Student Wellness

The School District strives to make a significant contribution to the general well being, mental and physical capacity, and learning ability of each student while affording them the opportunity to fully participate in the educational process.

The District is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.  Healthy eating is demonstrably linked to reduced risk for mortality and development of many chronic diseases as adults.

To ensure the health and well-being of all students, the Board shall promote and monitor student wellness in a manner that the Board determines is appropriate in the following areas:

●  Nutrition Guidelines:  All foods available in each school during the day will have as a primary goal the promotion of student health and the reduction of childhood obesity.  All guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.
●  Nutrition Education:  The goal is to influence students’ eating behaviors by providing nutrition education that is appropriate for students’ ages; reflects students’ cultures; is integrated into health education or core curricula; and provides opportunities for students to practice skills and have fun.
●  Physical Activity:  The goals for physical activity are to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, to maintain students’ physical fitness, to ensure students’ regular participation in physical activity, and to teach students the short- and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthful lifestyle.
●  Other School-Based Activities:  The goal is to create a total school environment that is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.
●  Evaluation/Implementation:  A primary goal will be to regularly (at least annually) evaluate the effectiveness of this policy in promoting healthy eating and changing the program as appropriate to increase its effectiveness.  Such evaluation will be measureable.  The results of each evaluation, including the extent to which schools are in compliance with District policy, the extent to which the District policy complies with federal regulations, and a description/summary of the progress made in attaining the goals of the District, shall be made available to the public.  Physical education teachers and school health professionals shall have an opportunity to participate in the evaluation and implementation of this policy.
●  Parent, Community and Staff Involvement:  A primary goal will be to engage family members, students, and representatives of the school food authority, the Governing Board, school administrators, and the public in development and regular review of this school policy.

The Superintendent is directed to develop administrative regulations to implement this policy, including such provisions as may be necessary to address all food and beverages sold and/or served to students at school (i.e., competitive foods, snacks and beverages sold from vending machines, school stores, after-school programs, and funding-raising activities and refreshments that are made available at school parties, celebrations and meetings), including provisions for staff development, family and community involvement and program evaluation.  Regulations and exhibits created for the purpose of implementing this policy shall be considered, in effect, to be an extension of this policy subject to Governing Board review.

An annual report shall be made to the Board on the District’s compliance with law and policies related to student wellness.  The report may include but not be limited to:

A.  Evaluation of the food services program.
B.  Recommendations for policy and/or program revisions.
C.  Review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines.
D.  Assessment of school environment regarding student wellness issues.
E.  Listing activities and programs conducted to promote nutrition and physical activity.
F.  Providing feedback received from District staff, students, parents/ guardians, and community members.

In accordance with the National School Lunch Act (42 U. S. C. 1751 et seq.) and the Child Nutrition Act (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.), as amended, an assurance that District guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law shall be provided annually.  The Superintendent shall receive assurances from all appropriate administrators and supervisors prior to making the annual Board report.

Nutrition  Education

Nutrition education shall focus on students’ eating behaviors, be based on theories and methods proven effective by research and be consistent with state and local District health education standards.  Nutrition education at all levels of the curriculum shall include, but not be limited to, the following essential components designed to help students learn:

A.  Age-appropriate nutritional knowledge, including the benefits of healthy eating, essential nutrients, nutritional deficiencies, principles of healthy weight management, the use and misuse of dietary supplements, safe food preparation, handling and storage and cultural diversity related to food and eating;
B.  Age-appropriate nutrition-related skills, including, but not limited to, planning a healthy meal, understanding and using food labels and critically evaluating nutrition information, misinformation and commercial food advertising; and
C.  How to assess one’s personal eating habits, set goals for improvement and achieve those goals.

In order to reinforce and support nutrition education efforts, the guidelines will ensure that:

A.  Nutrition instruction provides sequential, comprehensive health education in accordance with the Arizona Department of Education curriculum regulations and academic standards;
B.  Cooperation with agencies and community organizations is encouraged to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition;
C.  Consistent nutrition messages are disseminated from the District throughout the schools, communities, homes and media; and
D.  Nutrition education is extended beyond the school environment by engaging and involving families and community.

Nutrition  Guidelines  and
Food  Services  Operations

All foods and beverages made available on a school campus serving any configuration of prekindergarten (PK) through eighth (8th) grade during the normal school day are to be consistent with the Arizona Nutrition Standards.  Guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to law.  The District will create procedures that address all foods (including Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value and Competitive Food Sales) available to students throughout the school day in the following areas:

A.  National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Meals.
B.  Á la carte offerings in the food service program.
C.  Vending machines and school stores.
D.  Classroom parties, celebrations, fund-raisers, rewards and school events.
E.  Snacks served in after-school programs.

In keeping with the District’s nutrition program goals, only food prepared or obtained by the District’s food services program should be served.  This includes classroom reward or incentive programs involving food items as well as foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events during the regular school day.  Approval is required to ensure that the foods served meet the requirements of the District’s nutrition policy and regulation (i.e., all foods served fit in a healthy diet and contribute to the development of lifelong healthy eating habits for the District’s students).

A.R.S. 36-136 provides an exemption from rules promulgated by the Director of the Department of Health Services for a whole fruit or vegetable grown in a public school garden that is washed and cut on-site for immediate consumption.

Physical  Activity

District schools shall strive to provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day for all students.

Other  School-Based  Activities

The goal for other school-based activities is to ensure whole-school integration with the wellness program.  The District will achieve the goal by addressing elements that include, but are not limited to, school meal times, dining environment, food as an incentive, marketing and advertising, skin cancer prevention and sun safety, staff wellness, and staff development and training.

Program  Evaluation

In each school, the principal will ensure compliance with established District-wide student wellness goals and will report on the school’s compliance to the Superintendent.

The District, and individual schools within the District, will, as necessary, revise the policy and develop action plans to facilitate their implementation.

Physical  Activity  Goals

The primary goal for the District’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 healthy lifestyle.

A comprehensive physical activity program encompasses a variety of opportunities for students to be physically active, including physical education, recess, walk-to-school programs, after-school physical activity programs, health education that includes physical activity as a main component, and physical activity breaks within regular classrooms.

Physical education (high school graduation requirements): Students must, at the least, satisfy the state and District’s physical education credit requirement.
Physical activity (time, frequency, and/or intensity)Schools will ensure that students are moderately to vigorously active at least fifty percent (50%) of the time while participating in physical education classes.
Physical activity outside of physical educationSchools may offer after-school intramural programs and/or physical activity clubs that meet the needs and interests of all students, including those who are not athletically involved or those with special health care needs.
Recess to promote physical activityGrades kindergarten (K) through six (6) will have recess or physical education classes daily, which activities shall not be withheld for disciplinary purposes.
Walking or biking to school to promote physical activityThe District shall annually review safe routes for students who walk or bike to school.
Prohibition of use of punishment:  The District will discourage the use of physical activity as punishment, the withholding of participation in physical education class as punishment, or the use of physical education class time to complete assignments from other classes.
After-school programs:  The District shall encourage after-school programs to provide developmentally appropriate physical activity for participating children and reduce or eliminate the time spent in sedentary activities such as watching television or videos.
Community use:  The District shall encourage community access to, and student and community use of, the school’s physical activity facilities outside the normal school day.