File AEA: Wellness Policy


Maine is facing a youth obesity epidemic.  Physical inactivity and poor diet are quickly approaching tobacco as the leading cause of death for Americans.  The number of Maine youth who are overweight has doubled at an alarming rate.  More than 36% of Maine kindergarten children are overweight, and 33% of third graders in M.S.A.D. No. 75 are overweight or at risk of being overweight.  These children may face significant health problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.  Poor health negatively impacts a child’s capacity to learn.  Healthy eating and daily physical activity can improve academic performance, attendance, mood, alertness, and behavioral issues.


In order to promote student health, reduce childhood obesity, and send a message to students and the school community that is consistent with what is taught in our classroom, M.S.A.D. No. 75 is establishing criteria for:


●            Nutrition Education

●            Physical Education and Physical Activity

●            School-based Wellness Activities

●            Nutrient Standards for all Foods Available Anytime on School Grounds

●            A Monitoring and Evaluation System of Policy Requirements


Nutrition Education:

1.   Maintain current District Health Education Curriculum in which developmentally appropriate nutrition concepts are taught in a spiraling scope and sequence.

Daily nutrition education will be provided in all schools to “sell nutrition” and “teach lunch.”  All teachers in Grades K-5, Mt. Ararat Middle School, and Mt. Ararat High School will coordinate with the cafeteria to provide daily “tips” on nutrition that emphasize foods of maximum nutritional value for lunch that day.  The School Nutrition Program (formerly known as the School Food Service Program) will post nutrition tips on the District website.  (See Appendix A for a list of Foods of Maximum Nutritional Value.)

  The School District strongly discourages the use of food as a reward to motivate behavior and will work to support a culture where alternatives are provided.  (District employees should refer to Appendix B for a list of appropriate non-food rewards.)

Guidance on foods of maximum nutritional value will be provided to parents in all school handbooks, within a link on the District website, and in a newsletter at the start of each school year.  This information will also be provided to school faculty and staff, school groups and organizations, and outside organizations using school facilities.



Physical Education:

  District Physical Education curriculum will emphasize life-long skills and activities in Grades K-12.

  Curriculum will be analyzed according to the District review schedule to determine if it is meeting the needs of the students and following current recommended practice within the State.



Physical Activity:

  All students in Grades K-8 will engage in a minimum of 12 minutes but preferably 20 minutes of daily physical activity.  This time may be cumulative throughout the day and woven into instructional activities.  This is in addition to, and not to replace, time engaged in physical activity during recess, before or after school, and during physical education.  Each school will determine how it is going to incorporate physical activity into the day.

Year One: 
Mt. Ararat High School will develop a plan for more physical activity during the day for its students.
Year Two:  Mt. Ararat High School will implement its plan.

   Fresh air, unstructured play and social time are important to a student’s health and wellness; therefore, students should not be excluded from recess as a punitive measure, as a result of an unrelated behavior program, or for disciplinary reasons, unless participation would cause a student to be a danger to himself/herself or others.  Exceptions to this rule will lie with the discretion of the principal.

  Elementary school students will go outdoors for recess unless the temperature is below 15 degrees F, including wind chill.  Students should be dressed appropriately for the specific and changing weather conditions to play outdoors (boots, hats, scarves and mittens, if necessary).  Students who remain inside must have a valid request from their primary care medical provider.  If children are well enough to attend school, they are well enough to go outside for recess.  Children with asthma for whom cold air is a trigger will stay in as directed in their School Asthma Health Plans.  Exceptions to this rule for safety reasons may be made at the discretion of the principal.



School-based Wellness Activities:

  An after-school fitness program at the Middle School (similar to the High School) will be developed, where students and staff can utilize the Fitness Center and engage in wellness activities 3-5 days/week under direct supervision.




Goals of the Program:


a.  Group fitness programs and classes for students and staff

b.   Supervision of workout programs

c.   Non-traditional activities such as yoga, dance, and Pilates that are popular with Middle School students

  Each school, the School Nutrition Program, Facilities and Projects, Transportation, and Adult Education will have representation on the District Wellness Team.



Nutrient Standards for Food Available:


A.   During the School Day

B.   After School Hours

C.    Anytime on School Grounds

Food Available During the School Day (The school day is defined as one-half hour before the first bell rings until the end of the last period of the day.)

   Federal and State regulations prohibit the sale of food and beverages to students during the school day other than the School Nutrition Program in all schools.

Any time food is available, served, or sold to students, the appropriate single-serving size must be used.  Exceptions include fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

  Any time food is available, served, or sold to students, foods of maximum nutritional value must be available as a choice.  (See Appendix A.)

   Whenever food is sold, price differentials will be used to encourage purchasing foods of maximum nutritional value.

The School Nutrition Program will post a nutrient analysis at the High School and Middle School on all a la carte items served.  A weekly nutrient analysis will be posted on all elementary menus.

The A La Carte Program will offer only foods and beverages that meet Federal and State guidelines for the National School Lunch Program.  (See Appendix C for Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value Rule.)



B. Food Available After School Hours:

Year One:  All groups conducting fundraisers involving food will be provided with a suggested list of products which they are encouraged to incorporate into their fundraising efforts

Year Two: 
Practices will be reviewed and reassessed.



C. Food Available Anytime on School Grounds:

Year One: 
All adults working in the District are role models for students.  Modeling healthy behaviors is another way of educating students.  To foster an environment where healthy choices can be easily made, price differentials will be applied to non-student vending machines with healthy foods and beverages priced significantly less than unhealthy foods and beverages. 
Year Two:  Practices will be reviewed and reassessed.


At functions where foods is served – not sold – such as school parties, celebrations, banquets, and all meetings, foods of maximum nutritional value are encouraged as a choice.  A copy of Appendix A – Foods of Maximum Nutritional Value will be provided to such groups.


3.  When food is sold:

At closed school functions, foods of minimum nutritional value (Appendix C) cannot be sold.



STATUTORY AUTHORITY:  20-A MRSA, Section 6602 (Appendix D)

(See Appendix E for Suggested Healthy Sale Items.)


b. At functions open to the public, foods of maximum nutritional value will be encouraged as a choice.



Monitoring and Evaluation System:

1.  The Superintendent will designate two members of the School Health Leadership Team to monitor this policy.
2. The monitoring team will provide an annual report to the School Board on implementation of the policy.
3.   The annual evaluation report will include, but is not limited to:



a. Velocity Reports for Selected Food Items

b.  Random Student, Faculty, and Parent Satisfaction Surveys

c.  Participation Rates in Wellness Activities

i.  Use of Wellness Centers

ii.  Participation in Sports and Clubs

d.  Participation Rates in Recreation and Community Programs Outside School.

Appendix A  Healthier Eating Food Categories

Appendix B  Nonfood Rewards

Appendix C  Federal and State Regulations around Food Sales 

Appendix D  Chapter 51 and LD 796

Appendix E  Smart Fundraisers for Healthy Schools


FIRST READING:                 April 13, 2006

SECOND READING:            June 8, 2006

ADOPTION:                           June 8, 2006                       


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