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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

Local educational agencies (LEA) that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the School Breakfast Program (SBP), are required by federal law to establish a Local School Wellness Policy (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 June 2019 to include updated resources.

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 FRExternal link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Compliance

The California Department of Education (CDE) monitors compliance with the Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) during the administrative review (AR), which occur every three years. The CDE conducts both an off-site assessment and an on-site review for the AR and provides technical assistance when the standards are not met. Please see the following AR guidance:

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

  • AR 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 school food authority and in selected school sites. Prior to the on-site AR, the state reviewer sends sponsors the AR Guidance Chart. Sponsors can then prepare all required documents. To download the guidance chart in CNIPS, select SNP, select Applications, Downloadable Forms, and Form ID SNP 42. For LSWP information, refer to page 16.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) AR Manual                                                    
    The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) provides general guidance to state agencies on the areas of review. For complete transparency and to download the AR Manual in CNIPS, select SNP, select Applications, Downloadable Forms, and Form ID Manual AR. For LSWP information, refer to pages 151–156.

For more information regarding AR, you can visit the CDE SNP AR web page.

Trainings

Online Trainings

Course Number Course Name Training Topic Target Audience
California Farm to School Network
(External Source)
Wellness Policy
Food Service Director and Staff
Institute of Child Nutrition
(External Source)
Wellness Policy
Food Service Director and Staff
National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research
(External Source)
Wellness Policy
Food Service Director and Staff
California Department of Public Health, CA LSWP Collaborative
Webinar Series (External Source)
Wellness Policy
Food Service Director and Staff
California Department of Public Health, CA LSWP Collaborative
Webinar Series (External Source)
Wellness Policy
Food Service Director and Staff

California Department of Public Health, CA LSWP Collaborative
Webinar Series (External Source)

Wellness Policy
Food Service Director and Staff

 

Resources

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

Tool Kits

Resource Description
Provides a comprehensive guide with resources for facilitating a wellness committee including sample agendas for meetings and selected resources.

California Food Policy
School Nutrition for Academic Success–Local Control and
Accountability Plans (LCAP) Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)

Provides a tool kit with resources and general guidance on how to incorporate nutrition actions into LCAP.

Provides resources and tools to help school stakeholders engage parents in LSWP implementation, monitoring, and evaluation requirements.The tool kit provides strategies for involving parents, resources for assessing the school environment, fact sheets on relevant school nutrition and physical activity topics, and parent education resources. This tool kit is also available in Spanish.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Team Nutrition
LSWP Outreach Tool Kit External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides ready to go resources that school districts and school sites can customize to communicate information about their LSWP to parents and staff.

Live Well San Diego
Tools for Schools External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)

Provides comprehensive resources for implementing school wellness policy, including sample outcome measures for LCAP related to LSWP.
Provides an online tool kit which is based on four years of experience with the Hallways to Health model for the school health field to adopt population-level, schoolwide health and wellness initiatives.
Highlights numerous ways that schools can conduct needs assessments. Provides resources to identify, understand, and address health conditions that contribute to poor academic performance and chronic absenteeism.


Examples of Policy Language

Resource Description
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Model Wellness Policy External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX) sample language
Provides sample LSWP language designed to promote optimal wellness policy implementation. LEAs can adapt the sample language to local priorities. Users must create a log-in to access the resources.
Provides a sample wellness policy that addresses the minimum requirements.

San Diego County Obesity Prevention Initiative
Policy Clearinghouse web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Provides access to model policies and multiple examples of policy language by component area from school district wellness policies. This resource also includes some examples for preschool.
San Diego County Obesity Prevention Initiative
School and After School Resources External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides selected What’s In A Wellness Policy Resource Sheets with model policy language by component area and multiple resources to assist with implementation.

San Diego County Obesity Prevention Initiative Wellness Policy Component:
Wellness Policy Component: Social, Emotional and Mental Health External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) chart

Provides a chart with multiple examples of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) language that have been included in a San Diego school district LSWPs.

Oakland Unified School District New
Proposed New Board Policy: Social and Emotional Learning External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)

Provides an example policy that addresses SEL and can be used as a resource to include SEL into LSWP.
Arizona Department of Education
Fillable Wellness Policy Template External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX)
Provides a template that can be used to write a wellness policy, if adapted to California standards.
Dairy Council of California
School Wellness Policies External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides access to a compendium of wellness policies from California schools, sorted by region and county.
Provides a sample LSWP for RCCIs that can be tailored.
National Smarter Lunchrooms Movement Office
Smarter Lunchrooms and the LSWP External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides sample language for including the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement practices into LSWP.
Provides sample language for including Farm to School practices into LSWP.
Provides sample language for including food and beverage marketing policy language into LSWP

Change Lab Solutions
Addressing Bullying in LSWPs External link opens in new window or tab. (DOC) sample language

Provides sample language for including anti-bullying practices into LSWP.
Provides required federal nondiscrimination language to be included in wellness policies.


Wellness Policy Assessment Tools

Resource Description
Provides a checklist to assess compliance with the LSWP requirements and to prepare for the AR.

California LSWP Collaborative
Implementation Plan Template External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX)

Provides a template, based on California Project LEAN’s model, for completing the implementation plan. Can be used to fulfill the requirements of the triennial assessment, assess compliance with the LSWP, and progress in attaining the LSWP goals.
California LSWP Collaborative
Triennial Assessment Guidance External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX)
Provides a tool to guide LEAs in conducting the required triennial assessment to assess: (1) comparison to a model policy, (2) compliance with the LSWP, and (3) progress in attaining the LSWP goals.
Torrance Unified School District
Creating a Culture of Wellness External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Provides an example of how to meet the requirements for an annual update of the wellness policy.
Provides a free, online self-assessment tool that calculates a score that evaluates the comprehensiveness and strength of LSWPs. Can be used to fulfill the requirement of the triennial assessment to assess comparison to a model policy.
Arizona Department of Education Annual
Wellness Policy Report External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX)
Provides a fillable template that can be completed to meet the requirements for an annual update of the wellness policy.
Provides a tool to compare the LSWP to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s model policy. Can be used to fulfill the requirement of the triennial assessment to assess comparison to a model policy.

Arizona Department of Education Local Wellness Policy
About the Local Wellness Policy Activity and Assessment Tool External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX)

Provides a tool that helps identify activities to focus on, and to clearly describe the policies that will be implemented throughout the district. The tool can be used with modification when initially writing the policy, as well as each year to monitor interim progress and guide necessary updates. This tool can be used to fulfill the requirements of the triennial assessment, to assess compliance with the LSWP, and progress in attaining the LSWP goals.
University of California Davis Center for Nutrition in Schools
School and Community Actions for Nutrition Survey External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Provides a rubric with a scoring system to assess LSWP. Can be used to fulfill the requirements of the triennial assessment to assess compliance with the LSWP, and progress in attaining the LSWP goals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
School Health Index web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Provides a tool to conduct a baseline and ongoing assessment of the LSWP implementation. Can be used to fulfill the requirements of the triennial assessment to assess compliance with the LSWP, and progress in attaining the LSWP goals.

Provides an example from a school district of a triennial assessment that shows one way of meeting all three triennial assessment requirements.


General Resources

Resource Description

The USDA FNS
Team Nutrition LSWP web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Provides detailed information about the requirements and also provides a wealth of resources, including reference materials and sample policies.

The Dairy Council of California
CA LSWP Collaborative web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Provides resources from 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, including access to the newsletter. The Collaborative is co-chaired by the CDE and the Dairy Council of California.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Provides a variety of videos, materials, websites, and curricula designed to help make healthy changes in schools or in an out-of-school time environment.

List all of the California education content standards and frameworks.

Provides a compendium of nutrition education curricula and activity guides, as well as resources for implementing a nutrition education program.

The California State Parent–Teacher Association (PTA)
California State PTA Brief Statements on Current Issues web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Offers resources for parents on and wellness councils on LSWPs.

The Action for Healthy Kids website External link opens in new window or tab.

Offers a searchable database on LSWP 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
December 2017
The CDE
Local School Wellness Policy Final Rule - Revised
Provides federal and state law requirements under the heading Policies for Food and Beverage Marketing.
SNP-13-2017
April 2017
The USDA FNS
Local School Wellness Policy: Guidance and Questions and Answers External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Provides 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

 

 

Contacts

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

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

 

Questions:   Heather Reed | hreed@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-3581
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
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