Hot Policy Topic: Wellness
School districts participating in federally subsidized child nutrition programs are required by federal law to establish a local school wellness policy. School officials may find the following information regarding developing, implementing and evaluating school wellness policies helpful:
- USDA Issues Guidance for Updating School Wellness Policies, see April 2017 Policy Perspectives
- A list of Wellness Policy Minimum Requirements prepared by the WASB – UPDATED 6/15/17
- The USDA’s summary of the 2016 final federal regulations governing local school wellness policies
- Tips for Identifying Local Wellness Practices relating to school nutrition and physical activity
- Questions districts may want to consider after they have reviewed local data relating to nutrition and physical activity. These questions are designed to help districts during their Wellness Assessment and Goal Setting process.
- A list of Wellness Policy Resources available to help school districts develop, implement, and evaluate local school wellness policies
Additional resources available to school officials on this topic
- WASB’s Policy Perspectives, (February 2014) discusses promoting student physical activity through policy and board and administration support
Specific Active Schools Resources
- Centers for Disease Control’s Tips for Teachers Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in the Classroom
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Active Schools Toolkit
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Wisconsin Success Stories (NEW) and Wisconsin Success Stories – Active Schools
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Department of Health and Department of Children and Families’ Active Early/Healthy Bites: Wisconsin Physical Activity & Nutrition Resource Guides
Sample Physical Activity Policy/Rule Language
- Rice Lake School District’s Physical Activity Rule (341.21 Rule (2))
- St. Croix Falls School District’s Physical Activity Standards from the District’s Student Wellness Rule (458-Rule)
- Bonduel School District’s Physical Activity Goals from the District’s Student and Staff Wellness Policy (Policy JHK)
- Wausau School District’s Physical Education and Physical Activity Goals from the District’s Wellness and Nutrition Policy (Policy 5900)
Recreational Use Agreements
In 2013, WASB collaborated with the Public Health Law Center and Transform Wisconsin in the development of resources Wisconsin school districts can use when authorizing the recreational use of school facilities by students, employees and community members. These resources, which include sample recreational use agreements/facility use forms, can be found on the Public Health Law Center website. By opening school facilities up for recreational use, school officials are doing their part to increase community access to safe, affordable, and convenient places to be physically active.
- The May 2016 issue of WASB’s policy publication, The FOCUS, entitled “Cooperative Purchasing of Goods and Services” discusses working with other school districts and entities to cooperatively purchasing food for school nutrition programs.
- The December 2009 issue of WASB’s policy publication, The FOCUS, entitled “Supporting the Community Through Local Purchasing” discusses local purchasing for “Farm to School” programs by Wisconsin School Districts.
School districts, like other employers, are finding it necessary to do whatever they can to help reduce employee health problems and control health care costs. While some health problems are genetic, many of them can be prevented or modified through healthy lifestyle choices and by early detection and treatment. One way school districts are trying to help reduce employee health problems and control health care costs is through employee health promotion and wellness programs.
- The federal EEOC’s final regulations governing employer wellness programs under GINA (issued May 2016) and a related Q&A resource NEW 8/9/16
- The federal EEOC’s final regulations related to employer wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (issued May 2016) NEW 8/9/16
- The federal EEOC’s sample notice regarding employer wellness programs and a Q&A resource related to the employee notice requirements NEW 8/9/16
- The October 2013 WASB Legal Comment, entitled “Legal Implications of Workplace Wellness Programs” discusses three federal laws that often impact wellness programs.
- The May 2007 issue of WASB’s policy publication, The FOCUS, entitled “Taking Action to Promote Employee Health and Wellness” provides guidance to districts in the development and implementation of employee wellness policies and programs and highlights examples of Wisconsin school district employee wellness program activities.