Wellness Policy

The Eldred Central School District Wellness Policy is based on the following beliefs:

  • Children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive.
  • Good health fosters student attendance and education.
  • Obesity rates have increased at an alarming rate and physical inactivity and excessive caloric intake are predominant causes of obesity.
  • Heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are leading causes of deaths in the United States. Major risk factors for those diseases, include unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity. These risk factors are often established in childhood.
  • Nationally, the items most commonly sold in vending machines, school stores, and snack bars include low-nutrition foods and beverages, such as soda, sport drinks, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies, and snack cakes.
  • Therefore, the Eldred Central School District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects the health, safety and well-being of our children by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.
  • Current research has described the unique physical, cognitive and social benefits of supervised, unstructured recess. According to a 2013 Policy Statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), entitled, "The Crucial Role of Recess in School," recess, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as "regularly scheduled periods within the elementary school day for unstructured physical activity and play," provides "crucial" benefits that more structured physical education cannot.
  • While physical activity and play offset childhood obesity and illness, the benefits of recess extend beyond physical wellness. According to the AAP, recess "promotes not only physical health and social development but also cognitive performance."
  • Children learn best when they take breaks after periods of concentrated study. Recess has been shown in studies to improve cognition, making students more attentive and productive. The unstructured nature of recess gives children opportunities to develop social skills, learning how to communicate and share with their peers.

Wellness Policy Goals:

Based on the beliefs outlined in the preamble, it is the policy of the Eldred Central School District:

A. We will engage students, parents, staff members, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing districtwide nutrition and physical activity policies

B. All students who attend school will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.

C. Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

D. Eldred Central School District staff will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and time for students to eat.

E. To the maximum extent practicable, all Eldred Central School District programs will participate in available federal school meal programs.

F. The Eldred Central School District 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.

G. The Eldred Central School District embraces the crucial benefits of recess, as described by the AAP, and will allot ample time and resources to ensure all elementary students enjoy the physical, cognitive and social benefits provided by supervised, unstructured recess.

NOTE: The regulation that accompanies this policy outlines the procedures for accomplishing these wellness goals.

Ref: Policy required under Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants, and Children
Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265)
Adoption date: June 8, 2006
Revision date: October 20, 2016


Strategies for Achieving Our Wellness Policy on Nutrition and Physical Activity

A. Establish a School Wellness Committee

The Eldred Central School District will establish and maintain a School Wellness Committee that will have

representatives from the cafeteria, physical education, students, health education, nursing,

administration, the school community and the School Board. The Wellness Committee will monitor,

review, and, as necessary, recommend revision of school nutrition and physical activity policies. The

Wellness Committee will also serve as a resource to school sites for implementing these policies.

B. Monitor nutritional quality of foods and beverages sold and served in all Eldred Central School District facilities

1. School Meals: Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

  • Be appealing and attractive to children;
  • Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
  • Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
  • Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
  • Serve a variety of low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA); and
  • Ensure that served grains are whole grain.
  • The Eldred Central School District food service program will share information about the nutritional content of meals with staff, students and parents. Such information may be made available on menus, the school website (http://ecs.schoolwires.com) or other point-of-purchase materials.

2. Breakfast: All children should have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn. The Eldred Central School District will:

  • to the extent possible, operate the School Breakfast Program at the George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School and notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program.

3. Free and Reduced-Priced Meals: Schools will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-priced school meals.

4. Meal Times and Scheduling: The Eldred Central School District will:

  • Provide students with time for breakfast (at the George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School) and lunch;
  • Schedule meal periods at appropriate times
  • Not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
  • Provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and
  • Take reasonable steps (through the nurses' office) to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).

5. Qualifications of School Food Service Staff: Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school

meal programs. As part of the school district's responsibility to operate a food service program, we will

provide continuing professional development for nutrition professionals in schools. Staff development

programs may include the cafeteria manager, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of


6. Sharing of Foods and Beverages: Given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some

children's diets, the Eldred Central School District will discourage students from sharing their foods or

beverages with one another during meal or snack times.

C. Monitor foods and beverages sold individually (sold outside of Reimbursable School Meals i.e., vending machines.)

1. Elementary School. The school food service program will approve and provide all foods and beverage sold in the elementary school. Given young children's limited nutrition skills, food in elementary schools should be sold as balanced meals.

2. Junior-Senior High School. In the junior-senior high school, all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs during the school day will meet the following nutrition and portion size standards:

a. Beverages

  • Allowed: water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juice and fruit-based drinks that contain at least 35% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners, unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy beverages. Sports drinks like Gatorade are also acceptable.
  • Not allowed: soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners

b. Foods: Any foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals must meet the portion sizes listed below.

c. Portion Sizes: Limit, whenever possible, portion sizes of foods and beverages sold individually to those listed below:

  • One and one-quarter ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or jerky,
  • One ounce for cookies;
  • Two ounces for cereal bars, granola bars, pastries, and muffins.
  • Four fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, low-fat or fat-free ice cream;
  • Eight ounces for non-frozen yogurt;
  • Sixteen fluid ounces for beverages, excluding water; and
  • The portion size of a la carte entrees and side dishes, including potatoes, will not be greater than the size of comparable portions offered as part of school meals. Fruits and non-fried vegetables are exempt from portion-size limits.

d. Snacks: Snacks served during the school day or in after-school 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. Teachers will assess if and when to offer snacks

based on timing of school meals, children's nutritional needs, children's ages, and other


e. Rewards:

  • The Eldred Central School District staff is encouraged not to use food or beverage as an award for academic performance or good behavior but may use it as a part of the celebration process which includes events like award recognition ceremonies.
  • Teachers are encouraged to use physical activity as a reward whenever possible.
  • The Eldred Central School District staff will not withhold food or beverage as a punishment.

f. Celebrations: Food and beverages that are served during periodic special occasions or celebrations (i.e., holiday parties, birthday parties, etc.) are not governed by this policy and are not subject to the specific regulations herein. Because of the risks associated with severe food allergies, the school can only accept unopened, commercially packaged foods and beverages. Each item must be in its original container with its nutrition label intact. Homemade food is not permitted.

D. Increase Student Opportunities for Physical Activity and Physical Education

1. Physical Education

  • All students will participate in organized physical education on a weekly basis provided by a certified physical education teacher.
  • All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
  • Physical Education will be 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 health.
  • Physical Education is not only part of the health education program but is also integrated, whenever appropriate, into classroom instruction in all areas.
  • Physical Education includes enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, participatory activities.

2. Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting. For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity 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;
  • Opportunities for physical activity, whenever appropriate, will be incorporated into other subject lessons;
  • Classroom teachers will, whenever possible, provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate;

3. Recess.

  • All elementary (Pre-K through 6th Grade) students shall have at least 30 minutes of supervised, unstructured recess each day. Teachers are encouraged to extend additional time if they feel it would benefit their students physically or cognitively.
  • For purposes of this policy, recess is defined as "regularly scheduled periods within the elementary school day for unstructured physical activity and play" (CDC.) Recess should not be confused with organize, adult-directed activities or physical education. Recess is a dedicated time during which children may interact freely with one another in an unstructured manner. During recess, each child may choose to engage in physical, creative, social and/or sedentary pursuits.
  • Recess may not be denied, shortened, postponed or otherwise restricted for any academic purpose. Recess time may not be used to make up lessons, classwork or homework. Teachers and administrators will, whenever possible, not use recess or withhold opportunities for recess for disciplinary purposes
  • To maximize its benefits, recess should be scheduled at regular intervals during each daily classroom schedule. Recess intervals should be spaced to allow for necessary interruptions in concentrated academic concentration. Whether a teacher allocates the minimum 30 minutes of recess, or additional recess time, multiple 10-to-15 minutes breaks are preferable to a 30-minute block, as compelling research indicates that optimal cognitive processing and academic performance require regular breaks from concentrated classroom work.
  • Whenever possible, at least one daily recess interval should be scheduled before lunch. This is a practice recommended by the CDC and the Department of Agriculture as it has been shown to promote better nutrition and less food waste at mealtime, and improved student behavior on the playground, in the lunchroom, and in the classroom


  • American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: The Crucial Role of Recess in School
  • US Play Coalition & Alliance for Childhood: A Research-Based Case for Recess
  • Scholarpedia: The Benefits of Recess in Primary School

4. Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours. School spaces and facilities should be available to

students, staff, and community members before, during, and after the school day. These spaces and

facilities also should be available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity and

nutrition programs. School policies concerning facilities use and safety will apply at all times.

E. Promote Good Nutrition and Physical Activity

1. Nutrition Education: The Eldred Central School District aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Our staff will provide nutrition education and engage 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 sciences, and elective subjects; 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;
  • 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.

2. Communicate with Parents. The Eldred Central School District will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The school will send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on the school website, and provide nutrient analysis of school menus.

3. Limit Food Marketing. School based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools 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 promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.

4. Promote Staff Wellness. The Eldred Central School District highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Eldred Central School District will establish and maintain a staff health and wellness committee which will act as a subcommittee of the District-wide Wellness Committee. The committee should develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness. The plan should be based on input solicited from school staff and should outline ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity and other elements of a healthy life style among school staff. The staff health and wellness committee should distribute its plan to the District-wide Wellness Committee.

F. Regularly Review and Monitor Wellness Policy

1. Monitoring. The Superintendent or designee will ensure compliance with established district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. In each school, the principal or designee will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school's compliance to the school district superintendent or designee. School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent (or if done at the school level, to the school principal).

The Superintendent or designee will develop a summary report every three years on district-wide compliance with the district's established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from both schools. That report will be provided to the school board and also distributed to the Districtwide Wellness Committee and staff.

2. Policy Review. The completion of the summary report will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. The school district will revise the wellness policies, as needed, and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.

Adoption date: June 8, 2006

Revision date: October 20, 2016

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