District Wellness Policy

District 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:

a) Parents and caregivers;
b) Students;
c) Physical Education teachers;
d) School health professionals;
e) District food service program;
f) School Board;
g) School administrators;
h) General Education teachers; and
i) 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:

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 healthy food and beverage choices for all students and encourage participation in school meal programs.

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

3. Marketing and advertising of foods and beverages on school campuses during the school day will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion.

4. Parents and teachers will be provided with a list of healthy party ideas, including nonfood celebration ideas.

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 60 minutes of physical activity each day, is also committed to providing opportunities for physical activity before, during, and after school. In doing so, the District aims to promote among students, staff, and community members the development of knowledge and skills 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 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, intramural 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 all 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.

2. 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 (including the School Breakfast Program (SBP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and Summer 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 professional development in the areas of food and nutrition consistent with USDA Professional Standards for State and Local Nutrition Programs.

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 continue 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.

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.

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

Elementary 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:


a) 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.

b) 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 all foods and beverages sold individually and outside of the reimbursable school meal, including vending machines, school stores, and cafeteria a la carte lines.

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).

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 as District Wellness Coordinator to ensure that the District meets the goals and mandates of this policy: the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.
The contact information for this individual is (845) 987-3000.

b) This designated Wellness Coordinator will also serve as a liaison with community agencies.

c) 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.

d) 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 the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.

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

f) Policy updates will be provided to the Board, posted on the District’s official website, and distributed to the District Wellness Committee, 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.


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 § 210.11
Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, 79 FR
Education Law § 915
8 NYCRR § 135.4
NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5660 — School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)

Adopted: 8/21/12
Revised: 1/11/16; 12/11/17