Local School Wellness PolicyInformation and resources on the Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP), Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants, and Children Reauthorization Act of 2004, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, and the Final Rule of 2016.
Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children’s Reauthorization Act of 2004
The Child Nutrition and Women, Infants, and Children (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.
Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Proposed Rule of 2014
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.
Final Rule of 2016
On July 29, 2016, the USDA FNS released finalized regulations to create a framework and guidelines for written LSWP entitled Final Rule for LSWP under the HHFKA. The Final Rule (FR) became effective on August 29, 2016.
The new LSWP requirements apply to LEAs who participate in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. It mandates that all LEAs meet expanded LSWP requirements set forth in Section 204 of the HHFKA. The LSWP provision establishes the framework for the content of LSWP, ensures stakeholder participation in the development of such policies, and requires triennial assessment of compliance and reporting on the progress toward achieving the LSWP goals. By June 30, 2017, the LSWP, at a minimum, must include:
- Specific, measurable goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness
- Nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages sold or made available on school campus during the school day
- Policies for food and beverage marketing
- 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 triennially and made available to the public
- Annual notification informing and updating the public (parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of the LSWP
- Designation of one or more LEA officials or school officials, to ensure that each school complies with the LSWP
The USDA provides a useful Summary of the FR (PDF).
Guidance to Meet the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Requirements and the Final Rule
Management Bulletin SNP-20-2016 provides guidance for LEAs on how to meet the LSWP requirements. The USDA FNS provides detailed information about the requirements and also provides a wealth of resources including reference materials and sample policies on the USDA FNS LSWP Web page.
The USDA FNS has provided additional guidance in a recent memorandum SP 24-2017 entitled Local School Wellness Policy: Guidance and Questions and Answers (PDF).
Administrative Review Requirements
In the August 2013 Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators on LSWP, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction notified districts about the new 2013 USDA Administrative Review (AR) Requirements for LSWP. For updated information on the AR requirements, please visit the FNS AR Web page.
Resources for Local School Wellness Policies
Examples of Policy Language
The Alliance for a Healthier Generations’ model LSWP policy provides sample language that LEAs can adapt to local priorities.
California school districts can locate other district wellness policies at the Dairy Council of California School Wellness Policies Web page.
LEAs are encouraged to tailor the language in a model policy to fit local priorities and resources. The San Diego County Obesity Prevention Initiative Resources Policy Clearinghouse Web page provides useful examples of policy language.
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.
Webinars on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Taking Your LSWP to the Next Level: The What, When, and How of Meeting the New LSWP Requirements provides an overview of the LSWP requirements established in the FR. This Webinar, hosted by the California Farm to School Network, is presented by the California Department of Education. The Webinar emphasizes what is new to LSWP requirements, including stronger stakeholder engagement, assessment, policies for marketing of foods and beverages, and reporting requirements. Also included are AR issues, resources for model policies, and the deadlines for meeting the FR requirements.
LSWP Basics: What you Need to Know to Put Your Wellness Policy in Place
LSWP can be intimidating, but they do not have to be! In this first of a series of Webinars provided by the California LSWP Collaborative, presenters share the federally-mandated requirements for LSWPs for school districts. The Webinar includes practice assessing the strength of wellness policy language and information on how to access national and state level resources to update and strengthen your wellness policy.
LSWP Basics Webinar Materials
Getting Your School Wellness Policy Committee Engaged and Moving Forward
In this second of a series of Webinars provided by the California LSWP Collaborative, information is provided on how to engage educators, students, parents, and community stakeholders in developing and implementing school wellness policies that build healthy school environments.
Getting Your School Wellness Policy Committee Webinar Materials
Resources for Assessing the Quality of School Health Policies and Practices, and Improvement Plan Implementation
In this third in a series of Webinars provided by the California LSWP Collaborative, information is provided on how to use the Action for Healthy Kids School Health Index, an online assessment tool, to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a school’s health policies and practices related to nutrition and physical activity.
Looking Back and Looking Forward: Nine Years of School District Wellness Policy Implementation
This Webinar, hosted by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity, highlights progress and opportunities in district wellness policies as well as provides baseline data on the extent to which district policies align with the new federal wellness policy regulations. Participants learn how school district wellness policies impact the health of youth and how data and evaluation can lead to more opportunities for schools to offer healthy choices and environments. The guest speaker is internationally renowned researcher Jamie F. Chriqui, Ph.D, MHS, Principal Investigator for the National Wellness Policy Studies and Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.
Team Up with LSWPs
In this 2016 Team Up for School Nutrition Success Webinar, hosted by the Institute of Child Nutrition in partnership with the USDA, participants learn how to use their LSWP to institute positive changes in lunchrooms to support meal pattern requirements. Speakers also highlight resources—the Team Nutrition School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant funds—to ensure healthier school environments with more nutrition success.
Tool Kits for Implementation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers a number of tool kits for implementing LSWPs including a School Wellness Council Tool Kit with sample invitation letters and agenda. Become an alliance partner for access to their tools.
The California LSWP Collaborative published the LSWP Committee Guide , which provides resources for facilitating a wellness committee including sample agendas for meetings and selected resources.
The California Food Policy Advocates, in partnership with the California LSWP Collaborative, developed the School Nutrition for Academic Success–Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP) Tool Kit which contains many resources for integrating school wellness into the LCAP.
California Project LEAN provides resources and tool kits on LSWP implementation and monitoring on their LSWP Web page.
Policy Review Tools
The Wellness School Assessment Tool (Well-SAT 2.0) Web site provides a free, online self-assessment tool to evaluate LSWPs.
The University of California at (UC) Davis Center for Nutrition in Schools Web site offers a self-assessment tool called the UC 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 LSWPs and programs related to nutrition.
The CDC offers the School Health Index as a baseline assessment tool to complete the triennial assessment.
Information and Resources on the HHFKA is provided at the USDA FNS LSWP Web page.
The California LSWP Collaborative is comprised of over 20 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 Collaborative is cochaired by the CDE and the Dairy Council of California.
The CDE Local Wellness Policy—CalEdFacts Web page provides part of the information 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 LSWPs in California.
The California Parent–Teacher Association offers resources for parents on LSWPs and wellness councils, listed on their Current Issues Web page.
The Action for Healthy Kids Web site offers a searchable database on local wellness policy resources.