The health and physical well-being of students directly affects their ability to learn. Childhood obesity increases the incidence of adult diseases occurring in children and adolescents such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The increased risk carries forward into their adulthood. Research indicates that a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent obesity and the diseases resulting from it. It is understood that the eating habits and exercise patterns of students cannot be magically changed overnight, but at the same time, the Board of Directors believes it is necessary to strive to create a culture in our schools that consistently promote good nutrition and physical activity. The problem of obesity and inactivity is a public health issue. The Board of Directors is keenly aware that it has taken years for this problem to reach its present level and will similarly take years to correct. The responsibility for addressing the problem lies not only with the schools and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), but with the community and its residents, organizations, and agencies. Therefore, the District shall enlist the support of the larger community to find solutions that improve the health and physical activity of our students.
To enhance the district’s efforts to improve the health of our students, a School Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Committee (SNPAAC) shall be formed. It shall be structured in a way to ensure age-appropriate recommendations are made that correlate to the District’s grade configurations. The SNPAAC shall have the powers and responsibilities delegated to it by statute and Rule and are incorporated into this policy by reference. The overarching goal of the committee shall be to promote student wellness by monitoring how well the District is doing at implementing this policy. The SNPAAC shall use modules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 of the Centers For Disease Control’ (CDC) School Health Index as a basis for annually assessing each school’s progress toward meeting the requirements of this policy. The results of the annual assessment shall be included in each school’s ACSIP, provided to each school’s principal, and reported to the board. Goals and objectives for nutrition and physical activity shall also be included in the ACSIP.
The SNPAAC shall be made up of Individuals from the following groups to the extent interested persons from each group desire to be included in the development, implementation, and periodic review of the District's wellness policy:
● Members of the District’s Board of Directors;
● School administrators;
● School nutrition personnel;
● Teacher organizations;
● Teachers of physical education;
● Professional groups (such as nurses);
● School health professionals (such as school nurses, school counselors, and social workers); and
● Community members.
The SNPAAC shall provide written recommendations to the District’s Child Nutrition Director concerning menus and other foods sold in the school cafeteria. Such recommendations shall be based, at least in part, on the information the Committee receives from the District on the requirements and standards of the National School Lunch Program and from menus for the National School Lunch Program and other food sold in the school cafeteria on a quarterly basis.
The SNPAAC will meet at least quarterly. Meeting dates for the SNPAAC will be placed on the District’s calendar.
School Health Coordinator
To assist the SNPAAC in ensuring that the District fulfills the requirements of this policy, a District level School Health Coordinator (Designated District Official) shall be appointed. In addition, a school level school Health Coordinator shall be appointed who shall be responsible for assisting the District level School Health Coordinator in ensuring that each school fulfills the requirements of this policy.
In its efforts to improve the school nutrition environment, promote student health, and reduce childhood obesity, the District will adhere to the ADE Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards And Body Mass Index For Age Assessment Protocols. To promote nutrition, physical activity, and other school-based activities that will improve student wellness, the District, working with the SNPAAC, has established the following goals:
1. Implement a grade-appropriate nutrition education program that will develop an awareness of and appreciation for nutrition and physical activity throughout the curriculum;
2. Enforce existing physical education requirements and engage students in healthy levels of vigorous physical activity;
3. Strive to improve the quality of physical education curricula and increase the training of physical education teachers;
4. Follow the Arkansas Physical Education and Health Education Frameworks in grades K-12;
5. Not use food or beverages as rewards for academic, classroom, or sports performances;
6. Establish class schedules and bus routes that do not directly or indirectly restrict meal access;
7. Provide students with ample time to eat their meals in pleasant cafeteria and dining areas;
8. Abide by the current allowable food and beverage portion standards;
9. Meet or exceed the more stringent of Arkansas’ or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Nutrition Standards for reimbursable meals and a la’ carte foods served in the cafeteria;
10. Restrict access to competitive foods as required by law and Rule;
11. Conform new and/or renewed vending contracts to the content restrictions contained in the Rules and reduce district dependence on profits from the sale of competitive foods.
12. Provide professional development to all district staff on the topics of nutrition and/or physical activity;
13. Utilize the School Health Index available from the CDC to assess how well the district is doing at implementing this wellness policy and at promoting a healthy environment for its students.
Food and Beverages Outside of the District’s Food Service Programs
The District will insure that drinking water is available without charge to all students throughout the school including, but not limited to, in the District’s food service areas.
All food and beverages sold to students on school campus during the school day by school administrators or school non-licensed or licensed staff (principals, coaches, teachers, club sponsors, etc.); students or student groups; parents or parent groups; or another person, company, or organization associated with the school shall meet the Federal Smart Snacks requirements and Arkansas Nutrition Standards at a minimum. These restrictions include, but are not limited to, food and beverages sold in vending venues (machines, ice chests, cabinets) in school stores or as part of school fundraisers.
All food and beverages provided, but not sold, to students on the school campus during the school day by school administrators or school non-licensed or licensed staff (principals, coaches, teachers, club sponsors, etc.); students or student groups; parents or parent groups; or another person, company, or organization associated with the school shall meet the Federal Smart Snacks requirements and Arkansas Nutrition Standards at a minimum.9 These restrictions include, but are not limited to, food and beverages provided in vending venues (machines, ice chests, cabinets) in school stores or as part of school fundraisers.
Up to a maximum of nine (9) times per school year, school administration may schedule school-wide events where food and beverages provided to students are not required to meet the Federal Smart Snacks standards during the scheduled time. The schedule of the events shall be by the school, approved by the principal, and shall be part of the annual school calendar.
Food and beverages outside of the District’s food service programs may not be sold, served, or provided to students in the District’s food service areas during meal times.
Elementary students shall not have in-school access to vending machines.
The District does not place nutrition restrictions on food or beverages brought from home that are intended for personal consumption only.
In accordance with the USDA regulations, oral, written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of a food or beverage product that are made by the producer, manufacturer, seller, or any other entity with a commercial interest in the product shall only be permitted on school campus during the school day if they meet or exceed the Federal Smart Snacks standards. This restriction does not apply to:
▪ Materials used for educational purposes in the classroom, including, but not limited to:
o The use of advertisements as a media education tool; or
o Designing and implementing the health or nutrition curriculum;
▪ Clothing, apparel, or other personal items used by students and staff;
▪ The packaging of products brought from home for personal consumption; and
▪ Currently existing advertisements on school property, including but not limited to, the exterior of vending machines, posters, menu boards, coolers, trash cans, cups used for beverage dispensing, and other food service equipment; however, all future contracts and replacement items shall meet the Federal Smart Snacks standards.
The District will work with the SNPAAC to:
a. Encourage participation in extracurricular programs that support physical activity, such as walk-to-school programs, biking clubs, after-school walking etc.;
b. Encourage the implementation of developmentally appropriate physical activity in after-school childcare programs for participating children;
c. Promote the reduction of time youth spend engaged in sedentary activities such as watching television and playing video games; and
d. Encourage the development of and participation in family-oriented community-based physical activity programs.
The District will annually inform the public:
o Of the web address where the policy is located;
o Of any changes made to this policy since the previous year;
o Of the health and wellness priority goals in the District’s ACSIP;
o That a printed copy of the policy may be picked up at the District’s central office; and
o The amounts and specific sources of funds received and expenditures made from competitive food and beverage contracts.
Assessment of District’s Wellness Policy
At least once every three years, with input from the SNPACC, the District shall assess both the District as a whole and individual schools' status in regards to the implementation and compliance of the goals of this policy, including the health and wellness goals in the District’s ACSIP. The assessment shall be based, at least in part, on:
● The extent to which District schools are in compliance with this policy;
● The extent to which this policy compares to other models local school wellness policies;
● The annual reviews of this policy based on modules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 of the CDC’s School Health Index; and
● A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of this policy.
On the years the assessment occurs, the assessment results shall be reported to the public, including parents, students, and other members of the community as part of the District’s annual report to the public. The District will update the wellness policy based on the results of the three (3) year assessment.
The District will place on its website:
▪ The name, District phone number, and District email address for the District Level School Health Coordinator;
▪ The names, district phone numbers, and district email addresses for the School Level School Health Coordinators;5
▪ The names of the members of the SNPAAC;
▪ Meeting dates for the SNPAAC;
▪ Information on how community members may get involved with the SNPAAC;
▪ A copy of this policy;
▪ A copy of the annual review of this policy based on modules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 of the CDC’s School Health Index; and
▪ A copy of the most recent three (3) year assessment of this policy.
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act 42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq. as amended by _ PL 111-296 (Section 204) of 2010. (Section 204 is codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1758(b))
Child Nutrition Act of 1966 42 U.S.C. § 1771 et seq.
7 C.F.R. § 210.18
7 C.F.R. § 210.31
A.C.A. § 6-20-709
A.C.A. §§ 20-7-133, 134, and 135
ADE Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards And Body Mass Index For Age Assessment Protocols Allowable Competitive Foods/Beverages - Maximum Portion Size List for Middle, Junior High, and High School
Commissioner’s Memo CNU-17-010
Commissioner’s Memo CNU-17-013
Commissioner’s Memo CNU-17-016
Nutrition Standards for Arkansas Public Schools
Date Adopted: June 8, 2017
Last Revised: June 8, 2017