• McDowell County Schools

    Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition


    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, 33% of high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and 72% of high school students do not attend daily physical education classes;

    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, 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 McDowell County Board of Education 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 McDowell County Board of Education that:

    · The county schools will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing county-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.

    · All students in grades PK-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.

    · Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition regulations set forth in WVDE Policy 4321.1 and House Bill 2816.

    · To the maximum extent practicable, all schools in McDowell county will participate in available federal school meal programs, including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, After-school Snacks Program, and Summer Food Service Program.

    · 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. Wellness Committee

    • McDowell County will establish a Wellness Committee to develop, implement, monitor, review, and, as necessary, revise this wellness policy.
    • The committee also will serve as resources to school sites for implementing those policies.

    • The McDowell County Wellness Committee will consist of a group of individuals representing the school and community, and will include parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, members of the school board, school administrators, teachers, health professionals, and members of the public.
    • The original Wellness Committee Members, charged with drafting the first Wellness Policy in the Spring of 2006, are:
    • Educational Administrators:
      • Doug Addair Iaeger High School
      • Ann Handy Berwind Elementary K-8
      • Jim Spence Welch Elementary PK-5
      • Dianna Parks Food Service Coordinator
      • Bonita Miano Coordinator of Student Services
    • Health Providers:
      • Janet Sparks, RN McDowell County School Nurse
    • Board of Education:
      • Mike Mitchem Member McDowell County Board of Education


    • Food Service Personnel:
      • Debra Bush Kimball Elementary School
    • Teachers:
      • Leon Gravely Mount View High
      • Michael Tye Sandy River Middle School
      • Michelle Hairston Welch Elementary School
    • Students:
      • Rashad Jones, Jr. Mount View High
      • Bethany Justus Sandy River Middle
      • Ashleigh Belifore Welch Elementary
    • Parents:
      • Chris Lester Iaeger High
      • Karen Matney Berwind Elementary
      • Bonita Dashkovitz Welch Elementary

    II. Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education
    In accordance with WVDE policy 2520.6 Content Standards and

    Objectives for Physical Education and House Bill 2816, each child enrolled in the public schools of this state will actively participate in physical education classes during the school year to the level of his or her ability as follows:


    · Elementary Schools Grades:

    Not less than thirty minutes of physical education, including physical exercise and age appropriate physical activities, for not less than three days a week.

    · Middle School Grades:

    Not less than one full period of physical education, including physical exercise and age appropriate physical activities, each school day of one semester of the school year.

    · High School Grades:

    Not less than one full course credit of physical education, including physical exercise and age appropriate physical activities which shall be required for graduation and the opportunity to enroll in an elective lifetime physical education course.

    · Interscholastic or intramural sports will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

    · Health and physical education programs will incorporate fitness testing, reporting, recognition, fitness events and incentive programs which requires participation in grades four through eight and the required high school course.

    · The program shall be selected from nationally accepted fitness testing programs designed for school-aged children that test cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. The program shall include modified tests for exceptional students.

    · Each school in the state shall participate in National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May of each year and shall make every effort to involve the community it serves in the related events.

    · The State Board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with West Virginia Code that provides for the collection, reporting, and use of body mass index data in the public schools. The information will be collected in a scientifically drawn sample and a confidential manner. This information will be used as an indicator of progress toward promoting healthy lifestyles among school-aged children.

    Daily Recess.

    · All elementary school students will have at least 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.

    · Schools will discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity. When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

    Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School.

    · All elementary, middle, and high schools will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs.

    · All schools, as appropriate, will offer interscholastic sports programs.

    · Schools should offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special health-care needs.

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

    Physical Activity and Punishment.

    · Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.

    Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours.

    · School spaces and facilities should be available to students, staff, and community members before, during, and after the school day, on weekends, and during school vacations.

    · These spaces and facilities also should be available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity and nutrition programs.

    · School policies concerning safety and use of school buildings (including costs thereof) will apply at all times.

    III. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing

    Nutrition Education and Promotion. _

    McDowell County Schools aim is to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students, as stated in WVDE policy 2520.5 (Health Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools).

    Schools shall provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

    · is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;

    · teaches the importance of healthy eating and physical activity to maintain healthy weight;

    · 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;

    · teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; 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:

    · 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.

    · The county/school will support parents" efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.

    · The county/school will offer healthy eating seminars for parents whenever possible, send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school websites, and provide nutrient analyses of school menus.

    · Schools shall encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages stated in this policy.

    · The county will provide parents a list of foods that meet the district"s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities. · In addition, the county/school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
      • The county 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, or physical education homework.

    Food Marketing in Schools.

    · School-based marketing should be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion.

    · As such, schools should limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually (as stated in this policy).[1]

    · The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.

    · Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors should be encouraged. These include: vending machine covers promoting water; pricing structures that promote healthy options in vending machines; sales of fruit for fundraisers; and coupons for discount gym memberships.

    Staff Wellness.

    · McDowell County Board of Education 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.

    · The staff at each McDowell County school should model the healthy lifestyle being taught to their students. (i.e. no soft drinks consumed in view of students, etc.)

    · Each school should establish and maintain a staff wellness committee composed of at least three staff members.

    · The committee should develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness.

    · The plan should be based on input solicited from school staff and should outline ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle among school staff.

    · The staff wellness committee should distribute its plan to the county wellness committee annually.

    IV. 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 the state of West Virginia, and federal statutes and regulations;

    · offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;

    · Offer a variety of milk choices which include lowfat (1%) and fat free milk and nutritionally –equivalent non-dairy alternatives (as defined by USDA) when medically necessitated;

    · and ensure that at least 42% (5 of 12 bread/bread alternate servings per week) are whole grain.

    · Schools should engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. In addition, schools shall share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. Such information could be made available on menus, a website, on cafeteria menu boards, placards, or other point-of-purchase materials.

    Breakfast. To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:

    · Schools will operate the School Breakfast Program.

    · Schools will, to the extent possible, arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve school breakfasts that encourage participation, including serving breakfast in the classroom, “grab-and-go” breakfast, or breakfast during morning break or recess.

    · Schools will encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.

    Summer Food Service Program.

    Schools will participate in the Summer Food Service Program whenever and wherever funding sources are available to conduct summer classes or organized activities for students during the summer months.

    Meal Times and Scheduling. McDowell County Schools, in accordance with West Virginia Board of Education Policy 4320:

    · will provide students with at least 10 minutes after receiving their meal to consume their breakfast and 20 minutes after receiving their meal to consume their lunch;

    · should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; with not less than three hours nor more than four and one-half hours elapsing from the beginning of the school breakfast service to the beginning of the school lunch service;

    · shall not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students are allowed to eat during such activities;

    · should schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools); and

    · will 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 in accordance with WVDE policy 4320. As part of the school district"s responsibility to operate a food service program, they will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals in schools. Staff development programs shall include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, school nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.

    Sharing of Foods and Beverages.

    Schools should discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children"s diets.

    Other Foods and Beverages available during the instructional day.

    (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.)

    According to WVDE Policy 4321.1 and House Bill 2816:

    · All other foods available during the instructional day shall reflect the Dietary Guidelines for fat by limiting the number of fat grams to not more than 8 per one ounce serving, or meet the USDA standard for a meal component.

    · The sale or service of foods containing 40% or more added sugar by weight is prohibited.

    · No candy, soft drinks, chewing gum, or flavored ice bars will be sold or served during the instructional day. McDowell County Board of Education allows the sale of soft drinks at county high schools, as permitted by WVDE policy, except during lunch and breakfast periods.

    · High schools selling soft drinks during the school day must offer for sale healthy beverages. Of the total beverages offered for sale, at least fifty percent shall be healthy beverages. These sales shall be in the same location or substantially similar location as those of soft drinks

    · Healthy beverages are defined as water, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice, low-fat milk and other juice beverages with a minimum of twenty percent real juice.

    · Except for foods served in the school nutrition programs, no food shall be sold in elementary schools from the time the first child arrives until 20 minutes after all students are served lunch .

    · Wherever and whenever foods are sold or otherwise offered on school premises both during and outside the school day, such foods should include nutritious choices.


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


    Schools shall limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than two parties per school term, (as stated in McDowell County Policy 11-020). All food and beverages served during celebrations must meet the above criteria for “other foods”. The county office will assist in determining the validity of an item, and shall distribute a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.

    V. Monitoring and Policy Review


    · The superintendent or designee will ensure compliance with established county-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.

    · In each school, the principal or designee will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school"s compliance to the school superintendent or designee.

    · School food service staff, at the school or district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the Food Service Coordinator and Superintendent. The Food Service Coordinator will conduct periodic on-site monitoring visits to each school.

    · In addition, the county will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes.

    · The superintendent or designee will develop a summary report every five years on county-wide compliance with nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the county. That report will be provided to the school board and also distributed to all school health councils, parent/teacher organizations, school principals, and school health services personnel in McDowell County.

    Policy Review.

    · To help with the initial development of the county"s wellness policies, each school in the district will conduct a baseline assessment of the school"s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies using the Changing the Scene for the Team Nutrition Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)[2]

    · The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the district level to identify and prioritize needs to be incorporated into the creation and revision of this Wellness Policy.

    · At the end of the first year of implementation, a school-by-school assessment will be conducted using the School Health Index (SHI) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The compiled results of this assessment will be used to review and refine the Wellness Policy by the McDowell County Wellness Committee.

    · Assessments will then be repeated every five years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.

    · As part of that review, the County will review 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.

    · The county, and individual schools within the county, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.

    [1] Advertising of low-nutrition foods and beverages is permitted in supplementary classroom and library materials, such as newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and similar media, when such materials are used in a class lesson or activity, or as a research tool.

    [2] Useful self-assessment and planning tools include the School Health Index from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Changing the Scene from the Team Nutrition Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Opportunity to Learn Standards for Elementary, Middle, and High School Physical Education from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.