Local School Wellness PolicyInformation and resources on the Local School Wellness Policy, Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004 and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children’s Reauthorization Act of 2004The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 mandated that all local educational agencies participating in a federal meal reimbursement program establish a Local School Wellness Policy.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
On December 13, 2010, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) (PDF) reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Programs. Section 204 added Section 9A to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (Title 42, U.S. Code 1758b), Local School Wellness Policy Implementation. The provisions enhanced the previous Local School Wellness Policy requirements, strengthening requirements for ongoing implementation, assessment, and public reporting of wellness policies and expanding the team of collaborators participating in the wellness policy development to include more members from the community. The HHFKA now requires that the local school wellness policy, at a minimum, include:
- Goals for nutrition promotion* and education, physical activity, and other school based-activities that promote student wellness.
- Nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages available on school campus during the school day.
- Requirements that Stakeholders be provided opportunities to participate in the development, implementation*, and periodic review and update* of the wellness policy.
- A plan for measuring effectiveness, that is measured periodically and that the assessment is made available to the public.*
- Public notification informing and updating the public (parents, students, and others in the community) periodically about the content and implementation of the local school wellness policy.*
- Local designation must include one or more local education agency officials or school officials to ensure that each school complies* with the local school wellness policies.
*These are new requirements.
Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
On February 26, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), released its proposed local school wellness policy regulations entitled the Proposed Rules for Local School Wellness Policy Implementation (LSWP) Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Comments were due on April 28, 2014. The rule applies to local educational agencies (LEA) who participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). It would mandate all LEAs to meet expanded local school wellness policy (LSWP) requirements set forth in Section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The proposed rule would establish the framework for the content of LSWP, ensure stakeholder participation in the development of such policies, and require periodic assessment of compliance and reporting on the progress toward achieving the LSWP goals. This proposed rule would also require LEAs, as part of the LSWP, to implement policies for food and beverage marketing on the school campus during the school day consistent with nutrition standards for Smart Snacks. Additionally, this proposed rule would require each LEA to make information about LSWP implementation for all schools under its jurisdiction available to the public on a periodic basis. FNS estimates that the final rule will be released in 2015. For a summary of the rule, please visit the USDA FNS web page for the Summary of the LSWP Proposed Rule .
Recommendations to Meet the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Requirements
In the September 2012 Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators on Local School Wellness Policies, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction reminds districts about the Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010 Local School Wellness Policies requirements and strongly recommends they revise their policies to meet these requirements by the end of the 2012–13 school year.
In Management Bulletin USDA-SNP-16-2011, Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Local School Wellness Policies, the California Department of Education (CDE) recommended that districts become aware of the changes and have initiated review their Local School Wellness Policies during School Year 2012–13, and to the extent possible, have begun moving forward on implementing the new requirements. For example, districts needed to have been working toward developing a reasonable method to inform and update the public about their implementation of local wellness policies. Some suggestions included disseminating printed or electronic materials to their community and posting information on their district Web site.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) provides more detailed information about the requirements and also provides a wealth of resources including reference materials and sample policies on the USDA FNS Local School Wellness Policy Web page.
Administrative Review Requirements
In the August 2013 Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators on Local School Wellness Policies, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction notified districts about the new 2013 USDA’s Administrative Review Requirements for local school wellness policies.
- The California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative compiled select tools for the Local School Wellness Policy part of the USDA’s of the Administrative Review in an Administrative Toolkit .
Resources for Local School Wellness Policies
Guidance on Local School Wellness Policies
Model Policy Language
The California School Boards Association (CSBA) has developed the CSBA Sample Student Wellness Policy 5030 (Revised July 2013) model policy language to meet the HHFKA requirements available on the CSBA Policy Development Web page.
Local School Wellness Policy Directory
California districts can locate their wellness policy and other district wellness policies at the Dairy Council of California School Wellness Policies Web page. Also included is a scoring and evaluation tool for nutrition education developed by the CDE as well as model nutrition education local school wellness policies.
National School Health Policy Database
The National Association of School Boards of Education Web site provides the State School Healthy Policy database that includes laws and policies from 50 states.
Guidance for Local School Wellness Policy in After School Program
Afterschool Alliance developed this toolkit to highlight opportunities for afterschool leaders and advocates to become involved in and help shape the process of local school wellness policy along each step of the way. It is available on their Policy and Action Center Web page.
Local School Wellness Policy Enforcement
Change Lab Solutions (formerly N-Plan) Fact Sheet: How to Enforce a Wellness Policy: A Guide for Parents and Community Advocates, available on the Change Lab Solution’s How to Enforce a Wellness Policy Web page, is designed to help parents and community advocates ensure that their district’s local school wellness policy is enforced.
Webinars on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 -Changes to Local School Wellness Policy
The California School Board Association in collaboration with the California Department of Education and the California provides the archived Webinar Local School Wellness Policies - Healthy Schools Mean Healthy Kids, Families & Communities (September 27, 2012) on their Web page. The Webinar includes an overview of the local school wellness policy requirements mandated in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a videotaped interview with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, and includes a best practice from a local education agency.
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Webinars on Child Nutrition Reauthorization Web page offers the Webinar series Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Putting the Act Into Action, which examines the provisions of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act and provides steps to make the provisions of the Act a success.
- What You Need to Know NOW (December 17, 2010)
This FRAC Webinar features an overview of HHFKA (Child Nutrition Reauthorization); an outline of improvements to the child nutrition programs; highlights of the wellness policy parts that are immediately in effect or need immediate work by stakeholders; information on moving implementation forward in the best possible way and moving it quickly in states and communities; and a checklist of things to do. Select the following Webinar title to view:
- What You Need to Know to Make the Most of the New School Nutrition and Wellness Improvements (February 10, 2011)
This FRAC Webinar focuses on the improvements to the school nutrition environment through the HHFKA. These include: the additional six cents reimbursement for meals that meet the USDA’s new school meals nutrition standards, and implementation requirements for stronger competitive foods rules and wellness policies. Presenters from USDA’s FNS, Action for Healthy Kids, and FRAC provide details on the key provisions, next steps, and suggested implementation plans.
Wellness Policy Implementation
Tool kits for implementation
A number of tool kits for implementing local school wellness policies are provided at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Web site, including a School Wellness Council Toolkit that includes sample invitation letters and agenda. Join them to get access to their tools.
Wellness Policy Evaluation Tools (based on 2004 Requirements)
The Wellness School Assessment Tool (Well-SAT) Web site provides[http://wellsat.org/] a free, online self-assessment tool to evaluate Local School Wellness Policies.
The UC Davis Center for Nutrition in Schools Web site offers a self-assessment tool called the University of California at Davis Rubric Tool on their District Wellness Policy Assessment Web page. The tool is formatted in a rubric format with a scoring system for districts to assess their local school wellness policies and programs related to nutrition.
The resources provided below offer further information and guidance regarding local school wellness policies.
Federal Requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
Information on the requirements related to the HHFKA is provided at Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010 (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act) : Local School Wellness Policies .
The CDE Local Wellness Policy—CalEdFacts Web page provides part of the information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CDE CalEdFacts Web page.
The CDE State Board of Education Policy Statements Web page provides descriptions of all of the policies issued by the State Board of Education related to local school wellness policies in California.
The California Healthy Kids Resource Center Web site provides an extensive categorized list of Local School Wellness Policy resources.
General Local School Wellness Policy Resources
The California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative is comprised of over 10 state and local partners whose vision is to inspire school communities to take their wellness policies from paper to practice. Contact information for partner organizations and other resources are available.
The California PTA offers resources for parents on local school wellness policies and wellness councils, listed on their Current Issues Web page.
The Center for Disease Control provides many resources on local school wellness policies on their Local School Wellness Policy Web page.
The Healthy School Environment features many local school wellness policy resources on their Wellness Policy Resources Web page, with a focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and farm to school.
The Action for Healthy Kids Web site offers a searchable database on local wellness policy resources.