The Board of Education recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to students’ well-being, growth, development, and readiness to learn. The Board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects student safety, wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education, and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience. In a healthy school environment, students will learn about and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices that can improve student achievement and enhance the school-to-home connection.
Development of Local Wellness Policy
In accordance with federal law, the District has involved parents, students, representatives of food services, the Board, school administrators, and the public in developing a district-wide wellness policy. After considering input from various stakeholders interested in the promotion of overall student health and well-being, the Board adopts this policy to promote student wellness.
To the extent practical, all schools in the district shall participate in the available federal school meal programs. All foods and beverages made available on campus during the school day shall be consistent with the requirements of federal and state law. Guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the U.S. Secretary pursuant to the Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as those regulations and guidance apply to schools. The superintendent or designee shall develop procedures for the operation of school food services at each school during the day with the objectives of promoting school health and reducing childhood obesity.
The Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education adopts the "offer versus serve" provision for grades P-12. This provision allows students to select desired items among the food items rather than being automatically served all food components. The regulation requires that students be offered all five food items of the lunch meal and all four food items of the breakfast meal. Students must choose at least three of these items for their meals to be reimbursable. Declining these items does not relieve non-needy students from paying the full price for the school meals or further reduce the charge paid by students determined eligible for reduced-price meals.
The State Department of Education Rules require systems with the "offer versus serve" provision to provide choices within the various food components (meat, bread or grain, fruit, vegetable, and milk).
Under the National School Lunch Act of 1946, administrators, faculty and/or staff may not force a student to take any of the food components offered unless they have not selected a minimum of three different food components at either meal. Administrators, faculty, and staff are strictly prohibited from using any food or beverage as punishment. Certain items may not be withheld nor denied, such as flavored milk or dessert, to punish a student or an entire class for any reason.
For reference, additional nutrition related policies approved by the Board of Education include:
- Sales of Food of Minimal Nutritional Value, Policy EED, and
- Solicitations, Policy JK/KEB
It is the intent of the Board that the district shall teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools shall provide nutrition education consistent with federal and state requirements and promote good nutrition consistent with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
All students in grades K-12 shall have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis. The district will provide physical education consistent with federal and state requirements and promote physical activities at a healthy lifestyle. Administrators, faculty, and staff are strictly prohibited from denying mandated physical activity for punishment.
Other School-Based Activities
The superintendent or designee shall develop procedures that promote other school-based activities to promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle to include a restroom administrative procedure, a nursing component, and a wellness communication plan with a school-to-home connection.
The superintendent or designee will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the wellness policy and shall develop procedures for evaluation, including indicators that may be used to measure the schools’ success in meeting the intent set forth herein. In each school, the principal or designee shall be charged with the operational responsibility for ensuring that the school works toward meeting the intent of this wellness policy and shall report on the school’s compliance to the Superintendent or designee.
School food service staff at the school or district level shall monitor compliance with nutrition guidelines within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the Superintendent at the district level and to the school principal. The Superintendent or designee shall develop an annual summary report on district-wide compliance with the wellness policy, based on input from schools within the district. That report shall be provided to the Board and, upon request, to interested parties.