St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran School Wellness Policy
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran School is committed to the optimal development of every student. We believe that for students to have the opportunity to achieve personal, academic, developmental, and social success, we created a positive, safe, and health-promoting learning environment at every level, in every setting, throughout the school year. Research shows that good nutrition and physical activity before, during, and after the school day, are strongly correlated with positive student learning outcomes. The following policy outlines the St. Paul Lutheran School approach to ensuring environments and opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day.
St. Paul Lutheran School is committed to serving healthy meals to children, that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk; food served will be moderate in sodium, low in saturated fat, and zero grams trans-fat per serving (nutrition label or manufacturer’s specification). In order to meet the nutrition needs of St. Paul school children that is within their calorie requirements. St. Paul Lutheran School participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). We are committed to offering school meals through the NSLP and SBP programs.
- All school meals are accessible to all students.
- Drinking water will be available to all students throughout the school day, and including during mealtimes.
- Students are allowed at least 10 minutes to eat breakfast and at least 20 minutes to eat lunch, counting from the time they have received their meal and are seated.
- Lunch is before the recess period.
- All lunch personnel will meet or exceed continuing education requirements in the USDA professional standards for child nutrition professionals.
Other food available at school
- St. Paul Lutheran School will provide a list of healthy party ideas and snacks to parents and teachers, including non-food celebration ideas (Healthy Party Ideas, ie. games, stickers, etc.);
- St. Paul Lutheran School will provide to parents a list of foods and beverages that meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards (i.e., water, 100% fruit juice, etc.).
- St. Paul Lutheran School will provide teachers and other relevant school staff a list of alternative ways to reward children. Foods and beverages will not be used as a reward, or withheld as punishment for any reason, such as for performance or behavior.
Students and staff will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout the school year, in classrooms, and lunchroom. St. Paul Lutheran School will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school, as well as encourage participation in school meal programs.
- Promote healthy food and beverage choices
- School hosts field trips to local farms
- School utilizes promotions or special food events
St. Paul Lutheran School aims to teach, model, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Nutrition education provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health.
- Nutrition education will include enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, and participatory activities, such as cooking demonstrations or lessons, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens.
- Nutrition education will be included in the Health curriculum so that instruction is sequential and follows the Illinois State Standards for Nutrition. Nutrition Education is integrated into other classroom instruction through subjects such as math, science, language arts, and social sciences.
- The school teaches students nutrition education using scientifically-based, up-to-date nutrition information consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. St. Paul Lutheran School will include in the health education curriculum the following essential topics on healthy eating:
- Food guidance
- Reading and using USDA’s food labels
- Balancing food intake and physical activity
- Food safety
- Social influences on healthy eating, including media, family, peers, and culture
- How to find valid information or services related to nutrition and dietary behavior
- Resisting peer pressure related to unhealthy dietary behavior
- Influencing, supporting, or advocating for others’ healthy dietary behavior
St. Paul Lutheran School will provide students with physical education, using an age-appropriate, sequential physical education curriculum consistent with national and state standards for physical education. The physical education curriculum will promote the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and will help students develop skills to engage in lifelong healthy habits, as well as incorporate essential health education concepts. All students are provided equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes.
- St. Paul students will participate in physical education that meets or exceeds state standards.
- All students in each grade will receive physical education for at least 60 minutes per week.
- All school students are required to take physical education in one grade level.
- All school students are required to take the equivalent of one academic year of physical education.
- Students will be moderately to vigorously active for at least 50% of class time during most or all physical education class sessions.
- Waivers, exemptions, or substitutions for physical education classes are not granted.
Children and adolescents should participate in 45 minutes of physical activity every day. Schools will offer students a variety of physical activity opportunities that are in addition to, and not as a substitute for, physical education.
- Physical activity during the school day (including but not limited to recess, physical activity breaks or physical education) will not be required or withheld as punishment for any reason.
- All students will be offer at least 30 minutes of recess on all or most days during the year.
- Outdoor recess is offer when weather is feasible for outdoor play.
- Active recess programming is utilized to create universal participation by offering multiple activities at recess; designate different areas of play throughout the playground; provide equipment to decrease congestion on play structures; and provide group games, led by staff.
- In the event that the school must conduct indoor recess, teachers and staff promote physical activity for students, to the extent practicable.
- Paul Lutheran School recommends teachers provide short (3-5 minute) physical activity breaks to students during and between classroom times.
- Paul Lutheran School offers opportunities (e.g., including activity clubs, praise dance, and free recess) for students to participate in physical activity before and/or after the school day.
- The District will support active transport to and from school, such as walking or biking.
Other Activities that Promote Student Wellness
St. Paul Lutheran School will integrate wellness activities across the entire school setting, not just in the lunchroom, and physical activity facility. St. Paul Lutheran School will coordinate and integrate other initiatives related to physical activity, physical education, nutrition, and other wellness components so all efforts are complementary, not duplicative, and work towards the same set of goals and objectives promoting student well-being, optimal development, and strong educational learning outcomes.
- St. Paul Lutheran School will promote to parents/caregivers, families, and the community the benefits of/and approaches for healthy eating and physical activity throughout the school year. Families are invited to participate in school-sponsored events and will receive information about health promotion.
- St. Paul Lutheran School promotes staff member participation in health promotion programs and will support programs for staff members on healthy eating/weight management.
- When feasible, St. Paul Lutheran School will offer annual professional learning opportunities and resources for staff to increase knowledge and skills about promoting healthy behaviors in the classroom and school.
- St. Paul Lutheran School will convene a wellness committee that meets annually to establish goals for and oversee school health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation, and periodic review and update of wellness.
- The wellness committee membership will represent all school levels but not be limited to parents and caregivers; students; representatives; physical education teachers; health education teachers; and mental health and social services staff); school administrators school board members; health professionals (e.g., dietitians, doctors, nurses, dentists); and the general public.
- St. Paul Lutheran School will compile and publish an annual report to share basic information about the wellness policy and report on the progress of the schools within meeting wellness goals.
- St. Paul Lutheran School will actively notify households/families of the availability of the annual report through the school’s newsletter and website.
- The wellness committee will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the Annual Progress Report, community needs change; wellness goals met; new health science information, and technology emerges; and new federal standards or state guidance issued or standards issued. The wellness policy is reviewed, and updated at least every three years.