Wellness Policy

Background

City of Faith Christian School is dedicated to providing a school environment that promotes and safeguards its students’ health, well-being and ability to learn by encouraging them to embrace healthy lifestyle habits.  This includes regular physical activity and a nutritious diet.

City of Faith Christian School’s Wellness Policy was established to fulfill the school’s commitment to wellness as well as to fulfill the federal requirement that all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program develop wellness policies.

The policy is based on an assessment of the school’s strengths and weaknesses related to wellness.  The assessment used was the Center for Disease Control’s Student Health Index (SHI) (www.cdc.gov/healthy youth/SHI).  This survey was piloted by a group of the school’s parents, teachers and administrative staff, and coordinated by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Wellness Committee in the fall of 2007.

Preamble and Policy

  • Whereas, children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;
  • Whereas, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity;
  • Whereas, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States, and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood;
  • Whereas, school districts around the country are facing significant fiscal and scheduling constraints; and
  • Whereas a student who feels safe and connected to their school, is properly nourished, and healthy has a greater chance of attending school on a regular basis, performing better in the classroom, and becoming a functioning member of the school-community;
  •  Whereas, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies;

Therefore, it is the policy of the City of Faith Christian School that:

  • The school will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing its wellness policy.
  • All students will have the opportunity, support and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
  • Foods and beverages served during the school day will meet the nutrition recommendations of the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans; accommodate the religious, ethnic and cultural diversity of the student body; and will be provided in a clean, safe and pleasant setting with adequate time for students to eat.
  • Nutrition and physical education will foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education, the school meal program, and with related health, safety and wellness community services.

To Achieve These Policy Goals:

Parents, teachers and staff will work together to use the following strategies (1-5) to implement the school’s wellness policy.

  1.  Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on the School Grounds
  2.  Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing
  3.  Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education
  4.  School-based activities designed to promote wellness through health education; physical education;  nutrition services; school health services; school counseling, psychological and social services;  health promotion for staff; and family and community involvement
  5.  Monitoring and Policy Review

 Strategies:

I.    Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on the School Grounds

School Meals

Meals served by the City of Faith Christian School through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and CACFP will:

  • Meet local, state and federal requirements for reimbursement.
  • Adhere to regulations and requirements for kilocalories, protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C
  • Restrict the fat content of meals as follows:

– Total fat will be limited to 30% of the total calories per meal.

– Saturated fat will be limited to 10% of the total calories per meal.

– Partially hydrogenated oils will be limited in accordance with current dietary guidelines.

  • Provide limited amounts of sodium and cholesterol.
  • Provide restricted amounts of high fructose corn syrup, with a goal of eliminating corn syrup from all products.
  • Offer and promote the consumption of fresh fruit and a variety of vegetables daily.
  • Offer and promote the inclusion of plant-based entrees.
  • Offer three varieties of reduced –fat milk:
        • Low-fat Milk (1%)
        • Fat-free and
        • Fat-free Chocolate
  • Serve bread and rolls that contain at least 50% whole wheat.

The nutritional content of daily menu items and snacks is available on the School Food website, www.op-osfns.org.

In addition, the school will provide students with at least 20 minutes to eat after sitting down for lunch and provide students access to hand washing facilities before they eat meals or snacks.

Snacks. Snacks served during the school day and at after school activities will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health.

Rewards. The school will not use foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages as a punishment.

School-Sponsored Events. Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside of the school day should include healthier options such as fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrain products, water, and 100% fruit juice.

Fundraising Activities. To support children’s health and the school’s nutrition and physical education efforts, fundraising activities that are not associated with food and promote physical activity are encouraged.     

II.    Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion, and Food Marketing

Nutrition Education and Promotion.  City of Faith Christian School aims to provide nutrition education that encourages and supports healthy eating habits and engages in nutrition promotion that:

  •  is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
  • is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social science, and elective subjects;
  • includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens;
  • promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain and low-fat dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
  • emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
  • links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
  • teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; and
  • includes training for teachers and other staff.

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting.  For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class.  Toward that end:

  • classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically-active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television; and
  • opportunities for physical activity such as dance and movement instruction will be incorporated into classroom schedules.

Communications with Parents. The school will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The school will offer healthy eating seminars for parents, send home nutrition information, and provide nutrient analyses of school menus (through NYC DOE Office of School Food) and will provide parents a list of foods for snacks.

The school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day; and support parents’ efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. Such supports will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through its website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, or special events.

III.    Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

Daily Physical Activity.   The school will work toward the goal of achieving New York State’s education standards for physical education: 1) All students in grades K-3 must receive physical education on a daily basis for a minimum of 120 minutes per week and 2) All students in grades 4–5 must receive physical education not less than three times each week for a minimum of 120 minutes per week.  Recess time cannot fulfill these requirements.  Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Daily Recess. All students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which the school will encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.

Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School.  The school will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs, classes or intramural programs. The school will offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special health-care needs.

Physical Activity and Punishment. Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., taking away the recess or physical education periods) as punishment.

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, as possible. These spaces and facilities will also be available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity and nutrition programs. School policies concerning safety will apply at all times.

IV.    School-based activities designed to promote wellness through health education; physical education; nutrition services; school health services; school counseling, psychological and social services; health promotion for staff; and family and community involvement

The entire school community will be involved in creating a school environment that is conducive to health and wellness.  In addition to nutrition education and standards, and physical activity, the school will support a coordinated school health approach including:

  • considering the school’s wellness goals when planning all school-based activities such as field trips, assemblies and school events;
  • supporting sustainable and environmentally friendly practices such as the use of the foods from the school garden and non-disposable/recyclable/compostable trays and tableware;
  • having drinking water readily available throughout the day;
  • promoting the practice of hand washing before eating, after bathroom use and physical education class and other health related situations as the most effective way to stop the transmission of communicable disease;
  • supporting effective counseling, psychological and social services to address students’ and families’ issues, preventing tobacco use, and identifying and referring students who are victims or perpetrators of violence; and
  • hosting health screenings and helping to enroll families and eligible children into state-sponsored health insurance programs.
  • Include a guide in the Parent Handbook for parents with children with special needs that they can use to prepare a kit of supplies and instructions for their child’s daily and emergency medical needs. The guide will include a list of forms parents will need to complete and where parents can obtain copies. These kits will be stored in a locked cabinet in the nurse’s office.

V.   Monitoring and Policy Review

The City of Faith Christian School’s teachers and staff will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the policy and reporting on the progress of achieving its goals to the school community.  The policy and strategies for implementing it will be reviewed yearly and updated as necessary.

 

 

 

 

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