JL - STUDENT WELLNESS
The Board recognizes that student wellness and good nutrition are related to individuals' physical and psychological well-being and their readiness to learn. The Board is committed to providing a school environment that supports wellness, healthy food choices, nutrition education, and regular physical activity. The Board believes that students who practice healthy lifestyles, such as good nutrition and regular exercise may reduce their risk of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The school department will ensure that meals provided by its Food Services Program meet or exceed the nutrition standards established by the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and other applicable Federal child nutrition programs. Other foods and beverages sold or available for sale to students during the school day (“competitive foods”) will meet the federal Smart Snacks guidelines.
Nutrition education will be integrated into the instructional program through the health education program and/or curriculum as aligned with the content standards of Maine's System of Learning Results. Nutrition education will focus on the skills students need to adopt and maintain healthy eating behaviors. Students will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout the schools, including classrooms, cafeteria, and school-home communications.
Schools will support healthful eating by students and encourage parents/guardians to provide healthy meals for their children by providing consistent nutrition messages and information and by cooperation with other agencies and organizations.
To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to students throughout the school day, including mealtimes, at every school.
STAFF QUALIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
All school nutrition program directors, managers, and staff will meet or exceed hiring and annual continuing education/training requirements in the USDA standards for school nutrition professionals.
FOODS AND BEVERAGES FOR CELEBRATIONS AND REWARDS
The board delegates to the Superintendent/designee the responsibility for guidelines for “healthy celebrations,” with the intent that refreshments served at parties or celebrations during the school day, whether supplied by parents or staff, meet the “Smart Snacks” standards. Foods used as rewards in the instructional program must meet “Smart Snacks” standards.
Cape Elizabeth Schools will:
- Provide a minimum of 20 minutes for all K-12 students to eat their meals
- Schedule snack time at least one hour before/after the lunch meal
- Provide access to free drinking water
- Provide appropriate nutritional information for school meals via the school nutrition website and on the monthly lunch calendar
- Staff are encouraged to use alternatives to food as rewards in classrooms
- Identify students who are at risk of food insecurity and link them to available resources, including school-based "backpack programs"
Goals for Nutrition:
- The schools will provide nutrition education that focuses on the skills students need to adopt and maintain healthy eating behaviors
- The school's health education program will provide sequential, comprehensive lessons including nutrition aligned with the content standards of the Maine Learning Results
- Nutrition education will be integrated into other subjects as appropriate to complement, not replace, the health education program
- The school department will provide foods that meet or exceed the federal nutrition standards, adequate time for students to obtain food and eat, lunch scheduled as close to the middle of the school day as possible, adequate space to eat, and a clean and safe meal environment
- Student and parent/guardian organizations will be encouraged to engage in fundraising projects that are supportive of healthy eating and student wellness
The Cape Elizabeth School Department (CESD) recognizes the importance of nurturing and supporting students' social and emotional needs, while also challenging students academically.
- Structured opportunities for social/emotional integration into classroom curriculum
- Provide information to all students and parents/guardians about mental health resources and how to access counseling or social work support in their school/community
- Educate staff and parents/guardians about identifying and responding to mental health concerns/issues
- Students will have access to counselors/social workers across all grade levels
- Administrators will lead teachers in coordinating the scheduling of major assessments and projects reducing academic overload
- Develop parent/guardian groups to partner with the schools and increase awareness of mental health issues and resources
The school department will regularly provide all student developmentally appropriate opportunities for physical activity through physical education classes, recess periods for K-8 students, and extracurricular activities (clubs, intramural and interscholastic athletics). School programs are intended to build and maintain physical fitness and to promote healthy lifestyles. The schools should encourage parents to support their children’s participation in physical activities, including available before- and after-school programs.
Goals for Physical Activity:
- Physical activity is important for the overall health of a student, therefore withholding physical activity as a form of discipline or denying access to physical activity for purposes of make-up work and testing during the school day is prohibited
- The schools will provide a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable physical activity and fosters the development of a positive attitude toward health and fitness
- The schools will provide facilities adequate to implement the physical education curriculum for the number of students served
- Teachers are strongly encouraged to incorporate physical activity in their classrooms or advisory periods or outdoors by integrating it into the curriculum and/or using daily or weekly motor breaks
- The physical education program will provide students (K-12) with the knowledge and skills needed to take part in healthy physical activity on a regular basis
- The physical education curriculum will be aligned with the content standards of the Maine system of Learning Results
- Physical education classes will provide opportunities to learn for students of all abilities
OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIES
The schools, with prior approval of the Superintendent/designee, may implement other appropriate programs that support consistent wellness messages and promote healthy eating and physical activity. The School Department may develop programs that encourage staff to learn and engage in healthy lifestyle practices.
The Superintendent/designee shall be responsible for the oversight of development and implementation of the wellness policy in the schools. This includes ensuring that the School Department evaluates its schools’ compliance with the wellness policy and progress in attaining wellness goals and making required information available to the public.
The evaluation process must include a comparison of the wellness plan with model local wellness policies, and it may include surveys or solicitation of input from students, parents, staff, and school administrators, including suggestions for improvement in specific areas.
ANNUAL NOTIFICATION OF POLICY
The School Department will annually inform families and the public of basic information about the wellness policy, including its content, any updates, and implementation status. This information will be made available on the School Department website. It will include the contact information for the person coordinating the wellness committee as well as information about opportunities for the public to get involved with the wellness committee.
TRIENNIAL PROGRESS ASSESSMENTS
Every three years, the Director of School Nutrition will:
- Assess the extent to which the School Department’s schools are in compliance with the wellness policy;
- Assess the extent to which the School Department’s wellness policy compares to model wellness policies; and
- Provide a description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the School Departments wellness policy.
- The School Department's Wellness Committee will update the wellness policy based on the results of the triennial assessment and/or as:
- The School Department’s priorities change;
- Community needs change;
- Wellness goal are met;
- New evidence-based health science emerges; or
- New or updated Federal or State regulations are issued.
The School Department will inform parents of improvements that have been made to school meal standards; availability of child nutrition programs and how to apply; the School
Department’s meal charging policy; and a list of healthy celebration party ideas (including a list of foods and beverages that meet the Smart Snacks standards).
FOOD AND BEVERAGE ADVERTISING IN SCHOOLS AND ON SCHOOL GROUNDS
Brand-specific advertising of food or beverages is prohibited in school buildings and on school grounds except for those meeting the standards for sale or distribution on school grounds in accordance with 20-A MRSA § 6662(2), i.e., those that meet Smart Snacks standards).
The Board regards the following as “advertising” for the purpose of this policy:
- Brand names, logos or tags, except those that are present as labels on the food or beverage product or its container;
- Displays, such as vending machine exteriors:
- Corporate brands, logos, names or trademarks on school equipment such as message boards or scoreboards;
- Corporate brands logos, names or trademarks on cups used for beverage dispensing, menu boards, coolers, trash cans and other food service equipment;
- Corporate brands, logos, names or trademarks on posters, book covers, or school supplies distributed or offered by the school unit;
- Advertisements in school and School Department publications or mailings;
- Product coupons or free samples.
“Advertising” does not include advertising on broadcast media or in print media such as newspapers and magazines, clothing with brand images worn on school grounds or advertising on product packaging.
Corporate brand names, logos and trademarks for companies that market products that comply with the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards will not be prohibited solely because they offer some noncompliant foods or beverage items in their product line.
APPOINTMENT AND ROLE OF THE WELLNESS COMMITTEE
The board shall appoint a district-wide Wellness Committee comprised of at least one of each of the following:
- Board member;
- School administrator;
- Food Services Director/designee;
- Student representative;
- Parent representative; and/or
- Community representative.
The Wellness Committee may also include:
- School nurse and/or other school health professional;
- Physical education teacher;
- Guidance counselor;
- Social worker;
- Community organization or agency representative;
- Other staff, as designated by the Board; and/or
- Other persons, as designated by the Board.
The Wellness Committee shall serve as an advisory committee in regard to student wellness issues and will be responsible for making recommendations related to the wellness policy, wellness goals, administrative or school regulations and practices, or raising awareness of student health issues.
With the prior approval of the Superintendent/designee, the Wellness Committee may survey parents, students and the community and/or conduct focus groups or community forums.
The Wellness Committee shall provide periodic reports to the Superintendent/designee and, as requested, to the Board.
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
The Superintendent designee (Wellness Steering Committee) shall be responsible for the implementation of the wellness policy, for monitoring efforts to meet the intent of this policy, and for reporting to the Board on a regular basis. Monitoring may include surveys or solicitation of input from students, parents/guardians, staff and school administrators.
Reports may include, but are not limited to:
- The status of the school environment in regard to student wellness issues
- Evaluation of the school food services program and compliance with nutrition guidelines
- Summary of wellness programs and activities in the schools
- Feedback from students, parents/guardians, staff, school administrator and Wellness Committee
- Recommendations for policy, program or curriculum revisions
- 42 USC §1751 (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act)
- 7 CFR Parts 210 and 220
- 20-A MRSA § 6662
- JLCEA- Managing Students with Food Allergies
- EFE- Sales of Foods in Competition with the Food Service Program
- December 12, 2006
- September 12, 2017
- June 14, 2022