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Local School Wellness Policy

Information regarding the 2016 Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) requirements, background, compliance, training, resources, and policy guidance, for Local Educational Agencies (LEA).

Overview

LEAs that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), or any other federal Child Nutrition programs are required by federal law to establish a LSWP for all schools under its jurisdiction. LSWPs are an important tool for parents, LEAs, and school districts in promoting student wellness, preventing and reducing childhood obesity, and providing assurance that school meal nutrition guidelines meet the minimum federal school meal standards. This Web page was updated as of August 2017 to include: section 204 of the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants, and Children Reauthorization Act of 2004, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, and the Final Rule of 2016.

Contact Us

For questions, please contact Heather Reed, Nutrition Education Consultant, by phone at 916-323-3581 or by e-mail at hreed@cde.ca.gov or contact Michael Danzik, Nutrition Education Consultant, by phone at 916-445-7346 or by e-mail at mdanzik@cde.ca.gov.

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

Outline of New LSWP Requirements

Final Rule of 2016

On July 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), released finalized regulations to create a framework and guidelines for written LSWP entitled Final Rule: Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the HHFKA of 2010 External link opens in new window or tab.. The Final Rule (FR) became effective on August 29, 2016

The new LSWP requirements apply to LEAs who participate in the NSLP and SBP. 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:

  • 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 by position or title, to ensure that each school complies with the LSWP

The USDA provides a useful Summary of the FR External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Background and History

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 LEAs participating in a federal meal reimbursement program establish a LSWP.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

On December 13, 2010, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 External link opens in new window or tab. (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), LSWP Implementation. The provisions enhanced the previous LSWP 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 LSWP regulations entitled the Proposed Rules for Local School Wellness Policy Implementation 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: Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the HHFKA of 2010 External link opens in new window or tab.. The Final Rule (FR) became effective on August 29, 2016

The new LSWP requirements apply to LEAs who participate in the NSLP and SBP. 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:

  • 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, by position or title, to ensure that each school complies with the LSWP

The USDA provides a useful Summary of the FR External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Compliance

The California Department of Education (CDE) monitors compliance with the LSWP during the Administrative Review (AR). ARs occur approximately every three years. The CDE provides technical assistance when the standards are not met. There will be an off- site assessment (OAT) and an on-site review. Please see the following AR guidance:

  • Administrative Review Off-site Assessment Tool Guidance
    Sponsors are required to fill out the OAT prior to the on-site review. To download the OAT guidance in Child Nutrition Information and Payment System External link opens in new window or tab. (CNIPS), click School Nutrition Programs (SNP), select applications, downloadable forms, and Form ID SNP 58 AR.  For LSWP information, refer to pages 28-30 and questions numbered 1000–1006.

  • Administrative Review Guidance Chart
    Once the OAT is completed, the AR reviewer conducts an on-site review to validate the information submitted in the OAT and to observe the operation of programs at the SFA and in selected schools. Prior to the on-site AR, the state reviewer sends sponsors the Administrative Review Guidance Chart, so sponsors can prepare all required documents for the on-site AR. To download the guidance chart in CNIPS, click SNP, select applications, downloadable forms, and Form ID SNP 42. For LSWP information, refer to page 16.

  • USDA Administrative Review Manual 2016-17
    USDA/FNS provides general guidance to state agencies on the areas of review. For complete transparency and to download the AR Manual in CNIPS, click SNP, select applications, downloadable forms, and Form ID MANUAL AR. For LSWP information, refer to pages 151-156.

For more information regarding Administrative Reviews, you can visit the CDE’s School Nutrition Programs Administrative Review Web page.

Trainings

In-person Workshops

The NSD will be offering in-person workshops on the new LSWP requirements in spring 2018! 

To register for a workshop, please use the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Training Registration External link opens in new window or tab. Web page. Instructions for registration can be found on the CDE CNIPS Training Registration Web page. The NSD will continuously update this section as new trainings become available.

For assistance with online registration or if you are unable to attend and need to cancel, please contact the CNIPS Help Desk weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 6, or by e-mail at CNIPS@cde.ca.gov. If possible, please provide your registration confirmation number when cancelling your registration.

Webinars

  • Taking Your LSWP to the Next Level: The What, When, and How of Meeting the New LSWP Requirements External link opens in new window or tab.
    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. Created February 2017.

  • Team Up with LSWPs External link opens in new window or tab.
    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. Created October 2016.

  • Looking Back and Looking Forward: Nine Years of School District Wellness Policy Implementation External link opens in new window or tab.
    Highlights progress and opportunities in LSWPs as well as provides baseline data on the extent to which district policies align with the new federal wellness policy regulations. Participants learn how LSWPs 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. Created October 2016.


California LSWP Collaborative Webinar Series

  1. LSWP Basics: What you Need to Know to Put Your Wellness Policy in Place External link opens in new window or tab.
    LSWP can be intimidating, but they do not have to be! In this first of a series of Webinars 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 External link opens in new window or tab. Created July 2016.

  2. Getting Your School Wellness Policy Committee Engaged and Moving Forward External link opens in new window or tab.
    In this second of a series of Webinars 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 External link opens in new window or tab. Created July 2016.

  3. Resources for Assessing the Quality of School Health Policies and Practices, and Improvement Plan Implementation External link opens in new window or tab.
    In this third in a series of Webinars 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. Created July 2016.

Resources

Tool kits
Examples of Policy Language
Wellness Policy Assessment Tools
General Resources

Tool kits

Examples of Policy Language

Wellness Policy Assessment Tools

  • The Wellness School Assessment Tool (Well-SAT 2.0) External link opens in new window or tab. 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 External link opens in new window or tab. 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 Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers the School Health Index External link opens in new window or tab. as a baseline assessment tool and a tool to complete the required triennial assessment.

General Resources

  • 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 External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

  • The California LSWP Collaborative External link opens in new window or tab. 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 co-chaired 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 Content Standards and Nutrition Education Resource Guide Web pages list all of the California education content standards, frameworks, and competencies.

  • The California Parent–Teacher Association offers resources for parents on LSWPs and wellness councils, listed on their Current Issues External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

  • The Action for Healthy Kids  External link opens in new window or tab. Web site offers a searchable database on local wellness policy resources.

Policy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has issued the following policy memoranda related to LSWPs. When merited, the CDE will release a subsequent management bulletin to include state specific policy guidance and/or further explain or clarify the topic.

Release Date Issued by Subject Reference Number
April 2017 The USDA/FNS

Local School Wellness Policy: Guidance and Questions and Answers External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Provided additional guidance from the USDA FNS on how to implement the 2016 Final Rule for LSWP, including information about the food and beverage marketing policy requirement.

SP 24-2017
November 2016 The CDE

Local School Wellness Policy Final Rule
Provided detailed guidance for LEAs on how to meet the LSWP requirements including a chart comparing the 2010 HHFKA to the 2016 Final Rule requirements.

SNP-20-2016

 

 

Questions:   Heather Reed | hreed@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-3581
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 3, 2017
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