Local Wellness Policy
Hope Community PCS Charter School
The U. S. Congress established a requirement in the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization of 2004, that all school districts with a federally funded school meal program draft a local wellness policy by the start of the 2006-2007 school year.
The law requires that these policies must, at a minimum, (1) include goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness, (2) establish nutrition guidelines for all foods available on each school campus during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity, (3) provide assurance that those guidelines for reimbursable meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance applicable to school meals issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, (4) establish a plan for measuring the implementation of the local wellness policy, including designation of one or more persons with operational responsibility for ensuring that the schools meet the wellness policy; and (5) involve parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, school board, school administrators, and the public, in the development of the school wellness policy.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will use the above requirements as a baseline and expand the policy to cover additional student wellness areas. The wellness policy will cover the following:
- Include goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.
- Establish nutrition guidelines for all foods available on campus during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity.
- Include safeguards to ensure access for all children to healthy foods and to fight hunger and nutrient deficiencies.
- Provide assurance that those guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture.
- Promote student wellness by implementing Coordinated School Health Program components.
- Establish a plan for measuring the impact and implementation of the local wellness policy, including designation of one or more persons with operational responsibility for ensuring that the schools meet the wellness policy.
- Involve parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, school board, school administrators, and the public, in the development of the local Wellness Policy.
Vision/Statement of Responsibility
Imagine Hope Community PCS, Board of Directors recognizes that nutrition education; food served in schools, and physical activity each affect student wellness. The Board also recognizes the important connection between a healthy diet and the student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school.
The school and the board of directors recognize the important connection between a healthy diet and the student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school.
The school and board of directors further recognize that the sharing and enjoyment of food and participation in physical activities are fundamental experiences for all District residents and are primary ways to nurture and celebrate our cultural diversity. These fundamental human experiences are vital bridges for building friendships, forming inter-generational bonds, and strengthening communities.
- Whereas, a healthy diet increases a student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school;
- Whereas, each day, students and their parents trust that the foods offered at Imagine Hope Community PCS are nutritious and safe, and that the Governing Board is responsible for ensuring the safety of foods provided at school;
- Whereas, nationally, obesity rates have tripled 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, in the District of Columbia 14 percent of high school students are overweight and 17 percent are at risk for becoming overweight;
- Whereas, in the District of Columbia 79 percent of high school students eat fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day;
- Whereas, in the District of Columbia 56 percent of high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and 81 percent of high school students do not attend daily physical education classes.
- Whereas, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies;
Thus, the board of directors 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. Therefore, it is the policy of the board of directors that:
- All students in grades Prek-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
- Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will ensure that no student goes hungry during the school day.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing
- Qualified child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the students body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
- To the maximum extent practicable, all schools in our district will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program (including after-school snacks), Summer Food Service Program, and Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program.
- Schools will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services
Section 1: Ensuring Quality Nutrition Education, Health Education and Physical Education.
Imagine Hope Community PCS aims to provide age-appropriate and culturally sensitive instruction in nutrition, health and physical education that help students develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to enjoy healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle.
Health and Nutrition Education
Imagine Hope Community PCS (and providers of nutrition education in schools, such as Team Nutrition hosted by Houston and Associates, Children’s National Medical Center, and the Department of Health Food Stamp Education Program) will provide nutrition education that:
- Is offered 3 times per week for 45 minutes at each grade level, especially 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, and social sciences.
- Includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participator activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens:
- Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health enhancing nutrition practices;
- Emphasized 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
- A school garden which will be incorporated into the curriculum for each grade level.
Imagine Hope Community PCS acknowledges the positive benefits of physical activity for student Health and academic achievement. Recognizing that physical education is a crucial and integral part of a child’s education, Imagine Hope Community PCS will provide opportunities to ensure that students engage in healthful levels of vigorous physical activity to promote and develop the student’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Besides promoting high levels of personal achievement and a positive self-image, physical education activities will teach students how to cooperate in the achievement of common goals.
The components of the school’s physical education program shall include a variety of kinesthetic activities, including team, individual, and cooperative sports and physical activities.
Students shall be given opportunities for physical activity through a range of before-and/or after school programs. It shall be the goal for children to engage in physical activity for 60 minutes each day.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will ensure that:
- The required recess time will remain 30 minutes per day, and recess will not be determined by or at the discretion of teachers;
- Requiring or withholding physical activity shall not be used to punish students;
- Health and physical education is required for kindergarten students 90 minutes per week. Grades k-2 receives 30 minutes per week of physical education; Grades 3-6 receives 45 minutes per week; Grades 7-8 receives 45 minutes per week. At least 50% of physical education class time shall be devoted to actual physical activity;
- Classroom teachers shall develop and implement a curriculum that connects and demonstrates the interrelationship between physical activity, good nutrition, and health;
- Imagine Hope Community PCS shall enhance the quality of physical education curricula and increase training of teachers through site-based staff development;
- An appropriate alternative activity to physical education shall be provided for students with a physical disability that may restrict excessive physical exertion;
- Teaching staff shall appropriately limit the amount or type of physical exercise required of students during code red days, temperatures above 90 degrees, or other inclement conditions.
- Students shall have opportunities to enjoy physical and nutrition education through participation in community- sponsored gardening programs, if available.
Section 2: Establishing Nutritional Guidelines for All Foods Served on Campus During the School Day
A component of the educational mission of Imagine Hope Community PCS is teaching students to establish and maintain life-long healthy eating habits. This mission shall be accomplished, in part, through serving healthful foods in schools. Imagine Hope Community PCS will ensure that:
Free and Reduced-Price Meals
- All qualified students will become eligible for free lunch, through frequent checking and coordination with the Department of Human Service Income Maintenance Administration and agencies serving homeless and run-a-way youth;
- Maximum participation in the school meal program will be achieved by developing a coordinated, comprehensive outreach and promotion plan, and by putting systems in place that ensure the elimination of the stigma of accepting “free” lunch;
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will provide students with at least 30 to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 30 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
- Imagine Hope Community PCS utilizes the Meal-time program which ensures that no child is “singled out” that receives free and or reduced meals.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will operate a Universal “Free for All” School Breakfast Program;
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will operate a Breakfast in the Classroom program with the assistance from Food Service Workers as well as 4th and 5th grade students
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will market the Universal “Free For All” School Breakfast program through take home flyers, school newsletters, home mailings, etc.
Nutritional Quality of School Meals
- The nutritional value of the food served will improve upon USDA standards through provision of nutritious, fresh, tasty, locally grown food that reflects community and cultural diversity;
- All milk sold and served through school meals will be either low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk or nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA);
- All meals will included one or more servings of whole grains; Imagine Hope Community PCS is a recipient of the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program. Students will be offered a healthy snack during the instructional part of the day.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will operate a daily salad bar.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS shall not permit third-party vendors on the school property 90 minutes before the school day begins and 90 minutes after.
After School Snacks
Snacks served during the school day or in enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Imagine Hope Community PCS will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations. The school will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will provide snacks through after-school programs and will apply for reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program operated by the State Education Office.
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually in Vending Machines, A la Carte Lines, Fundraisers and School Stores
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will not have vending machines accessible to students:
- Vending machines, a la carte, fundraisers, and school stores shall only offer approved items, as cited by the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge program at the Gold Award Level outlines below:
(1) Competitive Foods
- Total fat: Calories from total fat must be at or below 35% per serving. Excludes nuts, seeds, nut butters, and reduced-fat cheese.
- Trans fat: Less than 0.5 grams (trans fat free) per serving.
- Saturated fat: Calories from saturated fat must be below 10% per serving. Excludes reduced-fat cheese.
- Sugar: Total sugar must be under or equal to 35% sugar by weight (includes naturally occurring and added sugars). Excludes fruits, vegetables, and milk.
- Sodium: ≤ 480 mg per non-entrée and ≤ 600 mg per entrée.
- Portion size/Calories: Not to exceed the serving size of the food served in the NSLP; for other items, the package or container is not to exceed 200 calories.
(2) Competitive Beverages
- Milk: Only low-fat (1% or less) and fat-free (skim), flavored or unflavored fluid milk, and/or USDA approved alternative dairy beverages.
- 100% full strength fruit & vegetable juices with no sweeteners (nutritive or non-nutritive).
Water: Unflavored, no sweeteners (nutritive or non-nutritive), noncarbonated, caffeine-free.
- Draft food and vending contracts shall be made available to the public for inspection and comments before being signed by Imagine Hope Community PCS and Imagine Hope Community PCS may not sign exclusive contracts or contracts with confidential clauses, with soft drink, fast food or snack food companies.
Food in other areas of the School Environment
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will develop a “Healthy Snacks: policy, and provide parents and teachers with a list of healthy, affordable food choices for snacks and parties;
- Foods and beverages that do not meet the nutritional requirements will not be advertised or marketed in schools;
- Fast food “branded” food items shall not be offered for sale as part of any school meal program or as a la carte items;
Food Marketing in Schools
School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, Imagine Hope Community PCS will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually (above). School-based marketing of brands promotion predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited. Healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products will be encouraged by Imagine Hope Community PCS.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will market healthy foods through the use of; books or curricula and school supplies; educational incentive programs that provide food as a reward; programs that provide schools with supplies when families buy high-nutrition food products; free samples or coupons; and food sales through fundraiser.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will not use foods or beverages that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above), as rewards incentives, prizes, or awards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. Each party should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above). At the beginning of the school year, Imagine Hope Community PCS will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas and healthy snack ideas to parents and teachers.
Section 3: Assure that guidelines for school meals are not less restrictive than those set at the federal level by the Secretary of Agriculture.
The Child Nutrition Service Director will review this policy and ensure that the policies are not less restrictive than those set by the Secretary of Agriculture or state law.
Section 4: Establish a plan for measuring the impact and implementation of the local wellness policy.
Imagine Hope Community PCS shall develop a steering committee of the development and monitoring of the wellness policy; and this committee shall also be responsible for evaluation of the policy annually.
The State Education Office will also monitor the status of the Local Wellness Policies while conducting reviews and site visits to Imagine Hope Community PCS
Section 5: Community Involvement
Imagine Hope Community PCS may develop a plan for community involvement or use the input and feedback from the DC Action for Healthy Kids.
Healthy Schools Act
Section 602: Local Wellness Policies
Our local wellness policy shall be revised at least once every 3 years. We shall use of local produce whenever possible to minimize emissions from shipping and support local economy.
Imagine Hope Community PCS shall incorporate a recycling program for paper, glass, and plastic. New and existing recycling bins will be labeled with easy to read, color coded stickers to aid the recycling effort. We shall use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.
Complimentary technical assistance for this template policy may be provided by District of Columbia Action for Healthy Kids. For coordination and additional information please call Barbara Adams at 202-741-6408.
Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE)Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) provides a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as a healthy snack option to all elementary school children in participating schools. The FFVP encourages nutrition education and community partnership, with the goal of introducing healthy, local practices at an early age that may lead to life-long healthy eating habits.
Click HERE to read about the FFVP program.