Wellness Policy



Whereas, children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;

Whereas, good health fosters student attendance and education;

Whereas, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity;

Whereas, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States, and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood;

Whereas, only 2% of children (2 to 19 years) eat a healthy diet consistent with the five main recommendations from the Food guide Pyramid;

Whereas, nationally, the items most commonly sold from school vending machines, school stores, and snack bars include low-nutrition foods and beverages, such as soda, sports drinks, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies, and snack cakes;

Whereas, school districts around the country are facing significant fiscal and scheduling constraints; and

Whereas, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies:

Thus, the Philip J. Rock Center and School (PRC) is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of the Philip J. Rock Center and School that:

• The school will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing program-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.
• All students in 3 classes will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
• Foods and beverages served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
• Qualified child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of nutritious and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
• To the maximum extent practicable, PRC will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program [including after-school snacks], and Child and Adult Care Food Program [including suppers]).
• Schools will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.


I. School Health Committee

The school will create, strengthen, or work within the existing Quality Assurance Committee to develop, implement, monitor, review and, as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity policies. The committee also will serve as resources to school sites for implementing those policies.

II. Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on Campus

School Meals

Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

• be appealing and attractive to children;
• be served in clean and pleasant settings;
• meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state and federal statutes and regulations;
• offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
• serve only low fat or fat-free milk and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA); and
• ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.

Schools should engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. In addition, schools should share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents.

Meal Times and Scheduling.

• Schools will provide students with at least 45 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 45 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
• should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.;
• should not schedule activities during mealtimes, unless student may eat during such activities;
• will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and
• should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).

Qualifications of School Food Service Staff. Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of the school district’s responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals in schools. Staff development programs should include appropriate certification and/or training programs for dietitian supervisor and cooks, according to their levels of responsibility.

Snacks. Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations. The program will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.

• If eligible, schools that provide snacks through after-school programs will pursue receiving reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program.

Rewards. Schools will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages, as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.

Celebrations. Schools should limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. Each party should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above). The program will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.

School-sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, dances, or performances). Foods and beverages offered will meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages.

III. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing

Nutrition Education and Promotion PRC aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

• is offered at each grade level as part of a developmentally appropriate, sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program 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 classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects.
• includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens;
• promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
• emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
• links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services; and
• includes training for teachers and other staff.

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting. For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:

• developmentally appropriate classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically-active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;
• opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons; and
• classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.

Communications with Parents. PRC will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. PRC will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.

Staff Wellness. PRC highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

IV. Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

Daily Physical Education (P.E.) K-12. All students in all classes, including students with disabilities, special health-care needs, and in alternative educational settings, will receive physical education of 120 minutes/week for elementary, middle, and high school students for the entire school year. All physical education will be taught by a certified Adapted Physical Education teacher. Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity, as appropriate to abilities and special needs.

V. Monitoring and Policy Review

Monitoring. The Chief Administrator or designee will ensure compliance with established program-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. The school director or designee will ensure compliance with those policies and will report on the school’s compliance to the school chief administrator or designee.

School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the chief administrator. In addition, the school program will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review finding and any resulting changes. If PRC has not received a SMI review from the state agency within the past five years, the district will request from the state agency that a SMI review be scheduled as soon as possible.

Policy Review. To help with the initial development of the district’s wellness policies, PRC will conduct a baseline assessment of the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies. The results of those school-by-school assessments will be complied at the district level to identify and prioritize needs.

Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, PRC will review our nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements. PRC will, as necessary, review the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.

Revised and Approved 1/25/12