WELLNESS PROGRAM

North Florida Educational Institute is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.  North Florida Educational Institute is committed to providing a school environment that enhances learning, assists each student with developing lifelong health and wellness practices, and to provide guidance in the areas of nutrition, health, physical activity, and food service. It is the goal of North Florida Educational Institute to improve the overall health of students by decreasing the number of students identified as overweight or at risk of becoming overweight by promoting healthy eating choices, nutrition education and physical activity.

Therefore, it is the policy of North Florida Educational Institute that:

  • The school will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing nutrition and physical activity policies.
  • All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
  • Foods and beverages sold, serviced at school, or items brought from home 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 affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutritional needs of students and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
  • To the maximum extent practicable, North Florida Educational Institute will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the National School Lunch Program).
  • North Florida Educational Institute assures that guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by USDA.
  • North Florida Educational Institute will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish connections between health education and school meal programs along with related community services.

 

TO ACHIEVE THESE POLICY GOALS:

I.  Nutritional Quality of Goods and Beverages Sold, Served, or Brought on Campus

 Academic performance and quality of life are affected by the choice and availability of good foods in our schools. Healthy foods support student physical growth, brain development, resistance to disease, emotional stability and ability to learn.

Nutritional guidelines that require the use of products that are high in fiber, low in added fats, sugar and sodium, and serviced in appropriate portion sizes consistent with the USDA standards will be established for all foods offered by the district’s Nutrition Services Department or contracted vendors.  These standards will be communicated to those parents who prepare lunch for their child at home. This will also ensure that bag lunches contain nutritional foods and beverages. Menu and product selection will utilize students, parents, and staff and community advisory groups whenever possible.

 

School Meals

Meals served through the National School Lunch Program 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; Menus will meet the nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of Florida Department of Education, conforming to appropriate menu planning principles, and featuring a variety of healthy choices that are tasty, attractive, the best possible quality and are served at the proper temperature.
  • offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
  • serve only low-fat (1%) and 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.

North Florida Educational Institute will engage students and parents in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthy and appealing food choices. In addition, the school will share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students.

 

Free and Reduced-priced Meals

North Florida Educational Institute will make every effort to ensure confidentiality, and prevent the overt identification of students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.

 

Meal Times and Scheduling

North Florida Educational Institute will make every effort to:

  • provide student with at least 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
  • schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
  • not schedule tutoring, clubs or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
  • provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks.

 

Qualifications of School Food Service Staff

Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of the school’s responsibility to operate a food service program, we will require continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals. Professional development programs should include appropriate certification and/or training programs for nutrition directors, school nutrition managers and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.

 

Sharing of Foods and Beverages

North Florida Educational Institute will discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restriction on some children’s diets.

 

Snacks

Snacks served during the school day or in after-school programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks.  The school 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 school will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel and parents.

 

Rewards

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

 

Bag Lunches and Snacks Provided by Parents

North Florida Educational Institute will provide guidelines to all parents that will inform them of foods and beverages that will be acceptable to bring in a bag lunch or for snack. This will ensure that healthy choices are not only being made in school but at home as well, which leads to developing lifelong health practices.

 

Celebrations

North Florida Educational Institute will 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.  The school will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.

 

School-sponsored Events (such as field days, parent nights, performances)

Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day will meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually.

 

 

II. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing 

 

Nutrition Education and Promotion

North Florida Educational Institute aims to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students.  The school will make an effort to provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • is offered at each grade level as part of a program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health, which is be based on the Common Core Standards for physical and health education;
  • is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, and social sciences;
  • includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, 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;
  • Includes training for teachers and other staff.

 

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting and Beyond

For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond education class.

Toward that end:

  • Goal: K- 12 students will participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity on a daily basis. Implementation: Physical education class will be made available for all students to participate and additional intramural sports (i.e., basketball, football). Evaluation: Retrieve input from teachers and students regarding satisfaction of the physical education and sports opportunities provided during each quarter. Also review class schedules to ensure that the students are receiving adequate amount of physical education time allotment.
  • Goal: K-12 students will identify opportunities for involvement in physical activities both during and after the school day. Implementation: Provide students with a list of physical activities that they can participate in after school. Provide a list and an incentive for students joining extracurricular sports via local community organizations such as the YMCA (i.e., football, soccer, cheerleading, and basketball). Also, engage students in unique physical games that will take little to no equipment during school hours, thus students can recreate game at home afterschool. Also, ensure that the aftercare program hosted by the school provides several opportunities for participation in physical activities such as flag football and cheerleading. Evaluation: Monitor afterschool program to ensure an array of physical activities are being provided to our students. Interview students to retrieve information on how many are participating in extracurricular sports and are being more active at home.
  • 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;
  • includes training for teachers and other staff.

 

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting and Beyond

For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond education class.

Toward that end:

  • Goal: K- 12 students will participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity on a daily basis. Implementation: Physical education class will be made available for all students to participate and additional intramural sports (i.e., basketball, football) will be available to 6-12th grade students. All students will also have an opportunity to participate in school-wide physical fitness field day. Evaluation: Retrieve input from teachers and students regarding satisfaction of the physical education and sports opportunities provided during each quarter. Also review class schedules to ensure that the students are receiving adequate amount of physical education time allotment.
  • Goal: K-12 students will identify opportunities for involvement in physical activities both during and after the school day. Implementation: Provide students with a list of physical activities that they can participate in after school. Provide a list and an incentive for students joining extracurricular sports via local community organizations such as the YMCA (i.e., football, soccer, cheerleading, and basketball). Also, engage students in unique physical games that will take little to no equipment during school hours, thus students can recreate game at home afterschool. Also, ensure that the aftercare program hosted by the school provides several opportunities for participation in physical activities such as. Evaluation: Monitor afterschool program to ensure an array of physical activities are being provided to our students. Interview students to retrieve information on how many are participating in extracurricular sports and are being more active at home.

 

Communications with Parents

North Florida Educational Institute will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.  The school will communicate the National Food Program guidelines, which will encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages. The school may provide parents a list of foods that meet the school’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, and rewards. In addition, the school may provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.

The school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during and after the school day; and support parents’ efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school.  Such supports will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, parent meetings, or physical education homework.

 

 

III.  Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

 

Physical Education (P.E.)

All students in grades K-12, including students with disabilities, special health-care needs will receive physical education.  Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity will not be substituted for meeting physical education requirements.  Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

 

Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School

After-school childcare and enrichment programs will provide and encourage – verbally and through the provision of space, equipment, nutrition and wellness education, and activities – daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.

 

 

IV. Monitoring, Policy Review and Partnership

 

Monitoring

At NFEI, the principal, or designee will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school.  School food service staff, at the school level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the school principal.  The effectiveness of the Tiger Academy wellness policy will be evaluated and the results will be presented to the Governing Board with the recommended revisions annually.

 

Policy Review, Evaluation and Implementation

As part of the review, North Florida Educational Institute 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.  Assessments will be repeated annually to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.  There will be at least two types of evaluations that will be made available to students, parents, teachers, and food service staff, which will evaluate their satisfaction with our wellness policy and its effectiveness. NFEI will also utilize the School Health Index, which was created by the CDC to assess the strengths and weaknesses of school policies as it relates to health and safety. NFEI will utilize the Wellness Committee as the School Health Index Team, who will be responsible for utilizing this tool to effectively evaluate and address areas weakness of the policy that need to be revised. The School Health Index will also help us to identify the goals that were met and the overall effectiveness of our wellness policy. An informal evaluation/input tool will be made available to parents, students, and teacher via the school’s website and parent meetings to enable ongoing input for the policy. After the policy’s areas of weakness have been discovered then the Wellness Committee will meet to revise those areas and develop a plan to implement the new revisions to the policy.

 

Procedures for public input and revisions

NFEI put announcements to the school newsletter, website and place signs in school to inform the parents about the wellness policy presentation to have input.  The policy has also been sent to designated teachers for feedback.

For ongoing input; the policy will be placed to the school website where the public will have access to view the board approved policy.  In that website, the public and school staff will have a chance to provide ongoing input for areas in need of improvement by writing the school administration.  Those who do not have web access may turn-in their input to the school office.  Annually, all feedback coming from public and school staff will be evaluated and incorporated to the policy and will be presented to the Board.  After getting final inputs from the Board, the reviewed policy will be in effect.

 

Wellness Committee

A primary goal will be to engage family members, students, the Governing Board, school administrators, and the public in development and regular review of this school policy.  The following people involved in developing and monitoring the North Florida Educational Institute wellness policy:  Director, Shelley Poole; Physical Education Teacher and Wellness Coordinator, Coach Chris Brown; Parent Liaisons, Patrina Jones, Roychelle Bogins; School Manager, Erica Hunter; Counselor, Deborah Diamond, Teachers, Christina Parsons, Rico Robinson; Students, Zion Polite, Jaden Jones, Erica Jones;  Food Service, Tameka Kimbrough; Board President, Kim Smith.