The Quakertown Christian School Board believes that children and youth who begin each day as healthy individuals can learn more, learn better, and are more likely to complete their formal education. The Board also believes that healthy staff can more effectively perform their assigned duties and model appropriate wellness behaviors for students. This policy encourages a holistic approach to staff and student wellness that is sensitive to individual and community needs.
Academic performance and quality of life issues are affected by the choice and availability of good foods in our school. Healthy foods support students physical growth, brain development, resistance to disease, emotional stability, and ability to learn.
Nutrition guidelines that require the use of products that are high in fiber, low in added fats, sugar, and sodium, and served in appropriate portion size consistent with USDA standards shall be established for all foods offered by the Food Service Department. Menu and product selection shall utilize student, parent, staff, and community advisory groups whenever possible. Meals served through the National School Lunch Program will:
- Be appealing and attractive to children
- Be served in clean and pleasant settings
- Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Serve grains that are rich in whole grains per federal standards
Food Service policies and guidelines for reimbursable meals shall not be more restrictive than federal and state regulations require. A la carte offerings to students shall be nutritious and meet federally recommended guidelines and shall be selected with input from students, parents, and staff. Information about the nutritional content of meals will be available upon request.
Food service shall support classroom activities for all elementary students that include hands-on applications of good nutrition practices to promote health and reduce obesity.
Free and Reduced Priced Meals
Quakertown Christian School will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.
Meal Times and Scheduling
Quakertown Christian School will:
- Provide students with at least 20 minutes to eat after sitting down for lunch
- Schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1.p.m.
- Not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.
- Schedule recess periods to follow lunch periods (in elementary)
- Provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks
- Take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimen of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff
Qualified professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of Quakertown Christian School’s responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all staff. Development programs should include appropriate certification and/or training programs according to their levels of responsibility.
Sharing of Foods and Beverages
Quakertown Christian School discourages students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions with some children’s diets.
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually
All snack vending, a la carte, and other foods and beverages sold to students during the school day shall meet the federal nutrition guidelines (USDA Smart Snacks in School).
Beverage vending where student meals are served will include:
- Water, unflavored (any size).
- 100% fruit juice (not to exceed 6 oz).
- Milk, 1% low-fat or nonfat (not to exceed 8 oz), flavored or unflavored (not to exceed 30 grams of sugar inclusive of naturally occurring sugar).
- Carbonated beverages will not be sold.
To support children’s health and school nutrition education efforts, Quakertown Christian School will encourage fundraising activities that will promote physical activity. Food fundraisers sold during the school day shall meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (Smart Snacks in School).
Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Quakertown Christian School will assess if and when to offer snacks, based on the timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations. Quakertown Christian School will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.
Quakertown Christian School will limit the use of foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (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.
Quakertown Christian School 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 (above). Quakertown Christian School will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.
School-sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, socials, or 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 (above).
Health Education and Life Skills
Healthy living skills shall be taught as part of the regular instructional program and provide the opportunity for all students to understand and practice concepts and skills related to health promotion and disease prevention.
Quakertown Christian School shall provide:
- An interdisciplinary, sequential skill-based health education program built around state standards and benchmarks.
- Student access to valid and useful health information and health promotion products.
- Student opportunity to practice behaviors that enhance health and/or reduce health risks during the school day and as part of before or after school programs.
- Lessons on communication, goal-setting, and decision-making skills that enhance personal, family, and community health.
- Instruction on promoting and protecting health awareness in math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects.
- Promotion of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices
- Emphasis on the caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise)
- Links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services
- Instruction in media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing
- Training for teachers and other staff.
Physical Education and Activity
Physical education shall be taught by a certified specialist. Physical activity shall be provided by a qualified staff member. Physical education and physical activity shall be an essential element of Quakertown Christian School’s instructional program. The program shall provide the opportunity for all students to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to participate in a lifetime of healthful physical activity.
Physical Education Program
The physical education program shall be designed to stress physical fitness and encourage healthy, active lifestyles. The physical education program shall consist of physical activities of at least moderate intensity and for a duration that is sufficient to provide a significant health benefit to students, subject to the differing abilities of students.
- Participation in such physical activity shall be required for all students in 5- Day Kindergarten through grade five for a minimum of thirty minutes, two days a week, or the equivalent. For the three-day kindergarten program, a minimum of thirty minutes one day a week, or the equivalent.
- Such instruction may be provided for grades 6-8 through formal physical education courses, integration into other courses, regularly scheduled intramural activities, and/or regularly scheduled school-wide activities.
- Students shall be supported in setting and meeting personal fitness goals that result in the achievement and maintenance of a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
- Students shall be provided varied opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and social interaction that will lead to a physically active lifestyle.
- 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.
- Classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.
All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which the recess monitor should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.
Quakertown Christian School discourages 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, Quakertown Christian School will give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School
Quakertown Christian School will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs. The middle school program will offer interscholastic sports programs. Quakertown Christian School will 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 healthcare needs.
After-school care and enrichment 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.
Healthy and Safe Environment
A healthy and safe environment for all, before, during, and after school, supports academic success. Safer communities promote healthier students. Healthier students do better in school and make greater contributions to their community.
- School buildings and grounds, structures, buses, and equipment shall meet all current health and safety standards, including environmental air quality, and be kept inviting, clean, safe, and in good repair.
- School offices shall maintain an environment that is free of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.
- Safety procedures and appropriate training for students and staff shall support personal safety and violence and harassment-free environment.
- School and classroom shall work to create an environment where students, parents/guardians, and staff are respected, valued, and accepted with high expectations for personal behavior and accomplishments.
Social and Emotional Well-Being
Programs and services that support and value the social and emotional well-being of students, families, and staff build a healthy school environment.
- The school shall provide a supportive environment that includes guidance, counseling, and school social work services that encourage students, families, and staff to request assistance when needed and links them to school or community resources.
- Students shall be provided the skills to express thoughts and feelings in a responsible manner and give and receive support from others.
- Students shall be taught to understand and respect the differences in others and how to build positive interpersonal relations.
- Students and staff shall be encouraged to balance work and recreation and helped to become aware of stressors that may interfere with healthy development.
An effective health care delivery system that promotes academic achievement by providing a broad scope of services from qualified health care providers will improve the mental and physical health of students and staff.
- Primary coordination of health services shall be through a trained school health care practitioner with the support and direction of Quakertown Christian School, Quakertown School District, and the Bucks County Health Department.
- Quakertown Christian School shall collaborate with Quakertown School District and community health liaisons and resources to promote health and wellness for students, families, staff, and the community.
- A coordinated program of accessible health services shall be provided to students and staff and shall include violence prevention, school safety, communicable disease prevention, health screening, including Body Mass Index (BMI), community health referrals, immunizations, parenting skills, first aid, and other priority health education topics.
Family, School, and Community Partnership
Long-term, effective partnerships improve the planning and implementation of health promotion projects and events within the school and throughout the community.
- Family, student and community partners shall be included on an ongoing basis in school wellness planning processes.
- The equality and diversity of the school shall be valued in planning and implementing wellness activities.
- Community partnerships shall be developed and maintained as a resource for school programs, projects, activities, and events.
- The school shall actively develop and support the engagement of students, families, and staff in community health-enhancing activities and events at the school or throughout the community.
Communication with Parents
Quakertown Christian School will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. Quakertown Christian School encourages parents to pack healthful lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages. Quakertown Christian School will provide parents a list of foods that meet the school’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities. In addition, the school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
Quakertown Christian 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, or physical education homework.
Food Marketing in Schools
School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, Quakertown Christian School will 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 (USDA Smart Snacks in School). School-based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
Examples of marketing techniques include the following: logos and brand names on/in vending machines, books or curricula, textbook covers, school supplies, scoreboards, school structures, and sports equipment; educational incentive programs that provide food as a reward; programs that provide schools supplies when families buy low-nutrition food products; in-school television, such as Channel One; free samples or coupons; and food sales through fundraising activities. Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors (and are therefore allowable) include: vending machine covers promoting water; pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines; sales of fruit for fundraisers; and coupons for discount gym memberships.
Quakertown Christian School shall provide information about wellness resources and services and establish a staff committee to assist in identifying and supporting the health, safety, and well-being of site staff.
- The school shall be in compliance with drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free policies.
- The school shall provide an accessible and productive work environment free from physical dangers or emotional threats that is as safe as possible and consistent with applicable occupation and health laws, policies, and rules.
- Employees shall be encouraged to engage in daily physical activity during the workday as part of work breaks and/or lunch periods, before or after work hours in site-sponsored programs, or as part of discounted membership in local fitness facilities.
The Wellness Committee shall comprise the following members for the purpose of development, implementation, review, and update of the wellness policy:
- Food Service Staff
- School Health Professionals
- School Board Members
- PE Teacher
Monitoring and Policy Review
The Board or designee will ensure compliance with established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. The principal will ensure compliance with those policies and will report on the school’s compliance to the Board or designee.
School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition and policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the facilities manager who in return will report to the principal. A summary report will be provided to the principal and school board yearly.
To help with the continuation of the Wellness Policy this committee will meet for a triennial assessment to update or modify, as needed. This plan shall be available for public viewing via the school website or by written request submitted to the school administrator.
Board Reviewed: June 2022