Shutesbury Elementary School Wellness Policy
The Shutesbury School District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes wellness for its students in a variety of areas. The District recognizes that good health and safety fosters consistent attendance, increased attentiveness and higher academic achievement.
To incorporate a variety of perspectives and to have broad-based participation, the Shutesbury School District seeks to engage students, parents/guardians, staff, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing district-wide policies regarding Nutrition/Food, Physical Activity, Health, and Allergies.
Whenever possible staff in the Shutesbury School District are encouraged to promote partnerships to enhance wellness-related activities as informed by wellness guidelines. This includes partnerships for health education resources, school meal programs, local growers and suppliers, and other related local community services
The Principal is responsible for ensuring that all school-based activities in compliance with the Wellness Policy.
Areas of Focus
Nutrition/Food The Shutesbury School District supports the concept that healthy foods contribute to healthy children. The Shutesbury School District shall provide students receiving school meals with access to a variety of nutritious, appealing, and fresh foods that meet or exceed the documented health and nutritional needs of students as referenced by federal and state governments and independent sources with nutritional expertise. All meals, including beverages, made available during the regular school day or during school-sponsored programming shall meet or exceed the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Nutrition Standards and U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
For meals and snacks provided by the Shutesbury School District, preference will be given to foods that are locally produced – when possible, within 50 miles of Shutesbury, Massachusetts and secondarily within the state of Massachusetts. Fresh foods or freshly cooked (and non-fried) food will be given a preference over processed foods or canned or preserved foods.
All meals served to students by the Shutesbury School District shall include both a vegetarian option and a fresh fruit/fresh vegetable option. Within reason, the fresh fruit/fresh vegetable option may at times be offered as the vegetarian option.
At no time may meals served to students within the Shutesbury School District include foods with transfats, high fructose corn syrup, or modified food starch (or similar product by other name); nor shall sodas and sweetened beverages be offered for during meals or for sale. Fresh water will be made available to students at meals. Fried foods shall be offered on a limited basis.
Information about food items served by the School District shall be made readily available to parents/guardians; information about particular ingredients will be available upon request. If there are questions about the food served by the Shutesbury School District, questions shall first be directed to the Food Service Director. If inquiries require additional follow-up, they will be directed to the Wellness Committee and then the principal, respectively.
The Shutesbury School District shall participate in school meals programs including but not limited to the federal School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program and Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, and the Massachusetts Farm to School program. However, use of USDA and other government supplied commodities will be limited to those that comply with the aforementioned limitations. Preferred products purchased through federal and state programs shall be fresh foods, local foods, staples and other basic ingredients.
Students will be provided with adequate time to eat. Meals will be at reasonably appropriate times in the school schedule. Meals and snacks will be served in clean, safe and pleasant settings. Meals should have servings that are age-appropriate.
Staff in the Shutesbury School District shall refrain from using food as a reward or punishment with individual students.
In order to promote understanding among students and to encourage them to explore all food options available in the Shutesbury School District, the principal will ensure that students are given on-going orientation and support to participate fully in the school lunch program.
Nutrition education will be an integral component of curricula for all students within the Shutesbury School District. This will include a focus on developing lifelong healthy eating habits.
Physical Activity The Shutesbury School District will provide regular and frequent opportunities and support for all PreK-6 students to be physically active and to achieve recommended physical fitness standards set up the federal and state government and other independent experts. Recess, in-class activities, and physical education will be offered to students of Shutesbury School District to promote patterns of meaningful physical activity that connect to students’ lives and to foster long-term patterns for lifelong activity.
The Shutesbury School District supports the idea that children’s education benefits from a combination of sufficient physical activity during the school day.
Recess shall be offered at least once per day; with a preference for additional activity for younger students. Recess shall include both structured and unstructured play. While safety will be paramount, enabling a range of activities, especially student-driven activities, shall be encouraged.
Physical activity in the classroom, either as organized breaks from instruction, integral components of curriculum or based on individual needs of students for movement are encouraged.
The Shutesbury School Committee believes that physical activity is an integral part of a child’s day. Only if necessary shall staff in the Shutesbury School District use or withhold physical activity as a consequence; this shall not be a regular occurrence and it shall be applied in a limited and judicious manner.
Physical education will be an integral component of curriculum for all students within the Shutesbury School District. This will include a focus on developing lifelong patterns of physical activity.
In order to promote the general wellness of the school community, children that are ill will be required to remain home. As stated in Shutesbury Elementary Family Handbook,"If your child has a communicable disease or a condition which can be spread to others, please keep your child home and notify the nurse in order that we may prevent, as much as possible, the spread of the illness." Students that become ill while at school will be given appropriate attention by the classroom teacher, the school nurse, or other school personnel, as appropriate. These parents/guardians of ill children will be contacted and children should be picked up immediately.
Health education will be an integral component of curriculum for all students within the Shutesbury School District. This will focus on building an understanding of healthy living habits.
Allergies and Physical Sensitivity
The Shutesbury School District will seek to find a balance with the individual needs of students and the needs of the entire school community regarding food allergies and/or physical sensitivities. When possible, and within reason, the Shutesbury School District will make provisions to accommodate the allergy or physical sensitivity needs of students.
Parents/guardians may make a request for legally-required accommodations by submitting a written request to the Principal on behalf of the Superintendent. Accommodation plans will be developed in accordance with Massachusetts laws and regulations.
To ensure that all elements of the Shutesbury School District’s Wellness Policy are planned for, implemented, and monitored, the Principal will establish a Wellness Committee. This committee, in conjunction with the principal, shall ensure that Shutesbury is in compliance with federal and state requirements, and with the requirements set forth by this policy.
The Committee shall be comprised of the Principal, the School Nurse, the Food Director, the Physical Education teacher, a parent/community member of the School Council and at least one and possibly more (at the discretion of the principal) community members or parent/guardians. The Committee shall meet at least twice during the school year.
The Wellness Committee will create guidelines consistent with this policy and will review them annually.
An mid-year Wellness report addressing each element of the Wellness Policy - Nutrition/Food, Physical Activity, Health, and Allergies - shall be submitted to the Principal and the School Council by January of each year.
Curriculum and School-based Activities
All efforts will be made by the Shutesbury School District to coordinate nutrition/food, health and physical education curricula throughout the school to promote comprehensive learning about wellness. The curriculum on wellness, health, nutrition education and physical education will provide sequential education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating in each grade from Pre-K to 6.
Legal Ref: MGL Chapter 111, Section 222
***Section 204 of Public Law 108-265 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2010 Regulations and/or Exhibits are associated with the Wellness Policy above and will be included as deemed necessary by Administration in collaboration with the Wellness Committee.
Final vote: 12-16-10