Florida Union Free School District Wellness Policy

 

Reviewed by: Andrew Cameron, Director of Program Operations; Debbi Lisack, Golden Hill Elementary Principal: Rich Dever, teacher;  Wendy Rohn, teacher; Marlene Lysack, School Nurse; Eileen Smyth, School Nurse; Vonnie Hubbard, School Lunch Manager; Cindy Wood, Cook Manager; Meg Oakes, Health and Wellness Coordinator,  Orange County Department of Health; Gina McAteer, Retail Registered Dietitian, ShopRite; Joyce Willetts, community member, and John Sheridan, community member.

For Definitions of Acronyms, please see the end of this document

I.          MISSION STATEMENT

The intent of the Florida UFSD is to create a Wellness Policy that will establish healthy school nutrition environments and work toward reducing childhood  obesity, as well as preventing diet-related chronic diseases. Our Policy will accomplish these goals by providing increased healthy eating opportunities; healthy eating instruction; and the development of healthy lifelong physical activities.  We will actively promote and protect the well-being of all children and adults, as role models, in our school community.

II.        FOOD SERVICE REQUIREMENTS

A.    Overview

During each school day the school food service program will offer breakfast and lunch for all students. Each school will encourage all students to participate in these meal opportunities.  In particular, the school will make efforts to ensure that families are aware of need-based programs for free or reduced price meals and that eligible families are encouraged to apply.  The program will maintain the confidentiality of students and families applying for or receiving free or reduced price meals.  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 applicable laws and regulations of the state.  Schools will offer varied and nutritious food choices that are consistent with the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Menus will be planned with input from students, family members and other school personnel. Food pricing strategies will be designed to encourage students to purchase nutritious items.  Upon a physician’s written request, modified meals will be prepared for students with food allergies or other special food needs.  Information on the ingredients used in preparation of school meals will be provided to parents upon request.  Parents will be notified about this option.  All food service equipment and facilities will meet applicable local and state standards concerning health, safe food preparation, handling and storage; drinking water; sanitation and workplace safety.  Staff will cooperate with efforts in the community to recover wholesome excess food for distribution to people in need.

B.    Nutritious Food Choices

Nutritious and appealing food, such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods and whole grain products will be offered at school.  Schools will encourage students to make nutritious food choices, additionally available from:

  • A la carte offerings in the food service program
  • Vending machines, snack bars, school stores and concession stands;
  • School-sponsored fundraising activities; and
  • Refreshments served at parties, celebrations and meetings
  • Students and staff will have access to free, safe, and fresh drinking water throughout the school day.

C.     Food Sales

The sale of all other foods on school grounds will be under the management of the food service program and in compliance with the Smart Snack provisions including foods sold as part of a fundraising activity.  In the middle and high schools, food and beverages will not be sold from vending machines or school stores until the end of the school day.  Profits generated from sales of foods or beverages in vending machines or school stores will accrue to the food service program or student organizations as approved by the district.  Only student organizations and legally constituted, nonsectarian, nonpartisan organizations approved by the district are permitted to engage in fundraising on school grounds at any time.  These organizations are encouraged to raise funds through the sale of items other than food.   Foods sold for fundraising purposes will not be sold in cafeterias or near food service lines.

D.    Closed Campus

Students are not permitted to leave school grounds during the school day to purchase food or beverages.

E.     Services for Nutrition-Related Health Problems

School counselors and school health services staff will consistently promote healthy eating to students and other staff.   These professionals will be prepared to recognize conditions such as obesity, eating disorders and other nutrition related health problems among students and staff and be able to refer them to appropriate services.

F.      Use of Food in the Classroom

The inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables as part of birthday, seasonal or holiday celebrations will be encouraged. A recommended list of healthful snacks from home has been developed by teachers and parents and shared with parents and community members.

G.  Reimbursable School Meals

Guidelines for reimbursable school meals will not be less restrictive than applicable federal regulations and guidance issued pursuant to the Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.

III. Physical Activity & Physical Education Program

A.     Overview

As emphasized in the NYSED Physical Education K-12 syllabus, “Physical education contributes to the broad goals of education through the development of personal living skills reflected in the manner and degree of participation in life long activities.  This is achieved through the pursuit of more specific objectives encompassing skills and knowledge movement, understanding the effects of physical activity upon the body, feelings of adequacy and mastery, and the development of a personal value system regarding physical activity.” All staff is encouraged to participate in and model physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.

      Our procedures include:

  • A sequential program of physical education that involves moderate to vigorous physical activity; teaches knowledge, motor skills, self-management skills, and positive attitudes; promotes activities and sports that students enjoy and can pursue throughout their lives; is taught by well prepared and well supported staff; and is coordinated with the health education curriculum.
  • Time in the elementary school for supervised recess;
  • Opportunities and encouragement for students to voluntarily participate in before and after school physical activity programs, such as intramurals, clubs and at the middle/high school level interscholastic athletics;
  • Joint school and community recreation activities;
  • Opportunities and encouragement for staff to be physically active;
  • Strategies in involving family members in program development and implementation.

Every student in each grade will participate in physical education as programmed by the individual school, including students with disabling conditions and those in alternative education programs.  Students will participate according to the New York State Commissioner of Education regulations and grade appropriate learning standards.
The physical education program will be closely coordinated with the other components of the overall school health program.  Physical education topics will be integrated within other curricular areas.  In particular, the benefits of being physically active will be linked with instruction about human growth, development and physiology in science classes and with instruction about personal health behaviors in health education class. The physical education program will actively engage families as partners in their children’s education and collaborate with community agencies and organizations to provide ample opportunities for students to participate in physical activity beyond the school day.

B.     Exemptions

Physical education teaches students essential knowledge and skills; for this reason, exemptions from physical education courses will not be permitted on the basis of participation on athletic teams, in community recreation programs, ROTC, marching band or other school or community activities.  There are no waivers or exemptions for physical education.  All pupils are required to attend and participate. In the event that a physician issues an individual medical certificate of limitations, areas of the program in which the pupil may participate must be indicated.  In the case where no activity is recommended, the student is required to make up the time he/she has missed.

C.     Teaching Staff

Physical education will be taught by well prepared specialists who are certified by the state to teach physical education.  All physical education teachers will be adequately prepared and regularly participate in professional development activities to effectively deliver the physical education program.  Preparation and professional development activities will provide basic knowledge of the physical development of children and adolescents combined with skill practice in program specific activities and other appropriate instructional techniques and strategies designed to promote lifelong habits of physical activity.

D.    Adequate Facilities

School leaders will endeavor to ensure the cost efficient provision of adequate spaces, facilities, equipment, supplies and operational budgets that are necessary to achieve the objectives of the physical education program.  School authorities will minimize the use of physical education facilities for non-instructional purposes, such as using the gymnasium for school assemblies, fairs or other presentations during times scheduled for physical education class.

E.     Extracurricular Physical Activities

Physical activity clubs and interscholastic athletics are valuable supplements to a student’s education.  Schools will endeavor to provide every student with opportunities to voluntarily participate in extracurricular physical activities that meet his or her needs, interests and abilities.  A diverse selection of competitive and noncompetitive, structured and unstructured activities will be offered to the extent that staffing and funding permits.  The primary focus of physical activity programs will be on facilitating participation by all interested students.  Equal opportunity on the basis of gender will permeate all aspects of program design and implementation.  School leaders will endeavor to accommodate home-schooled children in extracurricular activities on a budget-neutral basis.  Each extracurricular physical activity program sponsored by in-school organizations will be approved by the district administration and be supervised by a faculty advisor.  The integrity and purpose of the physical education program will not be compromised by such extracurricular activities, nor will they interfere with the regular school schedule.

F.  Extracurricular Program Eligibility

School authorities should encourage and support the participation of all students in extracurricular activities, yet such participation is a privilege and not a right.  Districts may establish and equitably enforce reasonable eligibility requirements and probationary periods for participation in extracurricular activities.  Such requirements may be based on:

  • Appropriate age
  • Enrollment status or residency
  • Satisfactory academic performance
  • Acceptable attendance record
  • Good conduct, including abstinence from the use of tobacco, alcohol and             other harmful drugs
  • Suitable health status or physical condition
  • Other criteria essential to safety and fairness
  • The specific requirements of particular activities or sports.

Eligibility requirements and appeal procedures will be published in a regularly updated student activities handbook that is distributed to students and families annually.  Students denied permission to participate in an extracurricular activity will receive a prompt explanation of the reasons, have an opportunity to respond and be provided with opportunities to reestablish their eligibility.   A student with a chronic health problem or other disabling condition will be permitted to participate in any extracurricular activity, including interscholastic athletics, if the student’s skills and physical condition meet the same qualifications that all other students must satisfy.  The school will make reasonable accommodations to allow the student to participate.

G.    Interscholastic Athletics

High schools and middle schools will offer interscholastic athletic programs that will adhere to the rules and regulations of the NYSPHSAA.* All coaches will comply with the policies, regulations, rules and enforcement measures codified in the regularly updated NYSPHSAA* handbook and OCIAA* bylaws.  Administrators, coaches and other staff will model sportsmanlike attitudes and behaviors.  Student athletes will be taught good sportsmanship, such as treating opponents with fairness, courtesy and respect and will be held accountable for their actions.  School authorities should evict spectators who do not handle themselves in a sportsmanlike way.  Partnerships between schools and businesses are encouraged and business sponsorship of athletic teams will be duly acknowledged. Nevertheless, advertising or other promotional activities supported by commercial interests are not permitted on school grounds.

H.    Required Records

The parents or legal guardians of students who choose to participate in interscholastic athletics will be informed in writing of potential risks associated with a given activity.  Schools must keep documentation on file for each participating student that includes:

  •  A statement signed by the student’s parent/guardian granting permission for the student’s participation.
  • Emergency contact information for the student’s parents/guardians and health care providers.
  • A thorough health appraisal (physical examination) certifying the student’s fitness to participate that is appropriate to the activity or sport conducted within the past 12 months and signed by a licensed physician.

I.        Staffing

All physical activity clubs and athletic teams will be supervised by qualified staff, who may or may not be certified teachers.  Intramural and athletic program staff will satisfactorily complete courses or other professional development programs that address:

  • Child and adolescent physical development.
  • Sports related injury prevention and safety guidelines.
  • Infection control procedures.
  • First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and AED* usage.
  • Promotion of healthy student behaviors; safe and unsafe methods for youth weight management and conditioning.
  • How to provide students with experiences that emphasize enjoyment, sportsmanship, skill development, confidence building and self knowledge.

J.       Recess in Elementary School

Recess provides opportunities for physical activity, which helps students stay alert and attentive in class and provides other educational and social benefits.  School authorities will encourage and develop schedules that provide time within every school day for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school students to enjoy supervised recess.  Every school will have playgrounds, other facilities and equipment available for free play.  Recess will complement, not substitute for, physical education classes.

K.    School/Community Collaboration

Schools will work with recreation agencies and other community organizations to coordinate and enhance opportunities available to students and staff for physical activity during their out of school time.   Schools are encouraged to negotiate mutually acceptable, fiscally responsible arrangements with community agencies and organizations to keep school or district owned facilities open for use by students, staff and community members during non-school hours and vacations.  School policies concerning safety will apply at all times.   A procedure will be in place for out of school groups to request the use of school facilities providing the submission of an insurance liability policy is purchased by the out of school group and provided to the district.

L.     Health and Safety Rules

Schools will establish rules and procedures concerning safety, infection control, and provision of first aid and the reporting of injuries and illnesses to students’ families and appropriate school land community authorities.   School administrators will strictly and consistently enforce compliance with these rules and procedures by all students, school personnel, volunteers and community members who use school facilities.  Students and their families will be informed of their school’s health and safety rules at least annually.  Schools will require students to wear appropriate clothing and properly use all equipment appropriate to the activity and the environment. Physical education teachers, coaches and other athletic personnel will protect students from the effects of extreme weather conditions and endeavor to minimize the amount of exposure to the sun students receive during physical activities.

M.   Safe Facilities

Play areas, facilities and equipment used for physical activity on school grounds will meet accepted safety standards for design, installation and maintenance.  Spaces and facilities will be kept free from violence and exposure to environmental hazards.  All spaces, facilities and equipment used by students and spectators to athletic events will be thoroughly inspected for health and safety hazards on a regularly scheduled basis.  Schools will correct any hazards before the facilities or equipment may be used by students, staff or community members.

N.    Supervision

Student physical activity on school grounds during school hours will be supervised to enforce safety rules and prevent injuries. Supervision will be by adults who have easy access to appropriate first aid supplies. Records will be kept of all injuries.  Supervising adults will be informed of any relevant medical guidance on file with the school concerning limits on the participation of individual students in physical activity.  Such information will be treated with strict confidentiality, as per FERPA* regulations.

O.    Substance Abuse

School staff and other athletic personnel will never condone, and must actively discourage, any student use of drugs, steroids or hormones to enhance appearance or athletic performance.  Coaches and athletic trainers will encourage young people to maintain a healthy diet; practice healthy weight management techniques; and abstain from using tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Existing policies that prohibit drug possession and use will fully apply to the use or possession of steroids, hormone treatments and other performance enhancing drugs.  Established policies on student medications will apply to student consumption or possession of dietary supplements while on school grounds.

IV.       POLICY ADMINISTRATION

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee is charged with operational responsibility insuring that the District meets the Wellness Policy as adopted.
References:

  • Child Nutrition Act, 42 U.S.C.  §1779.
  • Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, P.L. 108-265.
  •  Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. §§1758(f) (1), 1755(a)

V.        REVIEW OF POLICY

This policy will be reviewed annually, or when deemed necessary, specifically to assess the financial impact of implementation.  Section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provides guidance for ongoing implementation and assessment of this policy. The School Food Service Program operates on a self-sufficient, not-for-profit basis, and must remain financially solvent.

DEFINITIONS OF ACRONYMS

AED: Automatic External Defibrillator
FERPA: Family Educational Rights Privacy Act
NYSED: New York State Education Department
NYSPHSAA: New York State Public High School Athletics Association
OCIAA: Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association
ROTC: Reserve Officers’ Training Corps