Wellness Policy for Unit Seven Schools
Triennial Evaluation Completed 2019-2020
Yearly Update 2020-2021
In accordance with 7 CFR 210.31(c), a Local Education Agency that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP) must establish a Local School Wellness Policy for all schools under its jurisdiction. As of June 30, 2017, Local Wellness Policies must meet the minimum requirements set forth in the Final Rule: Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Local Wellness Policies are a valuable tool in the promotion of student health and wellness through the NSLP and SBP. Schools play an essential role in preparing students for successful futures, and proper nutrition and physical activity are key to creating constructive learning environments. Local Wellness Policies provide guidance to further support schools efforts to provide students with a successful and healthy future.
Wellness Policy Committee
Wellness Policy Leadership
Andy Larson, Superintendent
Wellness Policy Committee Members
Lanee Reichert, Principal Unity West Elementary
Susanne Gateley, Unity West Nurse
Ellen Anders, Nurse Unity East Elementary
Shelley Short, Unity Junior/Sr High Nurse
Grace Anderlik, Parent/Community Member
Wellness Policy Committee Responsibilities
The Local Education Agency permits and encourages public involvement in Local Wellness Policydevelopment, implementation, updates, and reviews. Therefore, the LEA shall invite a variety of stakeholders within the general public to participate in Local Wellness Policy processes. The following methods of communication will be utilized to notify the general public of the opportunity to participate in these processes:
- District/School Websites
- Yearly Update at Board of Education Meetings
- Policy available through the Nurse's Office at each building.
Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, assessments of the Local Wellness Policy must occur no less than every three years. Tolono Unit 7 Schools shall conduct assessments of the Local Wellness Policy every 3 years, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year and occurring every 3 years thereafter. These assessments will:
- Ensure the wellness policy is in compliance with USDA, State, and Local rules and regulations
- Compare the Unit 7 Schools wellness policy to model wellness policies
- Measure the progress made in achieving the goals as outlined in the LEA’s wellness policy
The Wellness Policy Committee must update the Unit 7 Schools Wellness Policy as appropriate in order to fit the needs and goals of the Local Education Agency. Unit 7 Schools shall make the following available to the public:
- The Local Wellness Policy, including any updates to the policy, on a yearly basis
- The triennial assessment, including progress toward meeting the goals outlined in the wellness policy
Through the following channels:
- Post on district and school websites
- Available to view at central office and the school nurse’s office
The Local Education Agency shall maintain record of the Local Wellness Policy. This includes keeping a copy of the current wellness policy on file and maintaining documentation of the following actions:
- The most recent assessment of the policy
- Availability of the wellness policy and assessments to the public
- Reviews and revisions of the policy, including the individuals involved and the efforts made to notify stakeholders of their ability to participate in the process
The Local Education Agency recognizes the important role nutrition plays in academic performance as well as overall quality of life. The National Education Association references numerous articles supporting the effects of nutrition on the classroom, for example, hunger often has a negative impact on students’ success, attendance, and behavior.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 18.5 percent of the nation’s youth was considered obese in 2015-16. This percentage increased 1.3 percent when compared to the previous year. Conversely, 15.7 percent of American families experienced food hardship in 2017. Through participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Nutrition Programs, the LEA commits to serving nutritious meals to students in order to prevent both over consumption of nutrient-poor foods and food insecurity to give students the best chance to succeed inside and outside the classroom.
All reimbursable meals served for the purposes of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) must meet or exceed USDA nutrition standards and regulations. This includes meeting standards for each of the meal pattern components (i.e. Grains, Meat/Meat Alternates, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk) as well as meeting or exceeding the limitations set for calories, sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat.
All competitive foods and beverages sold must comply with the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards (7 CFR 210.31(c)(3)(iii)). Competitive foods and beverages refer to those that are sold to students outside the reimbursable meal on the school campus (i.e. locations on the school campus that are accessible to students) during the school day (i.e. the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day). This includes, but is not limited to, vending machine and à la carte items.
Other Foods and Beverages
Unit 7 Schools will allow the use of food items for reinforcement, parties, and celebrations. Students should be presented with one or two healthy options whenever presented with a non-smart snack compliant item.
Fundraisers promoting food and/or beverage items that are held on school campus (i.e. locations on the school campus that are accessible to students) during the school day (i.e. the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day) must meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards. However, the LEA may participate in infrequent exempted fundraising days, in which food and beverage items do not meet Smart Snacks standards (Unity High School Only), as the LEA sees fit. These exempted fundraising days shall not exceed nine days within one year. The LEA shall comply with the following procedures when managing exempted fundraising days:
- Present plan to building administrator, include the nutritional information
- Administrator either approves or denies the request.
- All requests, approved and denied will be kept on file with the wellness team building representative.
In accordance with the Illinois Learning Standards, the Local Education Agency shall meet all Illinois requirements and standards for Health Education. The Local Education Agency shall include nutrition education within the health education curriculum and integrate nutrition education into other core subjects, as appropriate. Various grade levels and curriculums shall use nutrition education information, research, and materials from the following resources:
- Elementary CATCH curriculum
- Grade 6-12 will use a variety of sources, including MyPlate and other nutrition standards.
The Local Education Agency shall incorporate nutrition education into the following curriculums for the following grade levels:
- Elementary will be taught CATCH during PE and reinforced as appropriate in accordance with the Illinois State Learning Standards.
- 6-12 Grade will be taught 5 hours of nutrition education through health and physical education classes.
The District shall implement nutrition promotion techniques through multiple channels, including the cafeteria, classroom, and home.
The District shall make cafeteria menus and nutrition information available through the following platforms:
- District App
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement uses behavioral economics to positively influence food choices made by children. The evidence-based techniques implemented through the Movement have been proven to increase children’s consumption of nutritious foods. The District shall participate in the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement by utilizing the Smarter Lunchrooms 60-point Scorecard and other educational and promotional tools. The District shall implement the following Smarter Lunchrooms techniques:
- All Unit 7 schools will begin using “Smarter Lunchroom” report cards beginning 20-21 school year. A score card will be completed yearly and turned into the Wellness team for review.
- Farm to School efforts positively impact School Nutrition Programs by serving fresh and nutritious food items. Additionally, Farm to School programs have been linked to increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. The District shall participate in the following Farm to School activities:
- Ag Safety Days (Elementary) sponsored by Carle Clinic
- FFA Events – All grade levels
The Local Education Agency will prohibit the marketing and advertising of all foods and beverages on the school campus (i.e. locations on the school campus that are accessible to students) during the school day (i.e. the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day). The marketing standards described above apply, but are not limited to, oral, written, and graphic statements made for promotional purposes. Items subject to marketing requirements include, but are not limited to, posters, menu boards, vending machines, coolers, trash cans, scoreboards, and other equipment. This policy does not require schools to immediately replace equipment that does not meet this requirement, however, the District shall implement these standards as equipment needs replaced in the future.
Physical activity is a key component of the health and well-being of all students. Physical activity lowers the risk for certain diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Physical activity also helps improve brain function, allowing students to perform better in school.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adolescents get at least 60 minutes of physical activity five days per week. Nearly 79 percent of school-age children fall short of meeting this requirement. The Local Education Agency recognizes this connection and commits to promoting and providing opportunities for physical activity during and outside the school day.
In accordance with the Illinois Learning Standards, the Local Education Agency shall meet all Illinois requirements and standards for Physical Education. The LEA shall offer Physical Education class as follows:
- Elementary physical education classes for 30 minutes 3 times a week.
- Elementary recess of at least 20 minutes daily.
- 6-12 physical education classes daily for 1 class period unless exempt for sports.
Other Opportunities for Physical Activity
The District shall include additional physical activity opportunities, outside of Physical Education class, during the school day through the following:
- Elementary Schools – brain breaks using GoNoodle, Classroom Yoga or other movement break activities.
- Minimum of 20 minute recess for all kindergarten through 5th grade students.
- 6-8 grade opportunities to play in the gym during lunch on certain days.
The following opportunities for participation in school-based sports shall be offered to students each year:
- 6-12 IHSA and IESA Sports
- Marching Band
- Swing Choir
- Community youth sports
Physical Activity Promotion
The District shall promote physical activity through the participation in the following initiative(s):
- Goal 20-21 explore initiatives in our local area
Other School-Based Activities
Just as it takes a comprehensive curriculum to provide education to support students’ futures, the Local Education Agency’s wellness approach must also be comprehensive in its intent to provide students with the tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle. In order to further establish positive behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity, and health, the LEA commits to making additional wellness-based activities available to all students beyond the cafeteria and gymnasium.
The Local Education Agency shall offer other school-based activities to support student health and wellness, including coordinated events and clubs. The following events shall be organized and promoted each year:
- Activity challenges over winter break
- Healthy eating challenges over Holidays
The following health, wellness, and/or nutrition clubs shall be offered to students each year:
- FFA for 6-12 grade students
- Mileage/running clubs (All grades)
- Green Machine – Elementary School
Covid-19 Guidelines - Each school created Covid-19 guidelines that followed IDPH and CDC guidelines. These guidelines impacted our ability to implement some of the new initiatives in the District Wellness Plan
- Nutrition Standards
Grab and Go meals were provided for all students that met the reimbursable meal guidelines. Breakfast and lunch was provided free of charge for all students.
- Competitive Foods
Lunch was not served at UJSH or UHS this year eliminating à la carte and other meal options.
- Other Foods and Beverages
Due to Covid-19 guidelines, birthday treats and other foods were not allowed this year.
UJHS held it’s Fannie May candy sales. Students did not have any school based fundraisers where food was consumed during school hours.
UHS held the Pork Chop lunch fundraiser, all meals were pre ordered and to go. Meals included a sandwich, chips, and drink.
- Nutrition Education
No changes made this year.
- Nutrition Promotion
Nutrition information is available on the website. The school did not implement the Smarter Lunchroom program this year due to the limitations with grab and go lunch requirements.
Events such as Ag Safety Days and FFA events were not held due to Covid-19 procedures.
- Physical Education
Elementary physical education classes for 30 minutes 3 times a week - This was reduced to 30minutes 2x a week at the elementary level for the 20-21 school year.
Elementary recess of at least 20 minutes daily.
6-8 had PE daily. 9-12 has PE every other day following their reduced schedule.
- Other Opportunities for Physical Activity
- Elementary Schools – brain breaks using GoNoodle, Classroom Yoga or other movement break activities.
- Minimum of 20 minute recess for all kindergarten through 5th grade students. Due to the shortened school day, dismissal at 1:30, grade level recesses were limited to the 20 minute lunch recess.
- 6-8 grade opportunities to play in the gym during lunch on certain days - With UJHS dismissing at 12:30 and only providing grab and go lunches, this was not an option this school year.
- The following opportunities for participation in school-based sports shall be offered to students each year: All opportunities for additional school based physical activities were limited this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Opportunities were provided as allowed.
- 6-12 IHSA and IESA SportsCommunity youth sports
- Swing ChoirMarching Band
- Due to Covid-19 restrictions, mileage club and other elementary clubs like the green machine did not take place this year.
- FFA for 9-12 grade students only during 2020-2021.