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wellness policy

On June 30, 2004, President Bush signed Public Law 108-265, the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. Section 204 of this law [PDF]. Each local educational agency participating in a program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq) is required to establish a local school wellness policy by June 30, 2006.

What is the Wellness Policy?
A school wellness policy must include measurable goals for nutrition education, physical activity, food provided on school campus, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. The goals set forth in the policy will establish regulations for a la carte foods, fundraisers, vending machines, classroom parties, and food used as rewards.

Policy Development Team
The law requires that students, parents, representatives of the school food authority, school board, school administration, and the public be a part of the development process. The public can include community members, representatives of local businesses or service organizations, and health professionals. Other school professionals can be included as well, such as a school nurse, teachers (physical education, health education, family and consumer science), curriculum coordinator, guidance counselor, or members of an existing school health council. It is advantageous to include persons interested in supporting teamwork, rather than promoting their own agenda.

Duval County Public School Wellness Policy
The Duval County Public School Wellness Policy was developed according to the guidelines assigned by law. The law required that students, parents, representatives of the school food authority, school board, school administration, and the public be a part of the development process also known as the District Wellness Committee. The policy was presented and approved on consent or general agreement at the Duval County Public School Board meeting on Tuesday, June 6, 2006. The policy was then forwarded and approved by the Florida Department of Education for state approval on Thursday, June 15, 2006. The DCPS Wellness Policy is now available for you to review online. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the policy in order to effectively establish a school-based policy in your schools and stay consistent with the goals of the District Wellness Plan.

School-Based Wellness Committee
In order to properly monitor the implementation of our District’s Wellness Policy, along with evaluation of the policy process and future policy revisions, a school-based wellness committee needs to be established. This school-based wellness committee will meet two (2) times annually and should be composed of at least one parent, one certified and one non-certified school member, and one school administrator. Each school-based wellness committee is encouraged to include one health professional, either a school nurse or outside volunteer professional familiar with children’s health.

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