The Sahuarita Unified School District #30 is committed to providing a school environment that enhances learning and development of lifelong wellness practices.
It is with this in mind that the Governing Board supports a school environment that encourages and models nutritious eating habits and physical activity, which promote academic success and lifelong health for our students, staff, and community.
A healthy school environment goes beyond school meals in the cafeteria. A healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight requires a combination of healthy food choices and an appropriate amount of physical activity. Foods made available on the school campus should offer children nutritious choices, and physical activity should be incorporated into the school day as often as possible. The healthy, physically active child is more likely to be academically successful.
To accomplish these goals, the governing board supports the following wellness policies:
Nutrition Education and Wellness Promotion:
The link between learning and nutrition has been well documented. To achieve full academic potential, physical and mental growth, and lifelong well-being, students must develop healthy eating habits.
- Sequential and interdisciplinary nutrition topics shall be integrated within comprehensive health and/or other areas of the curriculum (such as math, science, language arts, and social studies), and will be taught at every grade level K-6 and in grade levels 7-12 as appropriate.
- Schools are encouraged to utilize programs such as Fitness for Life (grades K-6), Fuel Up for 60 (grades 5-12) or other appropriate curriculum.
- Staff primarily responsible for nutrition education should be properly trained and regularly participate in professional development activities to effectively deliver quality nutrition education.
- The school district should utilize the services of a qualified nutrition professional, who is specialized in school-based nutrition, to lead the effort to implement nutrition education.
Nutrition Education and the School Environment
- The nutrition education program will work with the school meal program and may use the cafeteria as a learning laboratory to allow students to apply critical thinking skills taught in the classroom.
- Schools are encouraged to continue and/or develop programs such as “the Roving Chef” and/or create school gardens.
- Nutrition Education may be incorporated during classroom snack times, as well as during meals.
Behavior Focused Nutrition Education
- Nutrition education will incorporate lessons helping children acquire skills for reading Nutrition fact food labels and menu planning.
Staff as Role Models
- Staff is encouraged to model healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.
Engagement of Families
- Nutrition education will involve sharing information with families and the broader community to positively impact students and the health of the community.
- The schools will provide information to families that encourage them to teach their children about health and nutrition and to provide nutritious meals for their families.
- Suggested methods of communication include: handouts, school websites, articles and information provided in district or school newsletters, presentations that focus on nutrition and healthy lifestyles, and through other appropriate means available to reach parents.
- Families, teachers, students, and school officials are engaged in choosing the competitive food selections for their schools.
- The food service director or representatives may be available to speak with parents during open house.
Marketing/Restriction of Marketing
- Marketing or advertising of only those foods and beverages that may be sold on the school campus during the school day (ie Smart snacks approved items) shall be permitted. Marketing for food and beverages that do not meet the smart snacks regulations is not permitted and should be removed from school campuses.
- The healthiest choices, such as salads and fruit, will be prominently displayed in the cafeterias to encourage students to make healthy choices.
- Education materials shall be free of brands and illustrations of unhealthful foods.
- Food providers will be sensitive to the school environment in displaying their logos and trademarks on school grounds.
- Advertising messages are consistent with and reinforce the objectives of the education and nutrition environment for all age groups.
- Advertising of foods or beverages in the areas accessible to students during meal times should be consistent with established nutrition environment standards.
Nutrition Standards for the USDA School Meals:
Healthy school meals provide energy and nutrients children need for sound minds and bodies. Children who are not well nourished have difficulty learning. The variety of healthy foods offered in school meal program allows children to learn to enjoy different foods and develop healthy eating habits.
Promotion of the School Breakfast Program
- All schools will offer daily breakfast through the USDA School Breakfast Program which students are encouraged to participate in.
- Child Nutrition Programs are accessible to all children.
- Students are encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast.
Nutrition Standards for School Meals
- Child Nutrition Programs shall meet or exceed federal (USDA Dietary Guidelines), state (Arizona Nutrition Standards) and local requirements.
- Menus will meet the Federal and State nutrition standards, featuring a variety of healthy choices. A la Carte offerings shall meet the same standards
Strategies to Increase Participation in School Meal Programs
- To the extent possible, school and transportation schedules shall be designed to encourage participation in school meal programs. For example, morning bus routes will be scheduled to allow students to arrive at school in time to eat breakfast.
Time for Meals
- The National Association of State Boards of Education recommends that students should be provided adequate time to eat lunch. It is recommended that students be provided a minimum of 20 minutes to eat their lunch, however if that is not logistically possible, students will be given no less than 15 minutes to eat.
- Cafeterias include enough serving lines/areas so that students do not have to spend too much time waiting in line.
- Consideration should be given to non-food items as part of any teacher-to-student incentive programs. Should school staff use food as a reward for student accomplishment, foods should meet AZ Nutrition Standards whenever possible.
- All fundraising and competitive foods served during the normal school day will comply with USDA and Arizona Nutrition Standards; this includes any fundraiser, vending machines, school store, and concession stand food sales.
- Candy sales may not take place DURING the normal school day (per USDA and Arizona Nutritional Standards).
- Exemptions may be permitted as long as they comply with USDA and Arizona Nutrition Standards and Arizona State Laws.
- All other fundraising projects (those that take place AFTER normal school day) are encouraged to follow USDA and Arizona Nutrition Standards. Items being sold that do not meet nutritional standards may be acceptable when offered on an intermittent basis.
- Food and beverages sold at fundraisers will include healthy choices and provide age-appropriate selections for all age groups.
- Organizations operating concessions at school functions will include a selection of healthy food choices in their offerings.
Physical Education and Physical Activity:
Physical Education Curriculum
- The Physical Education Curriculum should meet all Arizona State Standards. All students in grades 1-5 will be scheduled for physical education instruction in accordance with state law. All students in grades 6-12 shall be offered an opportunity to participate in the instructional program of physical education.
- Patterns of meaningful physical activity connect to students’ lives outside of physical education
- Physical education and physical activity shall be an essential element of each school’s instructional program. The program shall provide the opportunity for all students to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to participate in a lifetime of healthful physical activity
- The physical education program shall be designed to stress physical fitness and encourage healthy active lifestyles. The program should consist of physical activities of varying intensities and for a duration that is sufficient to provide a significant health benefit to students
- Physical activity participation should take into consideration the “balancing equation” of food intake and physical activity.
- Physical education includes the instruction of individual activities as well as competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage lifelong physical activity
- Information shall be provided to families to help them incorporate physical activity into their student’s lives.
- Schools encourage families and community members to institute programs that support physical activity, such as walking to school programs.
- Sun Safety should be addressed as part of the Physical Education curriculum.
Times Per Week of Physical Education
- Schools will use NASPE standards as a guide when planning physical education classes.
- Time allotted for physical activity should be consistent with research, national and state standards.
Teacher-Student Ratios for Physical Education
- Physical education classes should have the same student/teacher ratios used in other classes as much as possible.
Equipment and Facilities for Physical Education
- The physical education program shall be provided adequate space and equipment and conform to all applicable safety standards.
- Physical education courses will be in an environment where students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills, and knowledge.
- The school provides a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.
Qualifications for Physical Education Instructors
- Policies ensure that state certified physical education instructors teach all physical education classes.
Physical Education Training for Physical Education Instructors
- PE Staff will receive professional development on a yearly basis.
Physical Education Waiver Requirements
- Academic activities should not take the place of physical education. However, students on the school’s sports teams or other approved courses may substitute participation for physical education credits.
Regular Physical Activity Breaks for Elementary School Students
- Physical activity opportunities shall be offered daily throughout the school day, beyond recess and PE. It is recommended that students have frequent opportunities to stretch and move throughout the day.
- Physical activity may be integrated across curricula and throughout the day. Movement can be made a part of science, math, social studies, and language arts.
Structured Physical Activity Before or After School
- Intramural and enrichment offerings should be maintained at present levels and steadily increased as possible to accommodate elementary, middle, and high school grades.
- Participation in intramural sports shall be an option for all middle and high school students.
- After school program shall encourage physical activity and healthy habit formation.
Community Use of School Facilities for Physical Activity
- The district is encouraged to promote the use of school facilities outside of school hours for physical activity programs offered by community-based organizations, per board policies.
- The engagement in, or the withholding of, physical activity shall not be used as a punishment.
- Staff members shall not deny participation in recess or other physical activity opportunities as a form of discipline or punishment unless the safety of students is in question, likewise physical activity shall not be used as a form of punishment.
Daily Recess for students in Grades K-5
- Provide daily recess periods for students in grades K-5 which shall meet or exceed state and federal requirements.
- Elementary Schools are encouraged to consider implementation of recess before lunch, since research indicates that physical activity prior to lunch can increase the nutrient intake and reduce food waste.
Other School Based Wellness Activities:
A School Wellness Policy is only one step in addressing the obesity problem that exists in the United States. With the combined efforts of schools, parents, and communities, we can make a difference in changing habits for a lifelong healthy lifestyle for our children.
- Local wellness policy goals should be considered in planning all school-based activities (such as school events, field trips, dances and assemblies).
- Support for health of all students is demonstrated by hosting health clinics, health screenings, and helping to enroll eligible children in Medicaid and other state children’s health insurance programs.
- In the future, Parent-Teacher/Booster organizations could consider developing a family-based healthy activities program. This could include such activities as family track time, a walking program with incentives for walking certain distances, etc.
- The District should have a written and up-to-date Crisis Response Plan.
- Health Classes shall address subjects such as sun safety, eating disorders, and health problems affected by nutrition.
Policy and Implementation
Establishment of Advisory Committee
- The District Wellness Committee/School Health Advisory Council shall include stakeholders and shall meet a minimum of two times annually to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the policy.
- The school district will create, strengthen, and/or work within existing school health advisory councils to develop, monitor, review, and revise nutrition and physical activity policies. The councils will serve as resources to school sites for implementing these policies.
Plan for Implementation
- Principals shall ensure that their schools are adhering to the policies.
- The wellness committee will discuss ways to present their progress to the Superintendent.
Revising the Policy
- The policy shall be revised as necessary.