I. STANDARDS AND NUTRITION GUIDELINES
A. School Meals
1. The school district will provide healthy and safe school meal programs that comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations.
2. The school district through its nutrition program will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students.
3. The school district food and nutrition program will consider the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning and provide meals that accommodate the diverse needs of the students.
4. The school district will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
5. The school district food and nutrition program will take every measure to ensure that student access to foods and beverages meets or exceeds all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations and that reimbursable school meals meet United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) nutrition standards.
6. The school district food and nutrition program will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local food safety and security guidelines.
7. The school district 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 priced school meals.
8. The school district will provide students access to handwashing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks.
9. The school district will make every effort to provide students with sufficient time to eat after sitting down for school meals and will schedule meal periods at appropriate times during the school day.
10. The school district will discourage tutoring, club, or organization meetings or activities during mealtimes unless students may eat during such activities.
11. Students will have reasonable access to water at lunch and during the school day.
B. School Food Service Program/Personnel
1. The school district will create nutrition guidelines and procedures for the selection of foods and beverages made available on campus to ensure food and beverage choices are consistent with current USDA guidelines.
2. As part of the school district’s responsibility to operate a food service program, the school district will provide continuing professional development for all food service personnel in schools.
3. The school district will implement a process for developing culturally relevant menus and easily understood labels.
C. Competitive Foods and Beverages
1. All foods and beverages sold on school grounds to students, outside of reimbursable meals, are considered “competitive foods.” Competitive foods include items sold a la carte in the cafeteria, from vending machines, school stores, and for in-school fundraisers.
2. All competitive foods will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School (Smart Snacks) nutrition standards and any applicable state nutrition standards, at a minimum. Smart Snacks aim to improve student health and well-being, increase consumption of healthful foods during the school day, and create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits.
3. School district before and after (child care) programs must also comply with the school district’s nutrition standards unless they are reimbursable under USDA school meals program, in which case they must comply with all applicable USDA standards.
D. Other Foods and Beverages Made Available to Students
1. Student wellness and the religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds of the students will be considered for all foods offered, but not sold, to students on the school campus, including those foods provided through celebrations and parties and snacks brought by parents.
2. Schools will not use foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior (unless this practice is allowed by a student’s individual education program or behavior intervention plan) and will not withhold food or beverages as punishment.
E. Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools
1. School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion.
2. Schools will restrict food and beverages marketing to the promotion of only those foods and beverages that meet the Smart Snacks nutrition standards.
F. Physical Activity
1. The school district will provide opportunities for physical activity during the school day for students with disabilities or other special needs.
2. The school district will provide students with information about opportunities for increased physical activity such as “Safe Routes to School” and before and after school activities available from community partners such as cities or park districts.
3. The school district will include culturally responsive physical education opportunities when possible.
II. POLICY IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
A. Wellness Coordinator(s)
1. The name, telephone number, and email address for the designated Wellness Coordinator(s) will be easily available on the school district’s website and communicated to families at the beginning of each school year.
2. The Wellness Coordinator(s) will oversee implementation of this Wellness Policy in each school or program site in the school district.
3. The Wellness Coordinator(s) may establish a district-wide Wellness Committee.
4. Each site leader will ensure compliance with the Wellness Policy at his or her school site. Upon request by the Wellness Coordinator(s), each site leader will provide an annual report on progress in meeting those goals.
5. The Wellness Coordinator(s) will maintain records documenting compliance and preparation of any required reporting to the Minnesota Department of Education and the general public on implementation of this Wellness Policy.
B. Implementation and Communication
1. The school district will post its wellness policy on its website and provide information through other means designed to effectively communicate to school district staff, families, and students.
2. The school district will provide information about school food choices in a way designed to communicate effectively with parents and guardians of different cultures and religions and whose students have different dietary needs.
C. Triennial Assessment
1. At least once every three years, the school district will evaluate compliance with the wellness policy to assess the implementation of the policy and create a report that includes the following information:
a. The extent to which schools under the jurisdiction of the school district are in compliance with the wellness policy; and
b. A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the school district’s wellness policy.
2. The triennial assessment report will be posted on the school district’s website or otherwise made available to the public.
The school district will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy. The records to be retained include, but are not limited to:
1. The school district’s written wellness policy.
2. The Wellness Coordinator will maintain and provide documentation demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements.
3. The report will meet requirements to make the school district’s wellness policy and triennial assessments available to the public.
Minn. Stat. § 121A.215 (Local School District Wellness Policy)
42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq. (Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act)
42 U.S.C. § 1758b (Local School Wellness Policy)
42 U.S.C. § 1771 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act of 1966)
7 U.S.C. § 5341 (Establishment of Dietary Guidelines)
7 C.F.R. § 210.10 (School Lunch Program Regulations)
7 C.F.R. § 220.8 (School Breakfast Program Regulations)