Wellness Policy

The District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being,, and the ability to learn by fostering healthy eating and physical activity before, during, and after the school day.

The District has established a wellness committee that meets at least four times per year to establish goals for, and oversee the development of, the District’s local wellness policy. The Committee will make policy recommendations for review and adoption by the Board. The District Wellness Committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:

  1. Parents and caregivers;
  2. Students;
  3. Physical Education teachers;
  4. School health professionals;
  5. District food service program;
  6. School Board;
  7. School administrators;
  8. General Education teachers; and
  9. Members of the public.

The District Wellness Committee will also be responsible for assessing current activities, programs, and policies available in the District, and providing mechanisms for implementation, evaluation, and revision of this policy. In so doing, the Wellness Committee will evaluate and make recommendations which reflect the specific needs of the District and its students.

The Superintendent will designate a District Wellness Coordinator to convene the District Wellness Committee in order to facilitate the development of: and any proposed updates to, the District’s wellness policy, and will also ensure the District’s compliance with this policy.

Goals to Promote Student Wellness

The District seeks to ensure all of its students obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritious food selections and enjoy life-long physical activity. To this end, the District sets forth the following goals relating to nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities.

Nutrition Promotion and Education

The District will model and encourage healthy eating by all students by engaging in nutrition education and promotion by:

a) Nutrition education will be integrated within the comprehensive health education curriculum and other instructional areas, as appropriate, and taught at every grade level, K through 12. Nutrition education will follow applicable New York State Standards and be designed to help students acquire:

1. Nutrition knowledge, including, but not limited to: the benefits of healthy eating; essential nutrients; nutritional deficiencies; principles of healthy weight management; the use and misuse of dietary supplements; and safe food storage, handling, and preparation.

2. Nutrition-related skills, including, but not limited to: planning healthy meals; understanding and using food labels; critically evaluating nutrition information, misinformation, and commercial food advertising; assessing personal eating habits; and setting and achieving goals related to these concepts.

b) Marketing and Promotion

1. The District will promote nutrition education activities that involve parents, students, and the community.

2. The District will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students and encourage participation in school meal programs. This will occur by using Smarter Lunchroom techniques which guide students toward healthful choices and ensuring that 100% of foods and beverages promoted to students meet the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, which can be found on the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) official website.

3. The District will promote school and community awareness of this policy through various means, such as publication on the District website.

4. The District will encourage and promote wellness through social media, newsletters, and an annual family wellness event.

5. Marketing and advertising of foods and beverages on school campuses during the school day will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools will restrict food and beverage marketing to the promotion of those foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards set forth by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s “Smart Snacks in Schools” Rule and that are consistent with this policy.

6. The District is cognizant of the fact that certain scoreboards, signs, and other durable equipment it employs may market foods and beverages in a way that is inconsistent with the aims of this policy. While the immediate replacement of this equipment is not required, the District will replace or update this equipment over time to ensure the message it delivers to students regarding nutrition, health, and well-being is consistent. As the District reviews existing contracts, or considers new contracts, resulting decisions should reflect the marketing guidelines established by this policy.

c) Additional provisions

1. School personnel are strongly discouraged from using food as a reward or withholding food as punishment under any circumstance; teachers and other appropriate school staff will be provided with a list of alternative ways to reward students.

2. District staff will be encouraged to model healthy eating, drinking, and physical activity behaviors for students.

Physical Activity

a) The District will provide opportunities for every student to participate in physical education and, in an effort to comply with the recommendation that children and adolescents participate in at least 61 minutes of physical activity each day, is also committed to providing opportunities for physical activity before, during, and after school. In doing so, the Dis1rict aims to promote among students, staff, and community members the development of knowledge and ski11s for specific physical activities, the maintenance of physical fitness, regular participation in physical activity, and an understanding of the short-term and long-term benefits from a physically active and healthy lifestyle. Physical activity opportunities will be in addition to, not in lieu of, physical education and will not be used as a punishment for students, but rather another means by which students may develop or maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

b) The District will ensure that the following standards are met to achieve its goals relative to physical education and physical activity:

1. The District will have a Board-approved Physica1 Education Plan on file with the New York State Education Department that meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in Section 135.4 of the Commissioner’s regulations.

2. The District recognizes the importance of physical education classes in providing students with meaningful opportunities for physical exercise and development. Consequently. the District will ensure:

(a) All physical education classes are taught or supervised by a certified physical education teacher;

(b) All physical education staff receive professional development relevant to physical education on a yearly basis;

(c) Interscholastic sports, in1ramural sports, and recess do not serve as substitutes for a quality physical education program;

(d) Students are afforded the opportunity to participate in moderate to vigorous activity for at least 50% of physical education class time;

(e) It provides adequate space and equipment for physical education and conforms to al] applicable safety standards;

(f) An age-appropriate, sequential physical education curriculum consistent with national and state standards for physical education is implemented, with a focus on students’ development of motor skills, movement forms, and health-related fitness;

(g) A physical and social environment is provided that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students;

(h) Activities or equipment are adapted to meet the needs of students who are temporarily or permanently unable to participate in the regular program of physical education. In doing so, the District will abide by specific provisions in 504 Plans and/or individualized education programs (IEP). To that end, the Committee on Special Education (CSE) will ensure that a certified physical education teacher participates in the development of a student’s IEP, if the student may be eligible for adapted physical education;

(i) All students, including students in need of adaptive physical education, will be encouraged to participate in physical fitness programs and competitions.

3. All students will be required to fulfill the physical education requirements set forth in the Commissioner’s regulations as a condition of graduating from the District’s schools.

c) All classroom teachers, and particularly those engaged in the instruction of K through 5 students, are strongly encouraged to incorporate into the school day short breaks for students that include physical activity, especially after long periods of inactivity. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate kinesthetic learning approaches into core learning subjects when possible so as to limit sedentary behavior during the school day. Additionally, all elementary students will be offered one daily period of recess for a minimum of 20 minutes. This requirement will not apply on days where students arrive late, leave early, or are otherwise on campus for less than a full day. Outdoor recess will be offered when weather permits. In the event that indoor recess is necessary, it will be offered in a place that accommodates moderate to vigorous physical activity.

d) Physical activity during the school day, including, but not limited to, recess or classroom activity breaks, will not be withheld for disciplinary action unless the student is a danger to him or herself or others. Classroom teachers will be provided with a list of ideas for alternative ways to discipline students. Recess, physical education, or other physical activity time will not be cancelled for instructional make up time.

Other School-Based Activities

The District is committed to establishing a school environment that is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity for all. The District will, therefore, adopt the following standards:

a) Federal School Meal Programs

1. The District will participate to the maximum. extent practicable in available federal school meal programs (inc1uding the School Breakfast Program (SBP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and Swnmer Food Service Program). Food served through these programs will meet all applicable federal and state standards.

2. The District will ensure that food service directors, managers, and staff are provided with annual professiona1 development in the areas of food and nutrition consistent with USDA Professiona1 Standards for State and Local Nutrition Programs. District food service staff will meet with students in grades 4 through 12 twice annually to solicit feedback on the school breakfast and/or school lunch program(s).

b) Access to School Nutrition Programs

The District will utilize a system of student payment that ensures all eligible students have access to free/reduced meals in a non-stigmatizing manner.

c) Meal Environment

The District will ensure:

1. School dining areas have sufficient space for students to sit and consume meals;

2. School dining areas are clean, safe, and pleasant environments that reflect the social value of eating;

3. Enough serving areas are provided to ensure student access to school meals with a minimum of wait time;

4. All students have a scheduled lunch period;

5. Lunch times are scheduled near the middle of the school day;

6. Students are given adequate time to eat healthy meals;

7. Students and staff have access to free, safe, and fresh drinking water throughout the school day and where school meals are served.

d) Community Access to District Facilities for Physical Activities

School grounds and facilities will be available to students, staff. community members and organizations, and agencies offering physical activity and nutrition programs consistent with District policy, including provisions regarding conduct on school grounds and administrative approval of use by outside organizations.

e) Community Partnerships

The District will develop relationships with community partners in support of the implementation of this policy. Existing and new community partnerships will be evaluated to ensure they are consistent with this policy and its goals.

f) Community Involvement, Outreach, and Communications

The District will use its official website, along with other electronic and non-electronic means, to notify parents and the public, in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways, about the content, implementation of, and updates to this policy as well as how to become involved and support this policy. The District will use these same means to inform the community about the availability of the annual and triennial reports relative to this policy.

g) Before and After School Activities

The District will offer opportunities for students to participate in physical activity before and/or after the school day through various methods, such as physical activity clubs, intramurals, and interscholastic sports.

h) Active Transport

The District supports active transport to and from school, i.e. walking or biking. The District will encourage this behavior by securing storage facilities for bicycles and equipment and instructing students on walking and bicycling safety.

Nutrition Guidelines

In an effort to encourage healthy life-long eating habits by providing foods that are high in nutrients, low in saturated fat and added sugars, have zero grams’ trans-fat per serving, and are of moderate portion size, the District Wellness Committee recommends nutrition standards to be set for all foods and beverages available on school campus. For purposes of this policy, the school day is defined as the period from the midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.

School Meals

All schools within the District participate in the USDA child nutrition programs, including the NSLP and the SBP. School meals will, at a minimum, meet the program requirements and nutrition standards of these programs. The District is committed to ensuring that meals through the SBP and NSLP are accessible to all students, are served in sanitary settings. are appealing to children, and meet or exceed those nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal law and regulation. The USDA nutrition standards are available at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-school-meals


a) All foods and beverages sold as or during a fundraiser during the school day will meet, or exceed, the nutritional requirements listed in the USDA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act “Smart Snacks in Schools” Rule; these foods and beverages sold as fundraisers will not be sold until the end of the last lunch period, so as not to compete with the NSLP.

b) School-sponsored fundraisers conducted outside of the school day will be encouraged to support the goals of this policy by promoting the sale of healthy food items (fresh fruit and produce) and/or non-food items, such as water bottles, plants, etc., and by promoting events involving physical activity.

c) All school-sponsored fundraisers must be approved by the appropriate building principal prior to being conducted.

Competitive Foods and Beverages Sold and Served to Students During the School Day

Competitive foods — which include all foods and beverages sold to students outside of the school meal programs, on the school campus in student accessible areas, and at any time during the school day — will follow, at a minimum, the nutrition standards specified by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

These standards will apply to an foods and beverages sold individually and outside of the reimbursable school meal, including vending machines, school stores, and cafeteria a la carte lines.

Competitive Foods and Beverages Served to Students During the School Day

The District will encourage staff and parents to provide students with healthy options at any event where foods and beverages are served to students (i.e., classroom and school-wide celebrations and rewards).

Foods and Beverages Sold or Served at Events Outside of the School Day

a) All foods and beverages sold or served at school-sponsored events will be in serving sizes which are in accordance with recommended dietary guidelines and/or nutrition standards.

b) At events where food and beverages are .sold, 50% of items sold must meet the USDA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act “Smart Snacks in Schools” Standards.

Professional Development

All school nutrition program directors, managers, and staff will meet or exceed hiring and annual continuing education and training requirements as specified in the USDA Professional Standards for School Nutrition Professionals. In order to locate the training that best fits their learning needs, school nutrition personnel will refer to the USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Standards website.

Implementation and Evaluation of the Wellness Policy

a) The District will establish an implementation and evaluation plan for this policy in order to monitor its effectiveness and the possible need for modification over time. To this end, the District has designated the following individual(s) as District Wellness Coordinator to ensure that the District meets the goals and mandates of this policy:

b) This/these designated Wellness Coordinator(s) will also serve as liaison(s) with community agencies in providing outside resources to help in the development of nutritional education programs and promotion of physical activities.

c) The District will annually report on the progress each of its schools has made toward meeting the goals of this policy. This report will include;

  1. The website address for the wellness policy and/or information on how the public can access a copy;
  2. A description of each school’s progress in meeting the wellness policy goals;
  3. A summary of each school’s local school wellness events or activities;
  4. Contact information for the leader(s) of the Wellness Committee; and
  5. Information on how individuals can get involved in the Wellness Committee’s work.

d) Evaluation and feedback from interested parties. including an assessment of student, parent, teacher, and administration satisfaction with the wellness policy, are welcomed as an essential part of the District’s evaluation program.

e) The District will document the financial impact, if any, to the school food service program, school stores, and vending machine revenues based on the implementation of the wellness policy.

f) Assessments of compliance with the District’s wellness policy and implementation efforts will be repeated on a triennial basis. The assessment will include:

  1. Compliance with the wellness policy;
  2. How the wellness policy compares to model wellness policies; and
  3. Progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness policy.

The position/person responsible for managing the triennial assessment is:

Director of Physical Education and Athletics

and his or her contact information is: gfcommunications@gfsd.org

The District will, as necessary, revise and update this wellness policy, but at least every three years following the triennial assessment, and develop work p1ans to facilitate its implementation.

The annual progress report, triennial assessments, and policy updates will be provided to the Board, posted on the District’s official website, and distributed to the District ·wellness Committee, parent-teacher organizations, building principals, and school health services personnel within the District. Printed copies will also be made available to community residents upon request.

Annual Notification

The District will inform families and the general public each year, via the District website and/or District-wide communications, of information about this policy, including, but not limited to, its content as well as any updates. The District will endeavor to share as much information as possible about its schools’ nutrition environment, including, a summary of school events or activities relative to this policy implementation. Each year, the District will also publicize the name and contact information of the District official leading and coordinating the wellness committee as well as how the community may get involved with the wellness committee.


The District will retain records relative to compliance with the requirements of this policy in the District Office and/or on the District’s central computer network. Documentation maintained at this location includes, but is not limited to:

a) The written wellness policy;

b) Documentation demonstrating that this policy has been made available to the public;

c) Documentation of efforts to review and update this policy;

d) Documentation to demonstrate compliance with the annual public notification requirements;

e) The most recent assessment on the implementation of this policy;

f) Documentation demonstrating the most recent assessment on the implementation of this policy has been made available to the public.

National School Lunch Act, 42 USC§ 1758(b)
National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program regulations, 7 CFR § 210.J I
Local School Wellness Policy lmpJementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of201 O; 79 FR 10693 Education Law§ 915
8 NYCRR § 135.4