Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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7190 – District Wellness Policy


The Grand Island Public Schools acknowledge that student and staff wellness play a critical role in the academic environment. As recommended by the Nebraska Department of Education Healthy Schools Program (July 29, 2016), Grand Island Public Schools will provide a healthful learning environment by supporting district policy with healthy school meals, healthy competitive foods and beverages, physical and social/emotional education, physical activity, and student and employee wellness.

The Grand Island Public Schools will provide a comprehensive learning environment to develop and practice lifelong wellness behaviors, with the objective of promoting student and staff health and reducing childhood obesity. School learning environment expectations shall be aligned with federal guidelines, 7190 DISTRICT WELLNESS POLICY, and The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Guidelines shall promote active lifestyles and healthy habits to positively influence student and staff understanding, beliefs and behaviors related to health education, wellness, and physical activity. Therefore, the Grand Island Public Schools adopts the following District Wellness Policy.

District Wellness Committee

Committee Role and Membership
The District Wellness Committee (DWC) will meet at least two times per year to establish goals for school health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the District wellness policy. The DWC membership will represent all school levels and include, but not be limited to: parents and caregivers; students; representatives of the school nutrition program; physical education teachers; health education teachers; general education teachers; school staff; school health professionals or staff; mental health and social services staff; school administrators; school board members; and the general public. Membership will also include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program coordinators. To the extent possible, representatives will reflect the diversity of the community.

Leadership
The Superintendent or designee(s) will convene the DWC, facilitate review of and updates to the wellness policy, and ensure each school’s compliance with the policy. Each school will designate a DWC representative to work with building administrators to ensure compliance with the policy. A list of current DWC committee members, with their contact information, will be on the district website and updated as needed.

Wellness Policy Implementation, Monitoring, Accountability, and Community Engagement

Implementation Plan
The Grand Island Public Schools will develop, implement, and maintain a plan to manage and coordinate the execution of this wellness policy. The plan delineates roles, responsibilities, actions, and timelines specific to each school; and includes information about who will be responsible to make what change, by how much, where and when; as well as specific goals and objectives for nutrition standards for all foods and beverages available on the school campus, food and beverage marketing, nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, physical education and other school-based activities that promote student wellness. Schools will use the Nebraska Healthy Schools Program online tools to complete the Action for Healthy Kids Index assessment. Based on this assessment, each school will identify a wellness goal. This goal will require the creation of an action plan that adheres to the District Wellness Policy. The District Wellness Policy and annual individual school progress reports will be available on the District’s website.

Recordkeeping
The District will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy on the District’s website. Documentation maintained in this location will include, but will not be limited to:

  • District Wellness Policy;
  • Documentation demonstrating that the policy has been made available to the public;
  • Documentation of efforts to review and update the District’s Wellness Policy, including an indication of who is involved in the update and methods the district uses to make stakeholders aware of their ability to participate on the DWC;
  • Documentation to demonstrate compliance with the annual public notification requirements;
  • The most recent assessment on the implementation of the district school wellness policy; and
  • Documentation demonstrating the most recent assessment on the implementation of the District’s Wellness Policy has been made available to the public.

Annual Notification of Policy
The District will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy, and implementation status. The District will make this information available via the District website and/or district-wide communications. This will include a summary of the District’s events or activities related to wellness policy implementation. Annually, the District will also publicize the name and contact information of the District officials leading and coordinating the committee, as well as information on how the public can get involved with the District Wellness Committee.

Triennial Progress Assessments
At least once every three years, the District will evaluate compliance with the wellness policy to assess the implementation of the policy and include:

  • The extent to which the District’s schools are in compliance with the wellness policy;
  • The extent to which the District’s wellness policy compares to the Nebraska Schools in Action Program; and
  • A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the District’s wellness policy.

The position/person responsible for managing the triennial assessment and contact information for the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee. The DWC, in collaboration with individual schools, will monitor schools’ triennial compliance with this wellness policy. The District will actively notify households/families of the availability of the triennial progress report.

Revisions and Updating the Policy
The DWC will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the annual School Health Index and triennial assessments and/or as District priorities change; community needs change; wellness goals are met; new health science, information, and technology emerges; and new Federal or state guidance or standards are issued. Following the triennial assessment, the wellness policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.

Community Involvement, Outreach, and Communications
The District will communicate ways in which representatives of the DWC and others can participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the wellness policy. The District will use the staff intranet and staff newsletter, the District’s website and annual report, parent meetings, community presentations, and other means of communication to notify families of the District Wellness Policy and encourage involvement. Communications will be culturally and linguistically appropriate to the community, similar to other ways that the District and individual schools are communicating important school information with parents. The District will also use these mechanisms to inform the community about the availability of annual and triennial reports.

The District will also inform parents of the improvements that have been made to school meals and compliance with school meal standards, availability of child nutrition programs and how to apply, and a description of, and compliance with, Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

Nutrition

School Meals
The District is committed to serving healthy meals to children, including a variety  of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk; that are moderate in sodium, low in saturated fat, and have zero grams trans-fat per serving (nutrition label or manufacturer’s specification); and to meeting the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The school meal programs aim to improve the diet and health of school children, help reduce childhood obesity, model healthy eating to support the development of lifelong healthy eating patterns, and support healthy choices while accommodating cultural food preferences and special dietary needs.

All schools within the District that participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and any additional Federal child nutrition programs will meet the nutrition requirements of such programs.  The District may also operate additional nutrition-related programs and activities. All schools within the District are committed to offering school meals through the NSLP and SBP programs, and other applicable Federal child nutrition programs, that:

  • Are accessible to all students;
  • Are appealing and attractive to children;
  • Are served in clean and pleasant settings;
  • Meet or exceed current nutrition requirements established by local, state, and Federal statutes and regulations. (The District offers reimbursable school meals that meet USDA nutrition standards.); and
  • Promote healthy food and beverage choices following Smarter Lunchroom techniques.

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 professional standards for child nutrition professionals. These school nutrition personnel will refer to USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Standards website to search for training that meets their learning needs.

Water
To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to all students throughout the school day and throughout every school campus (“school campus” and “school day” are defined in the glossary). The District will make drinking water available to students where school meals are served during meal times.

Competitive Foods and Beverages
The District is committed to ensuring that all foods and beverages available to students and staff on the school campus during the school day support healthy eating. Staff are expected to model healthy nutrition habits in the presence of students.  The foods and beverages sold and served outside of the school meal programs (e.g., “competitive” foods and beverages) will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, at a minimum.

Smart Snacks aim to improve student health and well-being, increase consumption of healthful foods during the school day and create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits. A summary of the standards and information, as well as a Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools.

To support healthy food choices and improve student health and well-being, all foods and beverages outside the reimbursable school meal programs that are sold to students on the school campus during the school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards or, if the state policy is stronger, will meet or exceed state nutrition standards. These standards will apply in all locations and through all services where foods and beverages are sold, which may include, but are not limited to, à la carte options in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and snack or food carts.  Proceeds from competitive food and beverage sales occurring one half hour before to one half hour after meal periods shall be directed to Nutrition Services to maintain the integrity of the GIPS Nutrition Services Program.

Celebrations and Rewards
All foods offered on the school campus must meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standard. This includes celebrations, parties, and classroom snacks whether brought by parents or provided by school staff. Food will not be used as an incentive or reward. The District will provide ideas for non-food incentives and rewards

Fundraising
Foods and beverages that meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards may be sold through fundraisers on the school campus during the school day. The District will make available to parents and teachers a list of healthy fundraising ideas or comparable resources.

Foods that will not be consumed on school premises may be used for fundraising activities https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/allfoods_fundraisers.pdf.

Fundraising Activities
Activities to raise funds by involving the school community in wellness promotion through physical activity, nutrition, and mindful living:

  • Healthy Fundraisers
    • Schools encourage organizations to raise funds by selling non-food items.
    • Foods or beverages sold for fundraising cannot be in competition with school meals
  • Ideas for Fundraising
    • Wellness snack sales
    • School dance-off event
    • Jump rope for heart
    • Serve-a-thon
    • Hula hoop-a-thon
    • Talent show
    • Carwash
    • Walking Wednesday

Nutrition Promotion
Nutrition promotion and education positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by using evidence-based techniques and nutrition messages, and by creating food environments that encourage healthy nutrition choices and encourage participation in school meal programs. Students and staff will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout schools, classrooms, gymnasiums, and cafeterias. Nutrition promotion also includes marketing and advertising nutritious foods and beverages to students and is most effective when implemented consistently through a comprehensive approach by school staff, teachers, parents, students and the community.

The District will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus, as well as encourage participation in school meal programs. This promotion will occur through:

Nutrition Education

The District will teach, model, encourage, and support healthy eating by all students. Schools will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • Is 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 integrated into other classroom instruction through subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects;
  • Includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant and participatory activities, such as cooking demonstrations or lessons, promotions, taste-testing, farm visits, and school gardens;
  • Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, and healthy food preparation methods;
  • Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (promotes physical activity/exercise);
  • Links with school meal programs, cafeteria nutrition promotion activities, school gardens, Farm to School programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
  • Teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food and beverage marketing;
  • Includes nutrition education training for teachers and other staff; and
  • Incorporates nutrition education for parents/guardians at a minimum of one existing school event per year utilizing approved materials available through the District. 

Essential Healthy Eating Topics in Health Education
The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of the following essential topics on healthy eating:

  • Relationship between healthy eating and personal health and disease prevention
  • Food guidance from MyPlate
  • Reading and using FDA's nutrition fact labels
  • Eating a variety of foods every day
  • Balancing food intake and physical activity
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products
  • Choosing foods that are low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and do not contain trans fat
  • Choosing foods and beverages with minimal added sugars
  • Eating more calcium-rich foods
  • Preparing healthy meals and snacks
  • Risks of unhealthy weight control practices
  • Accepting body size differences
  • Food safety
  • Importance of water consumption
  • Importance of eating breakfast
  • Making healthy choices when eating at restaurants
  • Eating disorders
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Reducing sodium intake
  • Social influences on healthy eating, including media, family, peers and culture
  • How to find valid information or services related to nutrition and dietary behavior
  • How to develop a plan and track progress toward achieving a personal goal to eat healthfully
  • Resisting peer pressure related to unhealthy dietary behavior
  • Influencing, supporting, or advocating for others’ healthy dietary behavior

Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools
The District is committed to providing a school environment that ensures opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions. The District strives to teach students how to make informed choices about nutrition, health, and physical activity. These efforts will be weakened if students are subjected to advertising on District property that contains messages inconsistent with the health information the District is imparting through nutrition education and health promotion efforts. It is the intent of the District to protect and promote student’s health by permitting advertising and marketing for only those foods and beverages that are permitted to be sold on the school campus, consistent with the District’s wellness policy.

Any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus during the school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards or, if stronger, state nutrition standards, such that only those foods that comply with or exceed those nutrition standards are permitted to be marketed or promoted to students.

Food and beverage marketing is defined as advertising and other promotions in schools. Food and beverage marketing often includes oral, written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of a food or beverage product made by the producer, manufacturer, seller or any other entity with a commercial interest in the product. This term includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Brand names, trademarks, logos or tags, except when placed on a physically present food or beverage product or its container.
  • Displays, such as on vending machine exteriors
  • Corporate brand, logo, name or trademark on school equipment, such as marquees, message boards, scoreboards or backboards (Note: immediate replacement of these items are not required; however, districts will replace or update scoreboards or other durable equipment when existing contracts are up for renewal or to the extent that it is financially possible over time so that items are in compliance with the marketing policy.)
  • Corporate brand, logo, name or trademark on cups used for beverage dispensing, menu boards, coolers, trash cans and other food service equipment; as well as on posters, book covers, pupil assignment books or school supplies displayed, distributed, offered or sold by the District.
  • Advertisements in school publications or school mailings.
  • Free product samples, taste tests or coupons of a product, or free samples displaying advertising of a product.

As the District/school nutrition services/Athletics Department/PTA/PTO reviews existing contracts and considers new contracts, equipment and product purchasing (and replacement) decisions should reflect the applicable marketing guidelines established by the District wellness policy.

Physical Activity

Physical activity during the school day (including but not limited to recess, classroom physical activity breaks, or physical education) will not be withheld as punishment. Children and adolescents should participate in physical activity every day. A substantial percentage of students’ physical activity can be provided through a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP). A CSPAP reflects strong coordination and synergy across all of the components: quality physical education as the foundation; physical activity before, during, and after school; staff involvement, family, and community engagement.

The Grand Island Public Schools strives to provide physical activity through multiple opportunities throughout the day. Schools will ensure that these varied physical activity opportunities are in addition to, and not as a substitute for, physical education (addressed in “Physical Education” subsection). All schools in the District will be encouraged to participate in movement activities such Brain Breaks, or comparable programs, in order to successfully address all CSPAP areas.

The District will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe and that equipment is available to students to be active. The District will conduct necessary inspections and repairs.

Physical Education

The District implements physical education, using an age-appropriate, sequential physical education curriculum. The physical education curriculum will promote the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and will help students develop skills to engage in lifelong healthy habits, as well as incorporate essential health education concepts.

All students will be provided equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes. The District will make appropriate accommodations to allow for equitable participation for all students and will adapt physical education classes and equipment as necessary. The District’s physical education program will promote student physical fitness through curriculum based fitness and activity assessments such as FitnessGram or other appropriate assessment tools.

Essential Physical Activity Topics in Health Education
Health education will be required in all elementary grades and the District will require middle and high school students to take and pass at least one health education course. The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of the following essential topics on physical activity:

  • The physical, psychological, or social benefits of physical activity
  • How physical activity can contribute to a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle
  • How physical activity can contribute to the academic learning process
  • How an inactive lifestyle contributes to chronic disease
  • Health-related fitness, that is, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition
  • Differences between physical activity, exercise and fitness Phases of an exercise session, that is, warm up, workout and cool down
  • Overcoming barriers to physical activity
  • Decreasing sedentary activities, such as TV watching and gaming
  • Opportunities for physical activity in the community
  • Preventing injury during physical activity
  • Weather-related safety, for example, avoiding heat stroke, hypothermia and sunburn while being physically active
  • How much physical activity is enough, that is, determining frequency, intensity, time and type of physical activity
  • Developing an individualized physical activity and fitness plan
  • Monitoring progress toward reaching goals in an individualized physical activity plan
  • Dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids
  • Social influences on physical activity, including media, family, peers and culture
  • How to find valid information or services related to physical activity and fitness
  • How to influence, support, or advocate for others to engage in physical activity
  • How to resist peer pressure that discourages physical activity.

Recess (Elementary)
All elementary schools will offer at least 30 minutes of recess on all days during the school year. Exceptions may be made as appropriate, such as on early dismissal or special event days. If recess is offered before lunch, transition time will be built in to ensure time for proper hygiene prior to eating. Appropriate hand-washing facilities and/or hand-sanitizing mechanisms should be located just inside/outside the cafeteria to allow students to use these mechanisms before eating.

Outdoor recess will be offered when weather and other conditions make it feasible for outdoor play (see District Recess Guidelines). Recess will complement, not substitute, physical education class. Recess monitors or teachers will encourage students to be active and will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible. In the event that recess must be held indoors, teachers and staff will follow the indoor recess guidelines that promote physical activity for students, to the extent practicable.

Classroom Physical Activity Breaks (Elementary and Secondary)
Students will be offered periodic opportunities to be active or to stretch throughout the day on all or most days during a typical school week. The District recommends teachers provide short (3-5 minute) physical activity breaks to students during and between classes during the school day. These physical activity breaks will complement, not substitute, for physical education class, recess, and class transition periods.

Active Academics
Teachers will incorporate movement and kinesthetic learning approaches into “core” subject instruction when possible (e.g., science, math, language arts, social studies and others) and do their part to limit sedentary behavior during the school day. The District will support classroom teachers incorporating physical activity and employing kinesthetic learning approaches into core subjects by providing annual professional development opportunities and resources, including information on leading activities, activity options, as well as making available background material on the connections between learning and movement. Teachers should strive to provide an additional 15-30 minutes of physical activity in the classrooms each day to supplement recess and physical education times. Teachers will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.

Before and After School Activities
The District will encourage students to be physically active before and after school by sponsoring or permitting physical activity clubs, intramurals, and/or interscholastic sports.

Active Transport
The District will support active transport to and from school, such as walking or biking. The District will encourage this behavior by providing as many of the activities listed below as possible, to be selected by each school administration, including but not limited to:

  • Promote activities such as participation in International Walk to School Week and National Walk and Bike to School Week
  • Secure storage for bicycles and helmets (e.g., shed, cage, fenced area, bike rack)
  • Instruction on walking/bicycling safety provided to students
  • Use crossing guards
  • Use crosswalks on streets leading to schools
  • Use walking school buses

Other Activities that Promote Student/Staff Wellness

Description of basic guidelines
The District will integrate nutritional, physical, and mental wellness activities across the entire school setting, and work towards the same set of goals and objectives promoting student and staff well-being, optimal development and strong educational outcomes.

All school-sponsored events will adhere to the wellness policy guidelines. All school-sponsored wellness events will include nutritional, physical, and mental activity and healthy eating opportunities when appropriate.

Community Partnerships
The District will develop, enhance, or continue relationships with community partners (e.g., hospitals, universities/colleges, local businesses, extension office providers, and coordinators, etc.) in support of this wellness policy implementation. Existing and new community partnerships and sponsorships will be evaluated by a designated Wellness representative to ensure that they are consistent with the wellness policy and its goals.

Community Health Promotion and Family Engagement
The District will promote to parents/caregivers, families, and the general community the benefits of and approaches for healthy eating and physical activity throughout the school year. Families will be informed and invited to participate in school-sponsored activities and will receive information about health promotion efforts.  As described in the “Community Involvement, Outreach, and Communications” subsection, the District will use electronic mechanisms (e.g., email or displaying notices on the District’s website), as well as non-electronic mechanisms, (e.g., newsletters, presentations to parents or sending information home to parents), to ensure that all families are actively notified of opportunities to participate in school-sponsored activities and receive information about health promotion efforts.

Staff Wellness and Health Promotion
Research confirms that school employees who participate in wellness activities are less likely to be absent as well as increase their productivity. Grand Island Public Schools, along with Educators Health Alliance (EHA), supports a comprehensive wellness program for all staff. The program seeks to improve overall health for staff, plus the financial benefits of reduced health care costs.

This is achieved by offering bi-monthly programs. These programs offer employees the opportunity to participate in fun, online wellness programs which focus on different topics. There are also incentives which are included with each program and each staff member is entered into a drawing for a gift card if minimum participation is achieved.
http://ehawellness.org/

When feasible, the district will offer professional learning opportunities and resources for staff to increase knowledge and skills about promoting healthy behaviors at school (e.g., increasing the use of kinesthetic teaching approaches or incorporating nutrition lessons into math class). Professional learning will help GIPS staff understand the connections between academics and health and the ways in which health and wellness are integrated into ongoing district reform or academic improvement plans/efforts.

Staff may also utilize wellness options during staff development days or at staff meetings. Activities may include CPR training classes, activity or exercise groups, or healthy recipe exchanges.

References:
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111–296, (the HHFK Act)
PL 108.265 Section 204 (Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004)
     42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act of 1966)
     42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq. Section 305 and 361 (National School Lunch Act)
Public Law 111–296, Dec. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 3183.
     42 U.S.C. 1753(b)(3)(A).
     CFR Parts 210 and 220; 77 Fed. Reg. 17 (Jan. 26, 2012).
     42 U.S.C. 1779(a), emphasis added.
     42 U.S.C. 1779(b).
National School Lunch Program Fact Sheet, USDA Food Nutrition Service (October 2011). Available on the USDA website at: www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/.

Policy Adopted 12-8-05
Policy Revised: 08.08.2013
Policy Revised: 06.08.2017
Policy Revised: 07.09.2020

pdf version

Media Inquiries
Joshua Planos, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127
Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.

7190 – District Wellness Policy


The Grand Island Public Schools acknowledge that student and staff wellness play a critical role in the academic environment. As recommended by the Nebraska Department of Education Healthy Schools Program (July 29, 2016), Grand Island Public Schools will provide a healthful learning environment by supporting district policy with healthy school meals, healthy competitive foods and beverages, physical and social/emotional education, physical activity, and student and employee wellness.

The Grand Island Public Schools will provide a comprehensive learning environment to develop and practice lifelong wellness behaviors, with the objective of promoting student and staff health and reducing childhood obesity. School learning environment expectations shall be aligned with federal guidelines, 7190 DISTRICT WELLNESS POLICY, and The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Guidelines shall promote active lifestyles and healthy habits to positively influence student and staff understanding, beliefs and behaviors related to health education, wellness, and physical activity. Therefore, the Grand Island Public Schools adopts the following District Wellness Policy.

District Wellness Committee

Committee Role and Membership
The District Wellness Committee (DWC) will meet at least two times per year to establish goals for school health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the District wellness policy. The DWC membership will represent all school levels and include, but not be limited to: parents and caregivers; students; representatives of the school nutrition program; physical education teachers; health education teachers; general education teachers; school staff; school health professionals or staff; mental health and social services staff; school administrators; school board members; and the general public. Membership will also include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program coordinators. To the extent possible, representatives will reflect the diversity of the community.

Leadership
The Superintendent or designee(s) will convene the DWC, facilitate review of and updates to the wellness policy, and ensure each school’s compliance with the policy. Each school will designate a DWC representative to work with building administrators to ensure compliance with the policy. A list of current DWC committee members, with their contact information, will be on the district website and updated as needed.

Wellness Policy Implementation, Monitoring, Accountability, and Community Engagement

Implementation Plan
The Grand Island Public Schools will develop, implement, and maintain a plan to manage and coordinate the execution of this wellness policy. The plan delineates roles, responsibilities, actions, and timelines specific to each school; and includes information about who will be responsible to make what change, by how much, where and when; as well as specific goals and objectives for nutrition standards for all foods and beverages available on the school campus, food and beverage marketing, nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, physical education and other school-based activities that promote student wellness. Schools will use the Nebraska Healthy Schools Program online tools to complete the Action for Healthy Kids Index assessment. Based on this assessment, each school will identify a wellness goal. This goal will require the creation of an action plan that adheres to the District Wellness Policy. The District Wellness Policy and annual individual school progress reports will be available on the District’s website.

Recordkeeping
The District will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy on the District’s website. Documentation maintained in this location will include, but will not be limited to:

  • District Wellness Policy;
  • Documentation demonstrating that the policy has been made available to the public;
  • Documentation of efforts to review and update the District’s Wellness Policy, including an indication of who is involved in the update and methods the district uses to make stakeholders aware of their ability to participate on the DWC;
  • Documentation to demonstrate compliance with the annual public notification requirements;
  • The most recent assessment on the implementation of the district school wellness policy; and
  • Documentation demonstrating the most recent assessment on the implementation of the District’s Wellness Policy has been made available to the public.

Annual Notification of Policy
The District will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy, and implementation status. The District will make this information available via the District website and/or district-wide communications. This will include a summary of the District’s events or activities related to wellness policy implementation. Annually, the District will also publicize the name and contact information of the District officials leading and coordinating the committee, as well as information on how the public can get involved with the District Wellness Committee.

Triennial Progress Assessments
At least once every three years, the District will evaluate compliance with the wellness policy to assess the implementation of the policy and include:

  • The extent to which the District’s schools are in compliance with the wellness policy;
  • The extent to which the District’s wellness policy compares to the Nebraska Schools in Action Program; and
  • A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the District’s wellness policy.

The position/person responsible for managing the triennial assessment and contact information for the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee. The DWC, in collaboration with individual schools, will monitor schools’ triennial compliance with this wellness policy. The District will actively notify households/families of the availability of the triennial progress report.

Revisions and Updating the Policy
The DWC will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the annual School Health Index and triennial assessments and/or as District priorities change; community needs change; wellness goals are met; new health science, information, and technology emerges; and new Federal or state guidance or standards are issued. Following the triennial assessment, the wellness policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.

Community Involvement, Outreach, and Communications
The District will communicate ways in which representatives of the DWC and others can participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the wellness policy. The District will use the staff intranet and staff newsletter, the District’s website and annual report, parent meetings, community presentations, and other means of communication to notify families of the District Wellness Policy and encourage involvement. Communications will be culturally and linguistically appropriate to the community, similar to other ways that the District and individual schools are communicating important school information with parents. The District will also use these mechanisms to inform the community about the availability of annual and triennial reports.

The District will also inform parents of the improvements that have been made to school meals and compliance with school meal standards, availability of child nutrition programs and how to apply, and a description of, and compliance with, Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

Nutrition

School Meals
The District is committed to serving healthy meals to children, including a variety  of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk; that are moderate in sodium, low in saturated fat, and have zero grams trans-fat per serving (nutrition label or manufacturer’s specification); and to meeting the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The school meal programs aim to improve the diet and health of school children, help reduce childhood obesity, model healthy eating to support the development of lifelong healthy eating patterns, and support healthy choices while accommodating cultural food preferences and special dietary needs.

All schools within the District that participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and any additional Federal child nutrition programs will meet the nutrition requirements of such programs.  The District may also operate additional nutrition-related programs and activities. All schools within the District are committed to offering school meals through the NSLP and SBP programs, and other applicable Federal child nutrition programs, that:

  • Are accessible to all students;
  • Are appealing and attractive to children;
  • Are served in clean and pleasant settings;
  • Meet or exceed current nutrition requirements established by local, state, and Federal statutes and regulations. (The District offers reimbursable school meals that meet USDA nutrition standards.); and
  • Promote healthy food and beverage choices following Smarter Lunchroom techniques.

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 professional standards for child nutrition professionals. These school nutrition personnel will refer to USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Standards website to search for training that meets their learning needs.

Water
To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to all students throughout the school day and throughout every school campus (“school campus” and “school day” are defined in the glossary). The District will make drinking water available to students where school meals are served during meal times.

Competitive Foods and Beverages
The District is committed to ensuring that all foods and beverages available to students and staff on the school campus during the school day support healthy eating. Staff are expected to model healthy nutrition habits in the presence of students.  The foods and beverages sold and served outside of the school meal programs (e.g., “competitive” foods and beverages) will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, at a minimum.

Smart Snacks aim to improve student health and well-being, increase consumption of healthful foods during the school day and create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits. A summary of the standards and information, as well as a Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools.

To support healthy food choices and improve student health and well-being, all foods and beverages outside the reimbursable school meal programs that are sold to students on the school campus during the school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards or, if the state policy is stronger, will meet or exceed state nutrition standards. These standards will apply in all locations and through all services where foods and beverages are sold, which may include, but are not limited to, à la carte options in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and snack or food carts.  Proceeds from competitive food and beverage sales occurring one half hour before to one half hour after meal periods shall be directed to Nutrition Services to maintain the integrity of the GIPS Nutrition Services Program.

Celebrations and Rewards
All foods offered on the school campus must meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standard. This includes celebrations, parties, and classroom snacks whether brought by parents or provided by school staff. Food will not be used as an incentive or reward. The District will provide ideas for non-food incentives and rewards

Fundraising
Foods and beverages that meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards may be sold through fundraisers on the school campus during the school day. The District will make available to parents and teachers a list of healthy fundraising ideas or comparable resources.

Foods that will not be consumed on school premises may be used for fundraising activities https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/allfoods_fundraisers.pdf.

Fundraising Activities
Activities to raise funds by involving the school community in wellness promotion through physical activity, nutrition, and mindful living:

  • Healthy Fundraisers
    • Schools encourage organizations to raise funds by selling non-food items.
    • Foods or beverages sold for fundraising cannot be in competition with school meals
  • Ideas for Fundraising
    • Wellness snack sales
    • School dance-off event
    • Jump rope for heart
    • Serve-a-thon
    • Hula hoop-a-thon
    • Talent show
    • Carwash
    • Walking Wednesday

Nutrition Promotion
Nutrition promotion and education positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by using evidence-based techniques and nutrition messages, and by creating food environments that encourage healthy nutrition choices and encourage participation in school meal programs. Students and staff will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout schools, classrooms, gymnasiums, and cafeterias. Nutrition promotion also includes marketing and advertising nutritious foods and beverages to students and is most effective when implemented consistently through a comprehensive approach by school staff, teachers, parents, students and the community.

The District will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus, as well as encourage participation in school meal programs. This promotion will occur through:

Nutrition Education

The District will teach, model, encourage, and support healthy eating by all students. Schools will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • Is 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 integrated into other classroom instruction through subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects;
  • Includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant and participatory activities, such as cooking demonstrations or lessons, promotions, taste-testing, farm visits, and school gardens;
  • Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, and healthy food preparation methods;
  • Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (promotes physical activity/exercise);
  • Links with school meal programs, cafeteria nutrition promotion activities, school gardens, Farm to School programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
  • Teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food and beverage marketing;
  • Includes nutrition education training for teachers and other staff; and
  • Incorporates nutrition education for parents/guardians at a minimum of one existing school event per year utilizing approved materials available through the District. 

Essential Healthy Eating Topics in Health Education
The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of the following essential topics on healthy eating:

  • Relationship between healthy eating and personal health and disease prevention
  • Food guidance from MyPlate
  • Reading and using FDA's nutrition fact labels
  • Eating a variety of foods every day
  • Balancing food intake and physical activity
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products
  • Choosing foods that are low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and do not contain trans fat
  • Choosing foods and beverages with minimal added sugars
  • Eating more calcium-rich foods
  • Preparing healthy meals and snacks
  • Risks of unhealthy weight control practices
  • Accepting body size differences
  • Food safety
  • Importance of water consumption
  • Importance of eating breakfast
  • Making healthy choices when eating at restaurants
  • Eating disorders
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Reducing sodium intake
  • Social influences on healthy eating, including media, family, peers and culture
  • How to find valid information or services related to nutrition and dietary behavior
  • How to develop a plan and track progress toward achieving a personal goal to eat healthfully
  • Resisting peer pressure related to unhealthy dietary behavior
  • Influencing, supporting, or advocating for others’ healthy dietary behavior

Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools
The District is committed to providing a school environment that ensures opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions. The District strives to teach students how to make informed choices about nutrition, health, and physical activity. These efforts will be weakened if students are subjected to advertising on District property that contains messages inconsistent with the health information the District is imparting through nutrition education and health promotion efforts. It is the intent of the District to protect and promote student’s health by permitting advertising and marketing for only those foods and beverages that are permitted to be sold on the school campus, consistent with the District’s wellness policy.

Any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus during the school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards or, if stronger, state nutrition standards, such that only those foods that comply with or exceed those nutrition standards are permitted to be marketed or promoted to students.

Food and beverage marketing is defined as advertising and other promotions in schools. Food and beverage marketing often includes oral, written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of a food or beverage product made by the producer, manufacturer, seller or any other entity with a commercial interest in the product. This term includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Brand names, trademarks, logos or tags, except when placed on a physically present food or beverage product or its container.
  • Displays, such as on vending machine exteriors
  • Corporate brand, logo, name or trademark on school equipment, such as marquees, message boards, scoreboards or backboards (Note: immediate replacement of these items are not required; however, districts will replace or update scoreboards or other durable equipment when existing contracts are up for renewal or to the extent that it is financially possible over time so that items are in compliance with the marketing policy.)
  • Corporate brand, logo, name or trademark on cups used for beverage dispensing, menu boards, coolers, trash cans and other food service equipment; as well as on posters, book covers, pupil assignment books or school supplies displayed, distributed, offered or sold by the District.
  • Advertisements in school publications or school mailings.
  • Free product samples, taste tests or coupons of a product, or free samples displaying advertising of a product.

As the District/school nutrition services/Athletics Department/PTA/PTO reviews existing contracts and considers new contracts, equipment and product purchasing (and replacement) decisions should reflect the applicable marketing guidelines established by the District wellness policy.

Physical Activity

Physical activity during the school day (including but not limited to recess, classroom physical activity breaks, or physical education) will not be withheld as punishment. Children and adolescents should participate in physical activity every day. A substantial percentage of students’ physical activity can be provided through a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP). A CSPAP reflects strong coordination and synergy across all of the components: quality physical education as the foundation; physical activity before, during, and after school; staff involvement, family, and community engagement.

The Grand Island Public Schools strives to provide physical activity through multiple opportunities throughout the day. Schools will ensure that these varied physical activity opportunities are in addition to, and not as a substitute for, physical education (addressed in “Physical Education” subsection). All schools in the District will be encouraged to participate in movement activities such Brain Breaks, or comparable programs, in order to successfully address all CSPAP areas.

The District will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe and that equipment is available to students to be active. The District will conduct necessary inspections and repairs.

Physical Education

The District implements physical education, using an age-appropriate, sequential physical education curriculum. The physical education curriculum will promote the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and will help students develop skills to engage in lifelong healthy habits, as well as incorporate essential health education concepts.

All students will be provided equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes. The District will make appropriate accommodations to allow for equitable participation for all students and will adapt physical education classes and equipment as necessary. The District’s physical education program will promote student physical fitness through curriculum based fitness and activity assessments such as FitnessGram or other appropriate assessment tools.

Essential Physical Activity Topics in Health Education
Health education will be required in all elementary grades and the District will require middle and high school students to take and pass at least one health education course. The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of the following essential topics on physical activity:

  • The physical, psychological, or social benefits of physical activity
  • How physical activity can contribute to a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle
  • How physical activity can contribute to the academic learning process
  • How an inactive lifestyle contributes to chronic disease
  • Health-related fitness, that is, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition
  • Differences between physical activity, exercise and fitness Phases of an exercise session, that is, warm up, workout and cool down
  • Overcoming barriers to physical activity
  • Decreasing sedentary activities, such as TV watching and gaming
  • Opportunities for physical activity in the community
  • Preventing injury during physical activity
  • Weather-related safety, for example, avoiding heat stroke, hypothermia and sunburn while being physically active
  • How much physical activity is enough, that is, determining frequency, intensity, time and type of physical activity
  • Developing an individualized physical activity and fitness plan
  • Monitoring progress toward reaching goals in an individualized physical activity plan
  • Dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids
  • Social influences on physical activity, including media, family, peers and culture
  • How to find valid information or services related to physical activity and fitness
  • How to influence, support, or advocate for others to engage in physical activity
  • How to resist peer pressure that discourages physical activity.

Recess (Elementary)
All elementary schools will offer at least 30 minutes of recess on all days during the school year. Exceptions may be made as appropriate, such as on early dismissal or special event days. If recess is offered before lunch, transition time will be built in to ensure time for proper hygiene prior to eating. Appropriate hand-washing facilities and/or hand-sanitizing mechanisms should be located just inside/outside the cafeteria to allow students to use these mechanisms before eating.

Outdoor recess will be offered when weather and other conditions make it feasible for outdoor play (see District Recess Guidelines). Recess will complement, not substitute, physical education class. Recess monitors or teachers will encourage students to be active and will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible. In the event that recess must be held indoors, teachers and staff will follow the indoor recess guidelines that promote physical activity for students, to the extent practicable.

Classroom Physical Activity Breaks (Elementary and Secondary)
Students will be offered periodic opportunities to be active or to stretch throughout the day on all or most days during a typical school week. The District recommends teachers provide short (3-5 minute) physical activity breaks to students during and between classes during the school day. These physical activity breaks will complement, not substitute, for physical education class, recess, and class transition periods.

Active Academics
Teachers will incorporate movement and kinesthetic learning approaches into “core” subject instruction when possible (e.g., science, math, language arts, social studies and others) and do their part to limit sedentary behavior during the school day. The District will support classroom teachers incorporating physical activity and employing kinesthetic learning approaches into core subjects by providing annual professional development opportunities and resources, including information on leading activities, activity options, as well as making available background material on the connections between learning and movement. Teachers should strive to provide an additional 15-30 minutes of physical activity in the classrooms each day to supplement recess and physical education times. Teachers will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.

Before and After School Activities
The District will encourage students to be physically active before and after school by sponsoring or permitting physical activity clubs, intramurals, and/or interscholastic sports.

Active Transport
The District will support active transport to and from school, such as walking or biking. The District will encourage this behavior by providing as many of the activities listed below as possible, to be selected by each school administration, including but not limited to:

  • Promote activities such as participation in International Walk to School Week and National Walk and Bike to School Week
  • Secure storage for bicycles and helmets (e.g., shed, cage, fenced area, bike rack)
  • Instruction on walking/bicycling safety provided to students
  • Use crossing guards
  • Use crosswalks on streets leading to schools
  • Use walking school buses

Other Activities that Promote Student/Staff Wellness

Description of basic guidelines
The District will integrate nutritional, physical, and mental wellness activities across the entire school setting, and work towards the same set of goals and objectives promoting student and staff well-being, optimal development and strong educational outcomes.

All school-sponsored events will adhere to the wellness policy guidelines. All school-sponsored wellness events will include nutritional, physical, and mental activity and healthy eating opportunities when appropriate.

Community Partnerships
The District will develop, enhance, or continue relationships with community partners (e.g., hospitals, universities/colleges, local businesses, extension office providers, and coordinators, etc.) in support of this wellness policy implementation. Existing and new community partnerships and sponsorships will be evaluated by a designated Wellness representative to ensure that they are consistent with the wellness policy and its goals.

Community Health Promotion and Family Engagement
The District will promote to parents/caregivers, families, and the general community the benefits of and approaches for healthy eating and physical activity throughout the school year. Families will be informed and invited to participate in school-sponsored activities and will receive information about health promotion efforts.  As described in the “Community Involvement, Outreach, and Communications” subsection, the District will use electronic mechanisms (e.g., email or displaying notices on the District’s website), as well as non-electronic mechanisms, (e.g., newsletters, presentations to parents or sending information home to parents), to ensure that all families are actively notified of opportunities to participate in school-sponsored activities and receive information about health promotion efforts.

Staff Wellness and Health Promotion
Research confirms that school employees who participate in wellness activities are less likely to be absent as well as increase their productivity. Grand Island Public Schools, along with Educators Health Alliance (EHA), supports a comprehensive wellness program for all staff. The program seeks to improve overall health for staff, plus the financial benefits of reduced health care costs.

This is achieved by offering bi-monthly programs. These programs offer employees the opportunity to participate in fun, online wellness programs which focus on different topics. There are also incentives which are included with each program and each staff member is entered into a drawing for a gift card if minimum participation is achieved.
http://ehawellness.org/

When feasible, the district will offer professional learning opportunities and resources for staff to increase knowledge and skills about promoting healthy behaviors at school (e.g., increasing the use of kinesthetic teaching approaches or incorporating nutrition lessons into math class). Professional learning will help GIPS staff understand the connections between academics and health and the ways in which health and wellness are integrated into ongoing district reform or academic improvement plans/efforts.

Staff may also utilize wellness options during staff development days or at staff meetings. Activities may include CPR training classes, activity or exercise groups, or healthy recipe exchanges.

References:
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111–296, (the HHFK Act)
PL 108.265 Section 204 (Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004)
     42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act of 1966)
     42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq. Section 305 and 361 (National School Lunch Act)
Public Law 111–296, Dec. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 3183.
     42 U.S.C. 1753(b)(3)(A).
     CFR Parts 210 and 220; 77 Fed. Reg. 17 (Jan. 26, 2012).
     42 U.S.C. 1779(a), emphasis added.
     42 U.S.C. 1779(b).
National School Lunch Program Fact Sheet, USDA Food Nutrition Service (October 2011). Available on the USDA website at: www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/.

Policy Adopted 12-8-05
Policy Revised: 08.08.2013
Policy Revised: 06.08.2017
Policy Revised: 07.09.2020

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Media Inquiries
Joshua Planos, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127
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