of the work group
was to promote children's health and well-being; however, feasibility of policy
implementation was also considered.
Some aspects of a broader conception of “wellness” are not addressed in the
model policies that follow. School districts are encouraged to establish and
maintain a coordinated school health program that addresses all components of
school health, including mental health services and school health services,
which are not addressed in these model policies. These model policies also do
not address certain important related areas, such as counseling services for
those with eating disorders, food safety policies, and policies to reduce
weight-related bullying. Schools may also choose to expand their wellness policy
to address other risk behaviors. Additionally, schools will support the health
of all students by hosting health clinics, health screenings, and encouraging
the enrollment of eligible children in Children's Health Insurance Program
The increasing rates of overweight and obesity among youth threaten to
jeopardize the future health and productivity of our children. Will academic
success become more and more difficult for students to attain as lifestyle
choices diminish a child's ability to learn? Will the students of today be the
first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents? Do over
nourished and malnourished children face similar adversities?
A healthy school environment goes beyond school meals in the cafeteria. Living a
healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight requires a combination of
healthy food choices, knowledge of nutrition, and appropriate amounts of
physical activity. All foods made available on school campuses should offer
children nutritious choices. Nutrition education and physical activity should be
incorporated into the school day as often as possible. The healthy,
nutritionally astute, and physically active child is more likely to be
The federal government recognizes that a coordinated effort by the entire
community including child nutrition professionals, school board members,
parents, students, school administrators, and teachers is warranted. These
efforts involve adults serving as role models and community members being
informed of the policies that improve the long- term health and well-being of
students. The local agency has a strategic role to play in improving the health
and well-being of children.
Using the Model Policies
Local agencies may choose to use the following model policies as written or
revise them as needed to meet local needs and reflect community priorities. When
developing wellness policies school districts will need to take into account
their unique circumstances, challenges, and opportunities. Among the factors to
consider are socioeconomic status of the student body; school size; rural or
urban location; and presence of immigrant, dual-language, or limited - English
The local agency must convene a committee to develop its wellness policy. The
most effective wellness policy is one that has input from stakeholders in the
community. The committee must include the following:
Food service representative
Classroom teacher (health and
physical education, nutrition, and general subject matter)
School board member
The committee may also include:
Steps in Developing Policy
Assess Needs and Resources
It often helps to begin by conducting a baseline assessment of schools'
existing nutrition and physical activity environments. The results of
school-by-school assessments can be compiled at the district level to prioritize
needs. Useful self-assessment and planning tools include the School Health Index
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Changing the Scene
from the Team Nutrition Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),
and Opportunity to Learn Standards for Elementary, Middle, and High School
Physical Education from the National Association for Sport and Physical
The committee shall draft a policy using input from the committee members. It
may be helpful to attain input from the general public after the policy is
drafted. Compromises from the ideal might be required as district decision
makers consider challenges such as limited class time, curriculum requirements,
and funding and space constraints.
The governing board shall adopt the policy.
Educate students and the community on the existing needs, the policy, and
desired effects. A local agency may find it more practical to phase in its
wellness policies than to implement a comprehensive set of nutrition and
physical activity policies all at once. Implementation must include addressing
the following four components: Nutrition Education, Physical Activity, Nutrition
Standards, and Other School Based Activities. The setting of goals, objectives,
and timelines will assist in effective implementation of the policies.
As outlined in law, the local agency shall designate one or more persons with
operational responsibility for ensuring that the local agency meets the
requirements of the local wellness policy.
At each grade level nutrition education will be offered as part of a sequential,
comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the
knowledge and skills necessary to promote their health. Nutrition education will
be incorporated into the school day as often as possible. The primary goal of
nutrition education is to influence students' eating behaviors.
scientifically-based nutrition messages throughout the school, classroom,
cafeteria, home, community, and media;
is part of health education
classes and/or stand alone courses;
is included in the scope and
sequence of the curriculum in core subjects such as math, science, language
arts, social sciences, and elective subjects;
includes the school cafeteria
which serves as a “learning laboratory” to allow students to apply critical
thinking skills taught in the classroom;
uses the SD Health Education
Standards and addresses nutrition concepts progressively in grades K through
developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, and participatory
activities (e.g. contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and
offers information to
families that encourages them to teach their children about health and
nutrition, and assists them in planning nutritious meals for their families;
will be taught by staff who
are adequately prepared and who participate in professional development
activities in order to deliver an effective program;
will include a school
nutrition/health team, such as Team Nutrition or Coordinated School Health,
to conduct nutrition education activities and promotions that involve
parents, students, and the community.
The primary goal for the school's physical activity component is to provide
opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific
physical activities, maintain physical fitness, regularly participate in
physical activity, and understand the short and long-term benefits of a
physically active and healthful lifestyle.
Daily Physical Education Classes K-12
All students in grades K-12
will receive daily physical education (or its equivalent of 150 minutes per
week for elementary school students and 225 minutes per week for middle and
high school students) for the entire school year. Students with
disabilities, special health-care needs, and those in alternative
educational settings will be included.
Students will spend at least
50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to
vigorous physical activity.
The physical education
curriculum should demonstrate progression and sequence and be consistent
with South Dakota and/or National Physical Education standards for Pre-K
through grade 12.
All physical education will
be taught by highly qualified physical education teachers.
ratios should be equivalent to those of other subject area classes in the
Student participation in
other activities involving physical activity (e.g., interscholastic or
intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical
Physical Activity across the
Opportunities for physical
activity are regularly incorporated into other subject areas (e.g. math,
language arts, science, and social studies.).
All elementary school
students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess,
preferably outdoors, during which students are encouraged (verbally and
through the provision of space and equipment) to engage in moderate to
vigorous physical activity.
When feasible, recess will
occur prior to lunch to ensure appropriate healthful food intake.
Extended periods of
inactivity, two hours or more, are discouraged. When activities, such as
mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain
indoors for long periods of time, students will be given periodic breaks
during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
Opportunities Before and After School
All elementary, middle, and high
schools will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical
activity clubs or intramural programs.
All high schools and middle
schools as appropriate, will offer interscholastic sports programs.
Schools will offer activities
that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including
boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special
Schools will educate and
encourage participation in community or club activities.
After-school child care and
enrichment programs will provide and encourage (verbally and through the
provision of space, equipment, and activities) daily periods of moderate to
vigorous physical activity for all participants.
Teachers and other school and
community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps,
push-ups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess,
physical education) as punishment.
Students will not be denied
physical activity for purposes of make-up work, testing, etc.
Safe Routes to School
The school district will
assess and, if necessary and to the extent possible, make needed
improvements to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to
school. When appropriate, the district will work together with local public
works, public safety, and/or police departments in those efforts.
The school district will
explore the availability of funding through the SD Department of
The school district will
encourage students to use public transportation when available and
appropriate for travel to school.
Use of School Facilities
Outside of School Hours
School spaces and facilities
will be available to students, staff, and community members before, during,
and after the school day; on weekends; and during school vacations.
Schools will educate the
community, including parents and staff, about utilizing the facility. These
spaces and facilities also will be available to community agencies and
organizations offering physical activity and nutrition programs.
School policies concerning
safety will apply at all times.
Schools will develop a
Wellness Council/Committee comprised of school personnel, community members,
and students to plan, implement, and assess ongoing activities that promote
healthy lifestyles, particularly physical activity for all age groups within
the school community.
Schools will provide ongoing
professional development and education for foodservice professionals,
educators, administrators and other staff.
Schools will provide
nutrition and physical education for students, staff, parents, and, where
appropriate, community members.
Students and staff will have
adequate space to eat meals in clean, safe, pleasant surroundings and will
have adequate time scheduled as near the middle of the school day as
possible to eat, relax, and socialize.
Safe drinking water and
convenient access to facilities for hand washing and oral hygiene will be
available during all meal periods.
Consideration will be given
for passing time, bathroom break, hand washing, and socializing so as to
allow ten minutes for breakfast and twenty minutes for lunch once the
student is seated.
Rewards, Incentives, and
Rewards and incentives will
be given careful consideration as to the messages they send to the students
receiving them. Food will not be used as a reward or incentive in the
classroom, but other, more appropriate rewards may be used (e.g. extra free
time, pencils, bookmarks,).
Food will not be withheld
from students as a consequence for inappropriate behavior or poor academic
Teachers and other school
personnel will not prohibit or deny student participation in recess or other
physical activity as a consequence for inappropriate behavior or poor
academic performance; nor will they cancel recess or other physical activity
for instructional make-up time.
Access Facilities for Physical
Vending machines with food
and beverages will not be available in elementary schools. The school will
provide healthy snacks as a part of the after-school care activities. In the
event that these snacks are not available as a part of the after-school care
activities, the school may provide vending services with healthy choices.
No vending services will be
available one hour before and one hour after the breakfast and lunch
School fundraising activities
will support healthy lifestyles. Such activities may include physical
activity (e.g. walk-a-thon), school support (e.g. selling school
memorabilia) and/or academic achievement (e.g. spelling bee).
The sale of food or beverages
as a fund raiser will not take place from one hour before and one hour after
the breakfast and lunch service.
Schools will encourage
fundraising activities that promote physical activity.
Other School-Based Activities
Schools will create an
environment that provides consistent wellness messages, is conducive to healthy
eating and physical activity; and contributes to forming healthy life long
The school district will make
available a list of ideas for acceptable fundraising activities.
Schools will organize local
wellness councils comprised of parents, teachers, administrators,
foodservice personnel, and students to plan, implement, and improve
nutrition and physical activity within the school environment.
Students' life-long eating habits
are greatly influenced by the types of foods and beverages available to them.
Foods of good nutritional content including fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy
foods, and low-fat grain products will be available wherever and whenever food
is sold or otherwise offered at school during the normal school day. Examples
may include a la carte, snacks, vending machines, fund raising activities,
parties, celebrations, and school sponsored events.
Food pricing strategies will
be designed to encourage students to purchase nutritious items.
Procedures will be in place
for providing information to families, upon request, about the ingredients
and nutritional values of the foods served.
Food and beverages sold or
served on school grounds or at school sponsored events during the normal
school day will meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Standards
for Food and Beverages set forth in this document.
School Meal Program
The school food service
program will operate in accordance with the National School Lunch Act and
the Child Nutrition Act of 1996 as amended and with applicable laws and
regulations of the state of South Dakota. All schools will comply with USDA
regulations and state policies.
Schools will offer varied and
nutritious food choices that are consistent with the federal government's
Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For the purpose of this policy, “Dietary
Guidelines for Americans” refers to the current set of recommendations of
the federal government that are designed to help people choose diets that
will meet nutrient requirements, promote health, support active lives, and
reduce chronic disease risks.
Menus will be planned with
input from students, family members, and other school personnel and will
take into account students' cultural norms and preferences.
Students with special dietary
needs (e.g. diabetes, celiac sprue, allergies,) will be accommodated as
required by USDA regulation.
A la carte offerings in the
food service program
A la carte items available
during the school day will meet the Standards for Food and Beverages set
forth in this document.
School food service
departments will not sell extra portions of desserts, French fries, and/or
Parties and Celebrations
Schools should limit
celebrations that involve food during the school day.
Each party should include no
more than one food or beverage that does not meet the Standards for Food and
The district will disseminate
a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.
School Sponsored Events (such
as but not limited to athletic events, dances, or performances)
Content of Vending Machines
These guidelines should be
applied to all vending machines in the school
Granola bars, whole-grain fruit
bars Nuts and seeds-plain or with spices
Nut mix Trail mix-plain
Fresh fruit of all varieties
Beef jerky (or buffalo jerky)
Yogurt, low fat and no sugars added
String cheese Fruit/Vegetable
juice (100% juice)
1% or skim milk Plain water
Dry roasted peanuts, tree nuts,
and soy nuts Fruit bars
Frozen fruit juice bars (no sugar
or high fructose corn syrup)
Nuts with light sugar covering;
honey-roasted Popcorn without hydrogenated fats
Individually packed fruit in
natural juices only Fruit leather
Animal crackers and graham
Low fat ice cream and sherbet
bars Peanut butter and crackers
Low-fat pudding Baked chips, corn
Standards for Food and Beverages
Provide 100% fruit and
vegetable juices and limit portion sizes to 4-12 ounces.
Provide water -
non-carbonated and unflavored without added sugar, artificial
sweeteners, or caffeine.
Provide milk-skim or 1%
in portion sizes of 8-16 ounces.
Flavored milk (chocolate
or strawberry), low fat, or skim may be offered in up to 12 ounce
serving sizes with no more than 36 grams of sugar in a 12 ounce portion.
Eliminate the sale of
soft drinks, sports drinks, punch, fruit drinks, iced tea, coffee and
coffee-like beverages, and other items not included in allowable
beverages listed above.
Allow only water as a
beverage in the classroom.
Serve whole grains which
contain at least 2 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving. One half of all
grains served should be whole grain.
Limit portion sizes to
1.25 ounces - 2 ounces with most being 1.25 ounces.
Limit total calories from
fat to no more than 30%.
Limit total calories from
saturated fat to no more than 10%.
Limit sugar content to no
more than 35% of calories by weight, or less than 6 grams from sugar per
Limit the amount of trans
Fruits and Vegetables:
Offer fruits and
vegetables prepared/packaged without added fat, sugar, or sodium.
Low-fat dips and sauces on the side may be served in small portions to
make foods more appealing.
Offer 1/2 cup serving
sizes of fruits and vegetables. Offer additional fruits and to help
students reach the recommended 5 - 9 servings per day.
Offer a variety of fruits
and vegetables, especially colorful ones.
A la carte entrees and side
substitutes in portions no greater than 3 ounces with 5 grams of fat per
ounce or less (except nut butters).
Offer nuts and seeds in
portion sizes no greater than 1.25 ounces.
Offer nut butters in
portion sizes of 2 - 4 Tbsp.
Offer non-fat and low-fat
yogurt in portion sizes of 8 ounces or less. Sugar should not be the
first ingredient on the label.
Limit ice cream and
frozen desserts to portion sizes of 4 ounces or less with 5 grams or
less of fat. Sugar should not be the first ingredient.
Offer cheese in portion
sizes of 1- 2 ounces.
Condiments and miscellaneous:
Offer salad dressing
containing no more than 6 - 12 grams of fat per ounce.
Remove salt shakers from
A La Carte: additional and
separately priced foods sold in the lunch line.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans: dietary recommendations for healthy Americans
age 2 years and over about food choices that promote health, specifically with
respect to prevention or delay of chronic diseases.
Physical Activity: the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines
physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that
results in an expenditure of energy.
Normal School Day: time period spanning from the first bell of the day that
begins the first class period to the last bell of the day ending the final class
Vending Machine: a coin operated machine for the sale of merchandise.
Click here for a complete copy of Participants in Model Wellness Policy
Participants in Model Wellness
Facilitator Vicky Hagen,
Kari Senger, Coordinated School Health, Department of Education
Sandra Kangas, Child & Adult Nutrition Services, Department of Education
Joni Davis, CSP; Food Service
Director, Sioux Falls School District
Ruth Beaver, Food Service Director, Wilmot School District
Nancy Miller, RD; Dietitian, Queen of Peace Hospital, Mitchell
Kristin Biskeborn, RD; State Nutritionist; SD Department of Health
Dawn Conrad, Midwest Dairy Council, Action for Healthy Kids
Other School Based Activities
Marlys Lueth, SD School Food
Service Assn; West Central District
Kate Schaffer, Student Intern, Child & Adult Nutrition Services-DOE
Denise Nelson, Growing Healthy Coordinator, Center for Family Medicine
Brenda Pulfrey, State PTA Treasurer
Susan Randall, PhD, Executive Director, SD Coalition for Children
Lynn Bettelyoun, Teacher, Loneman
Linda Ahrendt, Program Coordinator, DOH - Office of Health Promotion
Larry Buffington, Principal, HS, Gayville-Volin School District 63-1
Joan Mahoney, Assistant Principal, Sioux Falls Diocese
Betsy Silva, Professor, Black Hills State University
Jessie Daw, Northern State University, SDAHPERD
Natalie Nagle, Student, High
Karlys Wells, Team Nutrition Coordinator, SDSU Cooperative Extension
Bill Engberg, Associated School Boards of South Dakota
Amy Richards, Program Specialist-Team Nutrition, CANS - DOE