As required by law, the Board of Education establishes the following wellness policy for Pocahontas County Schools. The Board recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well being of the County's students. Furthermore, research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a student's health and well being and his/her ability to learn. Moreover, schools can play an important role in the developmental process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks, supporting the development of good eating habits, and promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.
The Board, however, believes this effort to support the students' development of healthy behaviors and habits with regard to eating and exercise cannot be accomplished by the schools alone. It will be necessary for not only the staff, but also parents and the public at large, to be involved in a community-wide effort to promote, support and model such healthy behaviors and habits.
The Board sets the following goals in an effort to enable students to establish good health and nutrition habits:
A. Nutrition Education
1. Nutrition education shall be included in the Health curriculum in accordance with West Virginia State Board Policy 2520.5, Health Content Standards and Objectives and where appropriate Policy 2520.13, Vocational Educational Content Standards and Objectives, so that instruction is sequential and standards-based and provides students with the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to lead healthy lives.
2. Nutrition education shall be integrated into other subject areas of the curriculum, when appropriate, to complement, but not replace, the standards and benchmarks for health education.
3. Nutrition education standards and benchmarks shall be age-appropriate and culturally relevant.
4. The standards and benchmarks for nutrition education shall be behavior focused.
5. Nutrition education shall include enjoyable, developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing and others.
6. Nutrition education shall include opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition, involving, when possible, community agencies and organizations.
7. Nutrition education shall extend beyond the classroom by engaging and involving the school's food service staff.
8. Nutrition education posters, such as the Food Pyramid Guide, will be displayed in the cafeteria.
9. The school cafeteria shall serve as a learning lab by allowing students to apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills
taught in the classroom when making choices at mealtime.
10. Nutrition education shall reinforce lifelong balance by emphasizing the link between caloric intake (eating) and exercise in ways that are age-appropriate.
11. Nutrition education standards and benchmarks promote the benefits of a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and low-fat and fat-free dairy products.
12. Instruction related to the standards and benchmarks for nutrition education shall be provided by highly qualified teachers.
13. The County shall provide information to parents that is designed to encourage them to reinforce at home the standards and benchmarks being taught in the classroom.
14. Nutrition education should extend beyond the school by engaging and involving families and the community.
15. Staff responsible for providing instruction in nutrition education shall regularly participate in professional development activities designed to better enable them to teach the benchmarks and standards.
B. Physical Activity:
1. Physical Education
a. A sequential, comprehensive physical education program shall be provided for students in K-12 in accordance with the content standards and objectives established by State Board Policy 2520.6.
b. The State legislature has set forth requirements related to Physical Education and Health Education courses in chapter 18-2-7a…..(b)….The State Department of Education shall establish the requirement that each child enrolled in public education classes during the school year to the level of his/her ability as follows:
1) Elementary Grades - not less than thirty (30) minutes not less than three (3) times per week.
2) Middle Grades - not less than one (1) full period of physical education each school day for one (1) semester.
3) High School Grades - one (1) full physical education course credit for graduation and one (1) lifetime physical education offering.
4) Provided, that schools which do not currently have the number of certified physical education teachers or required physical setting may develop alternate programs…(to) be submitted to the State Department of Education and the Healthy Lifestyle council for approval…school year commencing 2006.
c. All students in grades K - 12, including those with disabilities, special health care needs (to the extent consistent with the students’ IEPs) shall receive instruction in physical education in accordance with Pocahontas County Policies and State Board Policy 2510.
d. The physical education curriculum shall provide sequential instruction related to the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to participate in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
e. Physical education classes shall provide students with opportunities to learn, practice and be assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills and social skills, as well as knowledge.
f. The sequential, comprehensive physical education curriculum shall stress the importance of remaining physically active for life.
g. The sequential, comprehensive physical education curriculum shall provide students with opportunities to learn, practice and be assessed on developmentally appropriate knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to engage in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
h. Planned instruction in physical education shall be sufficient for students to achieve a proficient level with regard to the standards and benchmarks established by the State.
i. The K-12 program shall include instruction in physical education as well as opportunities to participate in competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage lifelong physical activity.
j. Planned instruction in physical education shall teach cooperation, fair play and responsible participation.
k. Planned instruction in physical education shall meet the needs of all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.
l. Planned instruction in physical education shall be presented in an environment free
of embarrassment, humiliation, shaming, taunting or harassment of any kind.
m. Planned instruction in physical education shall include cooperative as well as competitive games.
n. Planned instruction in physical education shall promote participation in physical activity outside the regular school day.
2. Physical Activity
a. Physical activity and movement shall be integrated, when possible, across the curricula and throughout the school day.
b. Schools shall encourage families to provide physical activity outside the regular school day, such as outdoor play at home, participation in sports sponsored by community agencies or organizations, and in lifelong physical activities like bowling, swimming or tennis.
c. All students in grades 6 -12 shall have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic sports programs.
d. All after-school programs shall provide developmentally appropriate physical activity for the students who participate.
e. Schools shall discourage extended periods of student inactivity, defined as two (2) hours or more without some physical activity.
f. The school should encourage families and community organizations to institute programs that support physical activity of all sorts.
g. The school should provide information to families to encourage and assist them in their efforts to incorporate physical activity into their children's daily lives.
C. Other School-Based Activities Designed to Promote Student Wellness:
1. The schools shall provide for students after sitting down at least ten (10) minutes to eat breakfast and twenty (20) minutes for lunch.
2. The schools shall schedule mealtimes so there is minimum disruption by bus schedules, recess and other special programs or events.
3. The school shall provide attractive, clean environments in which the students eat.
4. Activities, such as tutoring or club meetings, shall not be scheduled during mealtimes, unless students may eat during those meetings.
5. Community members shall have access to the school's outdoor physical activity facilities outside the normal school day.
6. The Board will contact the Public Employees Insurance Agency for assistance to promote the "Pathways to Wellness" initiative.
7. Schools in our system utilize electronic identification and payment systems or other approved methods to eliminating any stigma or identification of students eligible to receive free and/or reduced meals.
8. Students are discouraged from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some students' diets.
9. Proper hand washing or hand sanitizing before consuming school meals shall be stressed.
10. The Board encourages student fund-raising activities which involve the sale of food items occurring outside of the school day to be nutritional.
Furthermore, with the objectives of enhancing student health and well being, and reducing childhood obesity, the following guidelines are established:
Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods Available on Campus during the School Day
A. In accordance with Policy 8500, entitled Food Service, the food service program shall comply with Federal and State regulations pertaining to the selection, preparation, consumption and disposal of food and beverages as well as to the fiscal management of the program.
B. As set forth in Policy 8531, entitled Free and Reduced Price Meals, the guidelines for reimbursable school meals meet or exceed the regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
C. The County shall comply with the Child Nutrition Standards in accordance with Policy 8510.10 and West Virginia Policy 4321.1.
D. The food service program will provide all students affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods they need to be healthy and to learn well.
E. It is recommended that beginning with 2006 - 2007 school year, all foods available to students on campus during the school day and outside school food service hours shall comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including foods available to students as classroom snacks, from vending machines for fund raisers for classroom parties, or at holiday celebrations.
The Board designates the Director of Child Nutrition, the Superintendent, and each of the school's principals as the individual(s) charged with operational responsibility for measuring and evaluating the County's implementation and progress under this policy. The Superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines necessary to implement this policy.
The Superintendent shall report on the County's compliance with this policy and the progress toward achieving the goals set forth herein when requested to do so by the Board.
Review of this policy shall occur every year, by a committee appointed by the Board, consisting of a representative(s) of the Board, the administration, the food service provider, the parents, the students and the public. The committee shall provide the Board with any recommended changes to this policy.
Adopted: August, 2006
Revised: July 11, 2011
Reference: WV State Board of Education Policy 4321.1; 42 U.S.C. 1751, Sec. 204; 42 U.S.C. 1771