Wellness Policy

PURPOSE
The purpose of this policy is to assure a school environment that promotes and protects students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

General Statement of Policy
The Nativity of Mary Catholic School board recognizes that nutrition education and physical education are essential components of the educational process and
that good health fosters student attendance and education. The school environment should promote and protect students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity. Nativity of Mary Catholic School encourages the involvement of students, parents, teachers, food service staff, and other interested persons in implementing, monitoring, and reviewing school district nutrition and physical activity policies. Children need access to healthy foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn and thrive. All students in grades Pre-K through 8 will have opportunities, support and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis. Food service personnel will provide students with access to a variety of affordable nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; try to accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide a clean, safe setting and allotted time for students to eat.

GUIDELINES
Food and Beverages
All foods and beverages made available in the school lunchroom will be consistent with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And the availability of healthy classroom snacks will be encouraged. Food Service personnel will take every measure to ensure that student access to foods and beverages meet or exceed all federal, state, and local laws and guidelines. Food Service personnel shall adhere to all federal, state and local food safety and security guidelines.

The Food Service personnel will have nutrition information on all items sold in the school lunchroom available upon request and for school nurse as needed.
Nativity of Mary Catholic School will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of students who are eligible for free and reduced priced school meals. The school does provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks.

The school will make every effort to provide students with sufficient time to eat after sitting down for meals and will schedule meal periods at appropriate times during the school day. The school will discourage tutoring, club or organizational meetings or activities during meals, unless students may eat during such activities.

School Food Service Program/Personnel
Nativity of Mary Catholic School will provide healthy and safe school meal programs that strictly comply with all federal, state and local statues and regulation.
As part of the schools responsibility to operate a food service program, the school will provide continuing professional development for all food service personnel.

Nutrition Education and Promotion
Nativity of Mary Catholic School will encourage and support healthy eating by students and engage in nutrition promotion that is:
1. Offered as part of a comprehensive program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
2. Part of health education classes as well as classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social studies, and elective subjects, where appropriate; and
3. Enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, and includes participatory activities, such as contests, promotes, taste testing, field trips and
cleaning up after themselves and class or group.

The school will encourage all students to make age appropriate, healthy selections of foods and beverages, including those sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs, such as through alternate and a la carte lines, fundraising events and school concession stands.

Physical Activity
Students need opportunities for physical activity and to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior. Toward that end, health education will reinforce the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce sedentary activities such as watching television.

Opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons, where appropriate, and classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate. Students have access to physical education every other day and daily recess before lunch. Examples of activities at recess would be walking, jumping rope, playing basketball and soccer.

Nativity of Mary Catholic School participates in Athletics, Jump Rope for Heart, Field Day, or other approved activities. All students are encouraged to participate.

Communications with Parents
Nativity of Mary Catholic School recognizes that parents and guardians have a primary and fundamental role in promoting and protecting their children’s health and well-being. The school will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The school encourages parents to pack health lunches and snacks and refrain from including beverages and foods without nutritional value.

The school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities and will support parents’ efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. This information will be posted on the school’s website. The school will hold a general meeting to discuss the Wellness Policy on a quarterly basis.

IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
After approval by the school board, the Wellness Policy will be implemented throughout Nativity of Mary Catholic School. School food service staff, at the school, will ensure compliance within the school’s food service areas and will report to the principal and building superintendent’s designee, as appropriate. They will ensure compliance with the Wellness Policy and will provide an annual report of the school’s compliance with the policy to the school board.

Legal References: 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq. (Richard B Russell National School Lunch Act
42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act of 1966)
P.L. 108-265 (2004) 204 (Local Wellness Policy)
7 U.S.C. 5341 (Establishment of Dietary Guidelines)
7 C.F.R. 210.10 (School Lunch Program Regulations)

Local Resources: Minnesota Department of Education:

www.eduation.state.mn.us – Minnesota Department of Health, www.health.state.mn.us
County Health Departments – Action for Healthy Kids Minnesota, www.actionforhealthykids.org