- Section J: Students
JL - WELLNESS POLICY
The Board recognizes that student wellness is a key factor in students’ healthy development and readiness to learn. The Board is committed to providing a school environment that supports student wellness, healthy food choices, nutrition education, physical education, and regular physical activity. The Board prioritizes educating students to make wise choices regarding their own physical, mental, and social-emotional health and well-being.
A. Specific Goals
RSU 21’s nutrition education and physical education programs shall be based on research, shall be consistent with the expectations established in the parameters for essential instruction of Maine’s system of Learning Results, and shall be designed to build the skills and knowledge that all students need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Accordingly, the Board adopts the following goals:
Nutrition Promotion and Education
Provide nutrition education, aligned with the parameters for essential instruction in Maine’s system of Learning Results, to support students’ safe and healthy eating behaviors and nutritional choices.
Post nutritional messages, consistent with the federal nutritional standards, on school premises in places such as the cafeteria.
Provide opportunities for physical activity for all students, including developmentally-appropriate physical education classes, recess periods for elementary school students, and extracurricular activities (clubs, intramural and interscholastic athletics).
Other School-Based Activities to Promote Wellness
Create a positive school culture that supports safe, responsible, and ethical technology use (such as Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 in partnership with Maine Health).
Raise awareness about substance abuse and provide support for appropriate interventions (for example, programming to prevent vaping).
B. Standards for Food and Beverages Sold to Students.
All food and beverages sold on school grounds during the school day shall meet federal standards for nutrition.
Nutrition Standards for Meals Served through the School Meals Program
Foods and beverages sold through the school meals program shall meet the nutrition standards of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.
Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods
Foods and beverages sold outside of the school meals program but during the school day (referred to as “competitive” foods and beverages) shall meet the Smart Snacks standards. No organization shall sell snacks during the lunch periods. “School day” is defined to include thirty minutes after the end of the school day.
Food marketing on school grounds during the school day may only market food and beverages that meet federal nutritional standards.
To promote proper hydration, free drinking water will be available to all students throughout the day in each school, including during meal periods.
C. Standards for Food and Beverages Provided (But Not Sold) to Students
RSU 21 believes that food and beverages provided to students during the school day (including thirty minutes after the end of the school day) should support healthy eating. Information will be sent to parents/guardians emphasizing the importance of providing healthy treats for students.
Food and beverages served at parties or celebrations during the school day should meet federal Smart Snacks standards.
D. Implementation and Oversight
The Superintendent shall be responsible for the overall implementation and oversight of this policy, for monitoring efforts, maintaining necessary records, and for reporting progress on wellness programming to the Board. The Superintendent may delegate specific responsibilities to other administrators and staff as appropriate.
The Superintendent or designee shall appoint a system-wide Wellness Committee comprised of members from the following groups: the School Board, school administrators, Food Service, students, parents and families, the community, school nurses, physical education teachers, and others determined by the Superintendent/designee.
The Wellness Committee serves as an advisory committee for developing, revising, and implementing the wellness policy with approval of the Board. The Superintendent or designee may delegate other specific and related responsibilities to the Wellness Committee and/or school administrators and staff as he/she deems appropriate.
The Wellness Committee will periodically provide opportunities for the public and community to provide input into wellness programs, including parents, students, and representatives from Food Service, teachers (including physical education teachers), school health professionals, the school board, and school administrators.
Monitoring and Assessment
The Superintendent/designee will conduct an assessment of this policy at least every three years. Assessments will review progress made towards wellness goals under this policy, overall compliance with the policy, and any other measure required under applicable law. The policy will be updated as necessary to support its goals.
The Superintendent/designee will annually notify the public about this policy, updates to the policy, and implementation progress by posting pertinent information on the RSU 21 website, and/or presenting information at Board meetings. The triennial assessment of wellness activities conducted under this policy will also be made available to the public.
Legal References: 42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq.
7 C.F.R. Part 210 et seq.
20-A M.R.S.A. § 6601
20-A M.R.S.A. § 6662
Maine Department of Education Rule Chapter 132
- Section J