Northern Lights Community School Wellness Team Members:
Donna Hanson-Kaasa (Staff)
Jill Hawk (Staff)
Todd Hassell (Volunteer)
Autumn O’Brien (Student)
Rachel Carlson (Staff / Chef)
School Wellness Policy
The Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004 requires all educational entities participating in the National School Lunch Program to establish local school wellness policies. In 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (the Act) regulations added Section 9A to expand upon the previous local wellness policy requirement from the Reauthorization.
The 2010 legislation strengthens wellness policies by emphasizing ongoing implementation and assessment. This provision also supports a robust process at the community level, including the expansion of the team of collaborators participating in the wellness policy development. This approach is intended to foster broad-based support for effective wellness policies.
The Act requires the local education agency (LEA) to inform and update the public (including parents and students) about the content and implementation of the local wellness policies. Schools typically post this information on the school or district website. LEAs are also required to measure and make available to the public periodic assessments of the local wellness policy, including:
- The extent to which schools are in compliance with the local wellness policy.
- The extent to which the LEA’s local wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies.
- The progress made in attaining the goals of the local wellness policy.
Finally, the Act requires LEAs to designate officials, as appropriate, to ensure that each school complies with the local school wellness policy.
Components the Wellness Policy Law:
- Goals for nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities.
- Nutrition guidelines for all foods available on each school campus during the school day.
- Guidelines for reimbursable school meals that are no less restrictive than those issued for the National School Lunch Program.
- Implementation and evaluation plans of the local wellness policy.
- Community involvement.
- Nutrition promotion.
The following organizations have a wealth of wellness policy information.
- Minnesota Department of Health website offers laws, guides and samples from districts throughout Minnesota.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service – Local School Wellness Policy website includes wellness policy reference materials and sample policies.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wellness site offers help in designing, implementing, and promoting policies. School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Among Youth, is a publication from the CDC that includes evidence-based guidance for schools on how to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools. The guidelines serve as the foundation for developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based policies and practices for K-12 grade students.
Wellness Policy – Updated Aug.2015
From January 6, 2014 to March 7, 2014 the EdVisions Cooperative schools are participating in a Wellness Challenge. The Lafayete Charter School has challenged the other EdVisions sites to a friendly competition called “Walking our Way to Wellness.” The EdVisions board of directors has approved the challenge and budgeted prize money for the winners.
Walking our Way to Wellness is a simple plan with the possibility of life-changing results. We hope to encourage exercise, healthy eating, portion control, stress relief, weight management, peer coaching, and overall good health.
The winners will be:
- The school with the highest average of weight loss per participant.
- The school with the highest ratio of participants to staff signed up by February 1.
- The school with the highest ratio of participants to staff who complete the program & report change in weight.
- The school with the highest total minutes walked (or exercised aerobically) and reported.
Four prizes of at least $250 each will be awarded to the four EdVisions Cooperative sites that win in the categories listed above. A site may win only one prize. In addition, every site will receive two books filled with heart-healthy motivational and educational information.
On February 1, NLCS has won the “highest ratio of participants to staff signed up by February 1.” NLCS staff are continuing to “walk our way to wellness” and will attempt to “win” the remaining categories regardless of the prize allocations. We are not at all competitive.