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Alternative Education Foundation

AEF Schools and Westham Academy

School Wellness Policy

 

 

Preamble

Alternative Education Foundation recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well-being of all students. Furthermore, research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a student's health and well-being and his/her ability to learn. Moreover, schools can play an important role in the developmental process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks through the schools' meal programs, supporting the development of good eating habits and promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.

Alternative Education Foundation is committed to creating school environments that promote and protect the overall well-being of all students and staff. The guidelines listed below encourage a comprehensive wellness approach that is sensitive to both individual and community needs.

 

Local School Wellness Policy Leadership

District level

Alternative Education Foundation will assemble a representative wellness committee that will meet twice per year, to monitor and set goals for the development and implementation of its local school wellness policy. As required by K-20 Education Code 1003.453 the policy shall be reviewed annually and an updated copy shall be sent to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services when a change or revision is made.

  • The Food Service Manager (Michelle Fein) shall ensure overall compliance with the local school wellness policy.
  • Parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators and the general public shall be permitted to participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the local school wellness policy.
  • All our Menus and Procedures will be reviewed by our Board of Directors Bi-Annually.  The Board has 3 Different Physicians that are willing to review all health concerns.  Our Food Service Manager has a Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management to oversee all levels of Food Procedures and Menus.

School level

Each school within Alternative Education Foundation will establish an ongoing Healthy School Team that will meet twice per year to ensure compliance and to facilitate the implementation of Alternative Education Foundation’s wellness policy.

  • The school principal and local school staff shall have the responsibility to comply with federal and state regulations as they relate to Alternative Education Foundation wellness policy.
  • In each school, the will be responsible for establishing the Healthy School Team that will ensure compliance with the policy.
  • The Healthy School Team should include, but not be limited to, the following stakeholders: parents, students, school food service program representatives, school administrators, school health professionals, physical education teachers and the general public.
  • The Healthy School Team is responsible for:
    • Ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations for competitive food and beverage items sold on the school campus (7 CFR 210.11 and FAC 5P-1.003);
    • Maintaining a school calendar identifying the dates when exempted competitive food fundraisers will occur in accordance with the frequency specified in paragraph (c) of FAC 5P-1.003;
    • And reporting its school’s compliance of the aforementioned regulations to the Food Service Manager, the person responsible for ensuring overall compliance with Alternative Education Foundation’s wellness policy.

Alternative Education Foundation will review and consider evidence-based strategies and techniques in establishing goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity and other school based activities that promote student wellness to include, at a minimum, a review of Smarter Lunchroom tools and techniques.

 

Nutrition Promotion

Nutrition promotion can positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by creating food environments that encourage healthy choices and encourage participation in the school meal programs.

  • The school environment, including the cafeteria and classroom, shall provide clear and consistent messages that promote and reinforce healthy eating.
  • Students will have access to useful nutrition information. Posters, worksheets and brochures will be available in classrooms and throughout each school’s campus.
  • Schools will provide parents with healthy snack ideas, lists of foods for healthy celebrations and opportunities for physical activity before and after school.
  • Organizations operating concessions at school functions will promote healthy food choices at a lower profit margin to encourage student selection.

 

Nutrition Education

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

  • The nutrition benchmarks included in Florida’s Physical Education Standards shall be taught as part of the structured and systematic unit of instruction during physical education classes and will be integrated into other subject areas (e.g., math, science) where there is a natural fit.
  • Students receive nutrition education that is interactive and teaches skills they need to adopt healthy eating behaviors. Classroom lectures, activities and student participation are provided in nutrition and health classes. Classroom written tests (such as multiple choice, essay and fill in the blank) are given in the areas of nutrition.
  • Students will understand how food reaches the table and the implications that has for their health and future. Staff shall integrate hands-on experiences such as working in a garden, cooking activities and enrichment activities such as farmer’s market tours and visits to community gardens with the core curriculum. Students will receive homework supporting these activities to ensure comprehension.
  • The staff responsible for nutrition education will be adequately prepared and participate regularly in professional development activities to effectively deliver an accurate nutrition education program as planned. Preparation and professional development activities will provide basic knowledge of nutrition combined with skill practice in program-specific activities and instructional techniques and strategies designed to promote healthy eating habits.

 

Physical Activity

Alternative Education Foundation shall ensure that physical activity is an essential element of each 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 physical activity.

  • All students in grades K-5 shall receive 150 minutes per week of instructionally relevant physical education. For middle school physical education in grades 6-8, all students shall receive a minimum of one semester of physical education in each of the three years. In grades 9-12, students receive a minimum of one credit of physical education in senior high school as required. One semester must be personal fitness while the second semester may be any physical education course offered by Alternative Education Foundation with the approved state course codes. (Sunshine State Standards)
  • All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes of daily recess. Each school will provide space, equipment and an environment conducive to safe and enjoyable play.
  • Students will have the opportunity to be involved in physical activity through physical education programs, before and after school activities or other activity programs. Students will be encouraged to participate in community-offered fitness and athletic programs.
  • Staff will be encouraged to participate in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g., brisk walking, jogging, swimming) every week. Staff will be informed of the opportunity to participate in physical activity in afterschool programs and community events.
  • Regular classroom teachers will be encouraged to provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.

 

Other School-Based Activities

Alternative Education Foundation will integrate wellness activities across the entire school setting. These initiatives will include nutrition, physical activity and other wellness components so that all efforts work towards the same set of goals and objectives used to promote student well-being, optimal development and strong educational outcomes.

General Guidelines

  • Alternative Education Foundation shall consider the components of the Centers for Disease Control’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model in establishing other school-based activities that promote wellness.
  • The goals outlined by the wellness policy will be considered in planning all school-based activities (such as school events, field trips, dances and assemblies).
  • Afterschool programs will encourage healthy snacking and physical activity.
  • Alternative Education Foundation 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.
  • Each school within Alternative Education Foundation shall be in compliance with drug, alcohol and tobacco-free polies.

Eating Environment

  • Students will be provided an adequate amount of time to consume their meal with a minimum of 20 minutes after receiving their food from the line.
  • Convenient access to facilities for hand washing and oral hygiene will be available during meal periods.

Healthier US School Challenge

  • All schools will be encouraged to join the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Nutrition program and submit an application to be recognized as a Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) school.

Recycling

  • Each school shall maximize the reduction of waste by recycling, reusing, composting and purchasing recycled products.

Employee Wellness

  • Alternative Education Foundation wellness committee will have a staff wellness subcommittee that focuses on staff wellness issues, identifies and distributes wellness resources and performs other functions that support staff wellness in coordination with human resources staff.
  • All staff will be provided with opportunities to participate in physical activities and healthy eating programs that are accessible and free or low-cost.

Health Services

  • A coordinated program of accessible health services shall be provided to students and staff and shall include, but not be limited to, violence prevention, school safety, communicable disease prevention, health screening, including body mass index, community health referrals, immunizations, parenting skills and first aid/CPR training.

Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours

  • Each school will promote the use of school facilities outside of school hours for physical activity programs offered by community-based organizations and for the school community’s use. Parents will be allowed to bring their children to the school and have access to basketball courts, playgrounds and track facilities.

Behavior Management

  • Alternative Education Foundation is committed to prohibiting the use of food as a reward, unless incorporated into an activity that promotes positive nutrition messages (such as a guest chef or field trip to a farm).
  • Teachers and other school personnel will not deny or require physical activity as a means of punishment.

 

Guidelines for All Foods and Beverages Available During the School Day

Alternative Education Foundation shall operate and provide food service in accordance with USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) standards and applicable laws and regulations of the state of Florida. The guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by USDA.

General Guidelines

  • All reimbursable meals will meet nutrition standards mandated by USDA, as well as any additional state nutrition standards that go beyond USDA requirements.
  • School meals will include a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, while accommodating special dietary needs and ethnic and cultural food preferences.
  • To the maximum extent possible, all schools in Alternative Education Foundation will participate in available federal school meal programs, including the SBP, NSLP, ASSP, AMP, and SFSP.
  • Free, potable water will be made available to all children during each meal service.

Competitive Foods

  • All foods and beverages sold on the school campus to students outside of reimbursable school meals are considered “competitive foods,” and must comply with the nutrition standards for competitive food as defined and required in 7 CFR 210.11.
    • School campus means, for the purpose of competitive food standards implementation, all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day.
    • School day means, for the purpose of competitive food standards implementation, the period from the midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.
  • Competitive foods include items sold a la carte in the cafeteria, from vending machines, school stores, snack bars and for in-school fundraisers.
  • Unless being sold by Alternative Education Foundation food service program, it is impermissible for any competitive food item sold to students during the school day to consist of ready-to-eat combination foods of meat or meat alternate and grain products, as defined in 7 CFR 210.10 and 210.11. (FAC 5P-1.003)
  • To be allowable, all competitive food items sold to students must meet general nutrition requirements and nutrient standards.

General nutrition requirements for competitive foods:

  • Be a grain product that contains 50 percent or more whole grains by weight or have a whole grain as the first ingredient; or
  • Have as the first ingredient one of the non-grain major food groups: fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein foods (meat, beans, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.); or
  • Be a combination food that contains 1⁄4 cup of fruit and/or vegetable.
  • If water is the first ingredient, the second ingredient must be one of the above.

 

Nutrient standards for competitive foods:

Nutrient Standards

Snack Items and Side Dishes

(including any added accompaniments)

Entrée Items

(including any added accompaniments)

Calories

200 calories or less

350 calories or less

Sodium Limits

200 mg or less

480 mg or less

Total Fat Limits

35% or less of total calories

35% or less of total calories

Saturated fat

Less than 10% of total calories

Less than 10% of total calories

Trans fat

0 g of trans fat as served

(less than or equal to 0.5 g per portion)

0 g of trans fat as served (less than or equal to 0.5 g per portion)

Sugar

35% of weight from total sugar as served or less

35% of weight from total sugar as served or less

 

Exemptions:

  • Any entrée item offered as part of the breakfast or lunch program is exempt if it is served as a competitive food on the day of service or the day after service in the breakfast or lunch program.
  • Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables with no added ingredients, except water.
  • Canned fruits with no added ingredients except water, which are packed in 100 percent juice, extra light syrup or light syrup.
  • Low sodium/No salt added canned vegetables with no added fats.
  • Reduced fat cheese, nuts, seeds and nut/seed butters, as well as seafood and whole eggs with no added fat are exempt from the total fat and saturated fat standards.

 

*Refer to 7 CFR 210.11 competitive food service standards for additional exemptions.

 

 

Nutrition standards for beverages:

Portion sizes listed are the maximum that can be offered.

Beverages

Elementary

Middle

High

Plain water

unlimited

unlimited

unlimited

Unflavored low-fat milk

8 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

Unflavored or flavored fat-free milk

8 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

100% fruit or vegetable juice

8 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

100% fruit or vegetable juice diluted with water but no added sweeteners

8 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

12 fl. oz.

Other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain 5 calories or less per 8 fl. oz., or 10 calories or less per 20 fl. oz.

Not allowed

Not allowed

20 fl. oz.

Other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain 40 calorie or less per 8 fl. oz. or 60 calories or less per 12 fl. oz.)

Not allowed

Not allowed

  1. fl. oz.

 

For elementary and middle school students: foods and beverages must be caffeine-free with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances. Food and beverages for high school students may contain caffeine.

Standards for food and beverages available during the school day that are

NOT sold to students:

 

  • The school will provide parents and teachers a list of ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards and fundraising activities.
  • Class parties or celebrations shall be held after the lunch period and only foods that meet the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards can be served.
  • Schools will limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month.

Fundraising

  • Fundraising efforts will be supportive of healthy eating by complying with all applicable regulations and nutrition standards for competitive foods while also emphasizing the sale of nonfood items.
  • No fundraisers that include the sale of food items will occur until thirty (30) minutes after the conclusion of the last designated meal service period.
  • The school board is permitted to grant a special exemption from the standards for competitive foods as specified above for the purpose of conducting infrequent school-sponsored fundraisers, not to exceed the following maximum number of school days per school campus each school year:

School Type

Maximum Number of School Days to Conduct Exempted Fundraisers

Elementary Schools

5 days

Middle School/Junior High Schools

10 days

Senior High Schools

15 days

Combination Schools

10 days

  • Each school’s Healthy School Team will maintain a school calendar identifying the dates when exempted competitive food fundraisers will occur. (FAC 5P-1.003)

 

Policy for Food and Beverage Marketing

School-based marketing will be consistent with policies for nutrition education and health promotion. As such, the following guidelines apply:

  • Schools will only be allowed to market and advertise those foods and beverages that meet or exceed USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
  • Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors are encouraged. Examples may 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 discounted gym memberships.
  • Alternative Education Foundation nutrition department’s replacement and purchasing decisions will reflect the marketing guidelines mentioned above.

 

Evaluation and Measurement of the Implementation of the Wellness Policy

Alternative Education Foundation wellness committee will update and make modifications to the wellness policy based on the results of the annual review and triennial assessments and/or as local priorities change, community needs change, wellness goals are met, new health information and technology emerges and new federal or state guidance or standards are issued. The wellness policy will be assessed as indicated at least every three years following the triennial assessment.

Triennial Progress Assessments

Alternative Education Foundation will conduct an assessment of the local school wellness policy to measure wellness policy compliance at least once every three years. This assessment will measure the implementation of the local school wellness policy, and include:

  • The extent to which Alternative Education Foundation  is in compliance with the local school wellness policy;
  • The extent to which the local school wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies; and
  • A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the local school wellness policy.

 

Informing the Public

Alternative Education Foundation will ensure that the wellness policy and most recent triennial assessment are available to the public at all times. Alternative Education Foundation will also actively notify households on an annual basis about any updates made to the wellness policy and the availability of the triennial assessment results, as well as provide information to the community about the school nutrition environment.

  • Alternative Education Foundation will ensure the most updated version of the wellness policy and triennial assessments are always available on the school website for the public to view.
  • Alternative Education Foundation will present wellness policy updates, as applicable, during meetings with the Parent Teacher Association/Organization, school board, district superintendent, health and wellness committee and other interested groups or stakeholders.
  • Wellness updates will be provided to students, parents and staff, as applicable, in the form of handouts, Alternative Education Foundation website, articles and each school’s newsletter, to ensure that the community is informed and that public input is encouraged.
  • Each school will provide all parents with a complete copy of the local school wellness policy at the beginning of the school year.

 

Community Involvement

Alternative Education Foundation is committed to being responsive to community input, which begins with awareness of the wellness policy. Alternative Education Foundation will actively communicate ways in which parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators and the general public can participate in the development, implementation and annual review of the local school wellness policy through a variety of means, including:

  • Alternative Education Foundation will consider student needs in planning for a healthy nutrition environment. Students will be asked for input and feedback through the use of surveys and attention will be given to their comments.
  • Alternative Education Foundation will use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on Alternative Education Foundation’s website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parents or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of any updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy.
  • At the final public school board meeting of each year, the local school wellness policy will be discussed and all stakeholders will be asked to provide feedback on the policy. All comments and recommendations will be reviewed and considered.

 

Record Keeping

Records to document compliance with the requirements of the local school wellness policy will include, but is not limited to the following:

  • The written local school wellness policy;
  • Documentation demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements, including requirements to make the local school wellness policy and triennial assessments available to the public as consistent with the section on informing and updating the public; and
  • Documentation of the triennial assessment of the local school wellness policy.
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