5405 – Student Wellness Policy

The district has adopted a Student Wellness Policy as part of its desire to educate students in health and wellness.


Given the documented connection between proper nutrition, adequate physical activity and educational success, the Board of Education adopts the following goals and authorizes the following actions to provide district students with a school environment that promotes student health and wellness and reduces childhood obesity.

For purposes of this policy, “school campus” means all areas of district property accessible to students during the school day; “school day” means the period from the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day; and “competitive food” means all food and beverages other than meals reimbursed under federal food programs available for sale to students on the school campus during the school day.

I. Foods and Beverages Available for Sale to Students on School Campus During the School Day

The Board recognizes that a nutritious, well-balanced, reasonably- portioned diet is essential for student wellness. To help students possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritious food choices for a lifetime, the district shall ensure that all foods and beverages available in school promote good nutrition, balance, and reasonable portion sizes. The district shall ensure that all foods and beverages available for sale to students on the school campus during the school day meet or exceed the program requirements and nutrition standards found in federal regulations.

To accomplish this, the Board directs that the district serve healthy and appealing foods and beverages at district schools, following state and federal nutrition guidelines, as well as safe food preparation methods.

School Meals – the district shall:

  1. Include fruits, vegetables, salads, whole grains, and low fat items at least to the extent required by federal regulations.
  2. Encourage students to try new or unfamiliar items.
  3. Make efforts to ensure that families are aware of need-based programs for free or reduced-price meals and encourage eligible families to apply.
  4. Consider serving produce and food from local farms and suppliers.
  5. Make free drinking water available at locations where meals are served.

Meal Scheduling – the district shall:

  1. Provide adequate time to eat.
  2. Schedule lunchtime between normal lunch hours

Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (e.g., a la carte, vending machines, school stores) – the district shall:

  1. Ensure that all such items meet the nutrition standards set in federal regulations for competitive foods regarding whole grains, fruits, vegetables, calories, fat, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, sodium, and caffeine.
  2. Permit the sale of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, if processed pursuant to federal regulations, as exempt from the nutrition standards.
  3. Work with existing vendors or locate new vendors that will comply with nutrition standards.

Fund-Raising Activities – the district shall:

  1. Ensure that all fundraisers selling food or beverages to students on school campus during the school day meet the nutrition standards set in federal regulations for whole grains, fruits, vegetables, calories, fat, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, sodium, and caffeine.
  2. Promote non-food items to sell, or activities (physical or otherwise) in which to participate.

II. Physical Activity

Physical activity is an important factor in staying healthy and being ready to learn. The Board encourages every student to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities, to regularly participate in physical activity, and to appreciate and enjoy physical activity as an ongoing part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition, staff, families, and community are encouraged to participate in and model physical activity as a valuable part of daily life. The district’s Physical Education program shall adhere to the curricular requirements of the Commissioner of Education and the New York State Learning Standards.

Physical Education

  1. Students shall engage in physical education for at least the minimum number of hours or days per week under State requirements.
  2. Physical Education classes shall incorporate the appropriate NYS Learning Standards.
  3. Promote, teach and provide opportunities to practice activities that students enjoy and can pursue throughout their lives (e.g., yoga, fitness walking, step aerobics).
  4. The performance of physical activity shall not be used as a form of discipline or punishment.


(Recess: a short period of time during the school day for students to move freely, socialize and play.)

  1. Maintain daily allotment of recess time for elementary school.
  2. Recess shall not used for punishment or reward.
  3. Consider scheduling recess before lunch.
  4. If the district is under severe time or space constraints, consider combining recess and Physical Education, though such activity must comply with the requirements for Physical Education under Commissioner’s Regulations section 135.4.

Physical Activity in the Classroom

  1. Promote the integration of physical activity in the classroom.
  2. If the district is under severe time or space constraints, consider meeting the state requirements for Physical Education through collaborative and integrative in-classroom activity, under the supervision of a Physical Education teacher.

Extracurricular Opportunities for Physical Activity

  1. Promote clubs and activities that meet the various physical activity needs, interests, and abilities of all students (e.g., walking, hiking and climbing, snowshoeing).

III. Nutrition Promotion and Education

The Board believes that nutrition promotion and education is a key component in introducing and reinforcing healthy behaviors in students. Nutrition promotion and education that teaches the knowledge, skills, and values needed to adopt healthy eating behaviors shall be integrated into the curriculum. Nutrition promotion and education information shall be offered throughout the school campus including, but not limited to, school dining areas and classrooms.

Staff members who provide nutrition promotion and education shall be appropriately certified and trained. The district’s broader Health Education program shall incorporate the appropriate New York State Learning Standards.

The Board’s goals for nutrition promotion and education include that the district will:

  1. Include nutrition education as part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences and elective subjects.
  2. Include enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens.
  3. Promote fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low fat dairy products, safe and healthy food preparation methods, and health enhancing nutrition practices.
  4. Emphasize caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure.
  5. Teach media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing.

IV. Other School-Based Activities

The district may implement other appropriate programs that help create a school environment that conveys consistent wellness messages and is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, health forums or fairs, health newsletters, parent outreach, employee health and wellness activities, limiting the use of food as a reward, reviewing food marketing and advertising in school, hosting or promoting community-wide events, and offering wellness-related courses in the district’s adult education program.


The Board shall designate one person, the Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics, to be responsible for ensuring that the provisions of this policy are carried out throughout the district.

Monitoring and Review

The Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics shall report annually to the Board and the public on the implementation and effectiveness of this policy. Every year, the Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, in consultation with appropriate personnel and advisory committees, shall monitor and review the district’s wellness activities to determine whether this policy is having a positive effect on increasing student wellness and decreasing childhood obesity in the district. Based on those results, this policy, and the specific objectives set to meet its goals, may be revised as needed.

Parents, students, food service professionals, physical education teachers, school health professionals, school administrators, the general public, and the school board shall participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of this wellness policy.

The district shall inform and update the public (including parents, students and others in the community) about the content and implementation of this wellness policy.

The district shall monitor and review the implementation and effectiveness of this policy by conducting:

  1. Periodic informal surveys of Building Principals, classroom staff, and school health personnel to assess the progress of wellness activities and their effects.
  2. Periodic checks of the nutritional content of food offered in the cafeterias for meals and a la carte items, and sales or consumption figures for such foods.
  3. Periodic checks of the nutritional content of food available in vending machines, and sales or consumption figures for such foods.
  4. Periodic checks of the amount of time students spend in Physical Education classes, and the nature of those activities.
  5. Periodic checks of extracurricular activities of a physical nature, in the number of offerings and rates of participation by students.
  6. Periodic completion of relevant portions of the CDC School Health Index.
  7. Periodic review of data currently collected by the district, including:
    attendance data, particularly absences due to illness;
    test scores;
    rates of suspension, discipline, and violent incidents;
    student BMI (Body Mass Index) statistics, as collected in accordance with the State Department of Health efforts; and
    revenues generated from vending machines and a la carte food items.
  8. Periodic surveys of student/parent opinions of cafeteria offerings and wellness efforts.
  9. Periodic review of professional staff development offered which focuses on student wellness.
  10. NYSSBA’s Student Wellness Assessment Checklist (every two years) to review the effectiveness of this policy.


P.L. 111-296 (The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010)

P.L. 108-265 (Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004)

42 USC §§1758(f)(1); 1766(a) (Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act)

42 USC §1779 (Child Nutrition Act)

7 CFR §210.10; 210.11; 210.11a (National School Lunch Program participation requirements – standards for lunches, snacks, and competitive foods)

7 CFR §220.8 (School Breakfast Program participation requirements – nutrition standards)

8 NYCRR Part 135 (Health and Physical Education curricular requirements); §114.1 (School Breakfast Program Requirements)

Appeal of Phillips, 37 EDR 204 (1997) (dec. no. 13,843)

Appeal of Williams, 32 EDR 621 (1993) (dec. no. 12,934)

Original Adoption date: May 3, 2007

Revised First Reading: July 7, 2015

Revised Second Reading and Adoption: July 23, 2015