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
- 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
- A list of Wellness Policy Resources available to help school districts develop, implement, and evaluate local school wellness policies
**WAIVER OF SCHOOL WELLNESS POLICY TRIENNIAL ASSESSMENT DUE TO COVID-19: The first triennial assessment of school wellness policies was required to be completed by June 30, 2020. However, the USDA recently issued a Nationwide Waiver of Local School Wellness Policy Triennial Assessments in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to support districts unable to complete a triennial assessment of local school wellness policies by that date due to school closures as a result of COVID-19. The new first triennial assessment deadline is June 30, 2021, for those districts opting to use this waiver, with the second triennial assessment deadline due by June 30, 2024. Wisconsin school districts opting to use this waiver must notify the DPI of their intention to utilize the waiver by completing the Local School Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment Waiver Notification Form found on the DPI’s website by June 30, 2020.
While this waiver option is available, some districts may have already completed their first triennial school wellness policy assessment and may not be due to conduct one in 2020. The DPI also encourages school districts to complete the triennial assessment of their school wellness policies by June 30, 2020 if they are able. The DPI has developed the Wisconsin Local Wellness Policy Report Card for districts to use to complete triennial wellness policy assessments.
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 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)
- Sun Prairie School District’s Physical Education and Physical Activity Goals and Related Implementation Plans from the District’s School Wellness Policy and rule (Policy JHK and JHK-R)
- Cambridge School District’s Physical Education and Physical Activity Goals from the District’s School Wellness Policy (Policy 458)
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
- The federal EEOC’s final regulations related to employer wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (issued May 2016)
- The federal EEOC’s sample notice regarding employer wellness programs and a Q&A resource related to the employee notice requirements
- Center for Disease Control’s Healthier Workplace Initiative Resources