School Wellness Policy
The National School Lunch Act of 1946, designed by Congress, established the National School Lunch Program to safeguard the health and nutritional well-being of our nation’s children. In 1975, Congress amended this Act by adding a school breakfast component.
Under the National School Lunch Act, Congress appropriates funds, which are administered by State agencies and passed to local school districts in the form of reimbursements for each meal served in the breakfast and lunch programs.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required major reform to school breakfast and school lunch programs. Significant changes include a focus on feeding children all year in communities where poverty and lower income families need additional support, changes to meal planning, fiscal accountability, annual review processes, and professional development for food services departments.
Buxmont Academy recognizes the importance of nutrition education, physical activity and physical education for students’ well-being and readiness to learn. The Board and staff are committed to providing a school environment that promotes proper nutrition, nutrition education and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience. Students will learn about and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices that can improve student achievement. The Board adopts this policy based on the recommendations of the Wellness Committee and in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations.
The Director of the school lunch program is responsible to ensure that Buxmont Academy complies with the policy.
To ensure the health and well-being of all Buxmont students, the Board establishes that Buxmont shall provide to students:
- A comprehensive nutrition program consistent with federal and state requirements.
- Access at reasonable cost to foods and beverages that meet established nutrition guidelines.
- Physical education courses and opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day.
- Curriculum- and grade-appropriate programs that are designed to educate students about proper nutrition and lifelong physical activity, in accordance with Pennsylvania State Board of Education curriculum regulations and academic standards.
The Executive Director shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of this policy to ensure all Buxmont Academy schools, programs and curricula comply with this policy, related policies and established guidelines or administrative regulations.
The school building program director shall annually report to the Executive Director regarding compliance in their school. Staff members responsible for programs related to school wellness shall report to the Executive Director regarding the status of such programs.
The Executive Director shall annually report to the Board regarding Buxmont Academy’s compliance with law and policies related to school wellness. The report may include:
- Assessment of school environment regarding school wellness issues.
- Evaluation of food services program.
- Review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines.
- Listing of activities and programs conducted to promote nutrition and physical activity.
- Recommendations for policy and/or program revisions.
- Suggestions for improvement in specific areas.
- Feedback received from Buxmont Academy staff, students, parents/guardians, community members and the Wellness Committee.
The Executive Director and the established Wellness Committee shall conduct an assessment at least once every three (3) years on the contents and implementation of this policy as part of a continuous improvement process to strengthen the policy and ensure implementation. This triennial assessment shall be made available to the public in an accessible and easily understood manner and include:
- The extent to which each Buxmont Academy school is in compliance with law and policies related to school wellness.
- The extent to which this policy compares to model wellness policies.
- A description of progress made by Buxmont Academy in attaining the goals of this policy.
At least once every three (3) years, Buxmont Academy shall update or modify this policy as needed, based on the results of the most recent triennial assessment and/or as Buxmont Academy and community needs and priorities change; wellness goals are met; new health science, information and technologies emerge; and new federal or state guidance or standards are issued. Buxmont Academy shall annually inform and update the public, including parents/guardians, students and others in the community, about the content, revisions and implementation of this policy via the Buxmont Academy website, newsletters, posted notices and/or other efficient communication methods. This annual notification shall include information about how to access the School Wellness policy; the most recent triennial assessment; how to participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the School Wellness policy; and a means of contacting the Wellness Committee leadership.
Buxmont Academy shall retain records documenting compliance with the requirements of the School Wellness policy, which shall include:
- The written School Wellness Policy.
Documentation demonstrating that Buxmont Academy has informed the public, on an annual basis, about the contents of the School Wellness policy and any updates to the policy.
- Documentation of efforts to review and update the School Wellness policy, including who is involved in the review and methods used by Buxmont Academy to inform the public of their
ability to participate in the review.
- Documentation demonstrating the most recent assessment on the implementation of the School Wellness policy and notification of the assessment results to the public.
Buxmont Academy shall establish a Wellness Committee comprised of the following: Buxmont Board member, Buxmont Academy administrator, Buxmont Academy food service representative, student, parent/guardian, school health professional, physical education teacher and member of the public. It shall be the goal that committee membership will include representatives from each school building and reflect the diversity of the community.
The Wellness Committee shall serve as an advisory committee regarding student health issues and shall be responsible for developing, implementing and periodically reviewing and updating a School Wellness policy that complies with law to recommend to the Board for adoption.
The Wellness Committee shall review and consider evidence-based strategies and techniques in establishing goals for nutrition education and promotion, physical activity and other school-based activities that promote student wellness as part of the policy development and revision process.
Nutrition education will be provided within the sequential, comprehensive health education program in accordance with curriculum regulations and the academic standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences.
Nutrition education at Buxmont Academy shall teach, model, encourage and support healthy eating by students. Promoting student health and nutrition enhances readiness for learning and increases student achievement.
Nutrition education shall provide all students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lives.
Nutrition education lessons and activities shall be age appropriate.
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 participation in school meal programs.
Buxmont Academy staff shall cooperate with agencies and community organizations to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition.
Buxmont Academy schools shall offer resources about health and nutrition to encourage parents/guardians to provide healthy meals for their children.
Buxmont Academy schools shall strive to provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day for all students. Students shall participate daily in a variety of age-appropriate physical activities designed to achieve optimal health, wellness, fitness and performance benefits.
A physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students shall be maintained.
Physical activity shall not be used or withheld as a form of punishment.
A sequential physical education program consistent with curriculum regulations and Health, Safety and Physical Education academic standards shall be developed and implemented. All Buxmont Academy students must participate in physical education.
Safe and adequate equipment, facilities and resources shall be provided for physical education courses.
Physical education shall be taught by certified health and physical education teachers.
Physical education classes shall be the means through which all students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
Physical education classes shall have a teacher-student ratio comparable to those of other courses for safe and effective instruction.
Physical activity shall not be used or withheld solely as a form of punishment.
Other School-Based Activities
Safe drinking water shall be available and accessible to students, without restriction and at no cost to students, at all meal periods and throughout the school day.
Nutrition professionals who meet hiring criteria established by Buxmont Academy and in compliance with federal regulations shall administer the school meals program. Professional development and continuing education shall be provided for Buxmont Academy nutrition staff, as required by federal regulations.
Buxmont Academy schools shall provide adequate space, as defined by Buxmont Academy, for eating and serving school meals.
Students shall be provided a clean and safe meal environment.
Students shall be provided adequate time to eat: ten (10) minutes sit-down time for breakfast; twenty (20) minutes sit-down time for lunch.
Students shall have access to hand washing or sanitizing before meals and snacks.
Buxmont Academy shall maintain a healthy school environment to optimize conditions for learning and minimize potential health risks to students, in accordance with Buxmont Academy’s school environmental health program and applicable laws and regulations.
Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods/Beverages at School
All foods and beverages available at Buxmont Academy schools during the school day shall be offered to students with consideration for promoting student health and reducing obesity. Foods and beverages provided through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs shall comply with established federal nutrition standards.
No Competitive foods are offered or sold to students on school campus during the school day that are not part of the reimbursable school breakfast or lunch.
Fundraiser Exemptions – Buxmont currently does not have any fundraising activities held during the school day involving the sale of competitive foods. If that changes, we shall limit such activities to foods that meet the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. Any competitive foods available for sale shall meet or exceed the established federal nutrition standards (USDA Smart Snacks in School). These standards shall apply in all locations and through all services where foods and beverages are sold to students and may include but are not limited to à la carte options in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, snack carts and fundraisers.
Non-Sold Competitive Foods
Non-sold competitive foods available to students, which may include but are not limited to foods and beverages offered as rewards and incentives, at classroom parties and celebrations, or as shared classroom snacks, shall meet or exceed the standards established by Buxmont Academy.
If the offered competitive foods do not meet or exceed the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, the following standards shall apply:
- Rewards and Incentives
Foods and beverages shall not be used as a reward for classroom or school activities unless the reward is an activity that promotes a positive nutrition message (e.g., guest chef, field trip to a farm or farmers market, etc.).
- Classroom Parties and Celebrations
Classroom parties and celebrations with food and/or beverages shall be limited to no more than one (1) per month in each classroom.
- Shared Classroom Snacks
Shared classroom snacks are not permitted in Buxmont Academy schools.
Buxmont Academy shall provide a list of suggested nonfood ideas and healthy food and beverage alternatives to parents/guardians and staff, which may be posted via the Buxmont Academy website, student handbook, newsletters, posted notices and/or other efficient communication methods.
We currently do not market or promote foods and beverages, but if we decide to do so, we will follow the requirements.
Any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus during the school day shall meet or exceed the established federal nutrition standards (USDA Smart Snacks in School)
and comply with established Board policy and administrative regulations.
Exclusive competitive food and/or beverage contracts shall be approved by the Board, in accordance with provisions of law. Existing contracts shall be reviewed and modified to the extent feasible to ensure compliance with established federal nutrition standards, including applicable marketing restrictions.
Management of Food Allergies in Buxmont Academy Schools
Buxmont Academy shall establish Board policy and administrative regulations to address food allergy management in Buxmont Academy schools in order to:
- Reduce and/or eliminate the likelihood of severe or potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.
- Ensure a rapid and effective response in case of a severe or potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
- Protect the rights of students by providing them, through necessary accommodations when required, the opportunity to participate fully in all school programs and activities.
Safe Routes to School
All students are transported to Buxmont Academy by their referring school district. For students referred by County Children and Youth agencies or Juvenile Probation to our day treatment program,
the home district provides transportation. Students attending Buxmont Academy who are in our foster care program are transported by the home district of the foster home.
Buxmont Academy shall assess and, to the extent possible, implement improvements to make walking and biking to school safer and easier for students.
Buxmont Academy shall cooperate with local municipalities, public safety agencies, police departments and community organizations to develop and maintain safe routes to school.
Buxmont Academy administrators shall seek and utilize available federal and state funding for safe routes to school, when appropriate.