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Policy Number: 
Superintendent File: ADF-R

Goals for Nutrition Education, Physical Activity, and Other School-Based Activities to Promote Student Wellness and Enhance Student Learning

Health and wellness positively impact learning development, academic achievement, and long-term success.  DCSD shall engage students, families, staff, and the community to promote and implement evidence based best practices to achieve optimal health and wellness for every student.  These guidelines are established in accordance with the federal regulations set forth by the National School Lunch Program, and the Federal Child Nutrition Programs.  DCSD has expanded this policy to include components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model to ensure that every student has opportunities to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Policy guidelines listed are aligned with the 10 components of the WSCC:

1)      Health Education
Formal, structured health education consists of planned learning experiences that provide opportunities for students to acquire information and skills needed to make quality health decisions. DCSD’s learning environment provides students with resources to make informed decisions about lifelong wellness choices. Schools may implement a comprehensive health education curriculum offered Pre-K-12th grade.

2)  Physical Education and Physical Activity
A comprehensive physical activity program may include physical education, physical activity before, during, and after school, field trips, recess and opportunities to participate in community sponsored activities.

  1. Physical Education (PE)
    1. A student should not suffer a loss of PE as punishment or discipline, nor should time allocated for PE be used instead for assessment purposes.
  2. Physical Activity in the Classroom
    1. Classroom teachers may provide daily activity breaks between lessons or classes.  Activities may include fitness breaks, brain boosters, recess, field trips, or classroom activities that include movement.
    2. Schools should provide educational opportunities to staff on integrating physical activity into core instruction.  
    3. Schools may not allow forced physical activity, or alternatively, withhold allotted time for physical activity--including participation in recess--as a consequence for student misconduct.

3)  Nutrition Environment and Services
The school nutrition environment provides students with opportunities to learn about and practice healthy eating habits through available foods and beverages, nutrition education, and messages about food in the cafeteria and throughout the school campus.  It is the goal of DCSD that all students have access to foods and beverages in a variety of venues.

  1. Meal Pattern
    DCSD participates in the National School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Special Milk, and Summer Lunch Programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and is required to meet all federal, state, and local nutrition requirements. Reimbursable meals offered under the National School Breakfast, Lunch, and Summer Food Service Programs shall:
    1. Follow meal patterns and nutrition standards established by the USDA.
    2. Increase availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low- fat fluid milk in meals.
    3. Reduce levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in meals.
    4. Ensure meals meet age group calorie requirements.
  2. Nutrition Education
    1. Offer nutrition education support in classroom, cafeteria, and beyond.
    2. Provide nutrient analysis of school menu information on DCSD website, via online menus, and at annual open house.
    3. Offer support to schools on healthy celebrations, parties, and fundraisers.
  3. Cafeteria Meal Environment
    Nutrition Services:
    1. Provides appealing and attractive meals to students.
    2. Provides a clean and pleasant setting for meal service and dining.
    3. Offers educational opportunities in cafeterias to inform students about healthy choices.
    4. Supports providing students with adequate time to enjoy meals. The USDA recommends schools provide a minimum of 10 minutes for breakfast and 15 minutes for lunch. Recess before lunch shall be encouraged to promote healthy appetites.
  4. Water Access
    1. Schools shall promote the consumption of water whenever possible as the primary beverage for students.
    2. Schools shall ensure free, potable water is available during meals, and in places where meals are served.   
  5. Food Marketing
    School-based marketing aligns with nutrition education and health promotion efforts throughout DCSD.
    1. Schools shall limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet or exceed nutritional standards set forth by the USDA.
    2. Schools may engage in marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors. These include: vending machine covers promoting water consumption, pricing structures that competitively offer healthy options in a la carte lines and/or vending machines, and options for healthy food sale alternatives for fundraisers.
  6. Class/School Parties & Classroom Management
    1. Schools may encourage parents and teachers to serve fruits and vegetables as primary snacks, and water as primary beverage.
    2. Schools may encourage non-food classroom parties, non-food rewards for good behavior, class participation and/or achievement.
    3. Schools may discourage withholding scheduled snacks or lunch for poor behavior.
  7. All Foods Sold on Campus
    School campus is defined as all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day.

    The “School day” is defined from midnight before school starts, until 30 minutes after the official school day ends.
    1. Food and beverage sold on school campus during the school day outside of the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs shall meet USDA Smart Snacks in School standards.
  8. Competitive Foods, School Fundraisers and Concessions
    Schools participating in School Breakfast and/or National School Lunch program(s), or competitive food service separate from Nutrition Services will not operate in competition with DCSD Food Service Program.
    1. Competitive food sales shall not be allowed 30 minutes prior to, and shall remain closed until, 30 minutes after the last regularly scheduled school lunch and/or school breakfast period on the school campus.
    2. Competitive foods and beverages shall include foods sold a la carte, in the school store, vending machines, and as fundraisers by those outside Nutrition Services.
    3. Schools are encouraged to provide non-food fundraisers at least 50% of the time and discourage the sale of food items for fundraisers unless they meet Smart Snack standards.
    4. Fundraisers that sell non-food items or foods and/or beverages that meet Smart Snack standards shall not be limited.
    5. The Colorado Department of Education’s Office of School Nutrition will allow three exempt fundraisers per school per year to sell foods or beverages that do not meet nutrition standards as outlined in Smart Snacks but may not be sold in competition with school meals on the school campus as outlined in part A of this section. They must adhere to the competitive foods policy. Schools are required to track non-exempt labels for each item sold and date of event.
    6. Nutrition standards do not apply to foods and beverages sold at events held 30 minutes after the school day, off campus, items that will not be consumed on campus, or on weekends.  

4)  Health Services
DCSD School Nurse Consultants protect and promote student health, facilitate optimal development, and advance academic success.  School nurses bridge health care and education by providing preventive health learning opportunities, and individualized healthcare plans.  

  1. Nursing Services oversees the coordination of health care for students during the school day, in accordance with Federal and State Regulations.
  2. Nurse Consultants collaborate with staff, parents, health care providers, and community health agencies to promote access to education for students with actual and potential health problems.
  3. DCSD provides staffing and support to meet the health care needs of students.

5)  Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
Each team collaborates to support the wellbeing of students through universal, targeted, and intensive interventions.

  1. Schools should provide students access to mental health prevention and intervention specialists.
  2. District teams and school staff collaborate to identify students with emotional and behavioral needs, and provide a variety of interventions.
  3. Teams provide families with community support options as needed.
  4. DCSD provides Professional Development to increase the most current understanding of mental health issues and trauma related situations.

6)  Social and Emotional Climate
A positive social and emotional school climate promotes health, growth, and academic success by providing a safe and supportive learning environment.

  1. Schools are encouraged to provide opportunities for staff and students to build a positive culture and climate.
  2. These opportunities may be integrated in standard/health curriculum and/or interventions including upstream prevention efforts from district teams.
  3. Schools are encouraged to provide educational and social and emotional skill building opportunities through various alternatives to suspension.

7)  Physical Environment
The physical school environment encompasses the school building and its contents, the land on which the school is located, and the area surrounding it.  Schools are encouraged to develop safe and healthy learning environments that contribute to sustainable systems in the natural and built environment.  Schools are encouraged to participate in sustainability programs to empower students and staff to positively impact the physical environment.

8)  Employee Wellness  
A comprehensive employee wellness approach is a coordinated set of programs, policies, benefits, and environmental supports designed to meet health and safety needs of employees.  DCSD supports healthy lifestyles for all staff.

  1. Schools are encouraged to identify a wellness leader serving as a champion of DCSD wellness efforts.
  2. Wellness programs may address physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational and environmental wellness.  Wellness leaders can utilize DCSD and community resources.

9)  Family Engagement
Families and staff work together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of students.

  1. Schools can encourage family members to be part of their decision making process related to health and wellness initiatives.
  2. Staff can identify challenges and barriers that keep family members from being connected and engaged in school.
  3. Staff will utilize various methods to communicate to family members about policies and programs that impact health and wellness.
  4. Encourage students and their families to share part of their culture and traditions that impact school health and environment.

10)  Community Involvement
Students and families benefit when schools coordinate information, resources, and services from community based organizations regarding health related opportunities. These partnerships with schools share resources to support student learning, development, and health-related activities.

  1. DCSD will inform the public of policy updates through various media platforms.
  2. Schools are encouraged to partner with community-based organizations to support student learning, development, and health-related activities.
  3. Schools will encourage volunteer opportunities from community groups when appropriate. 
  4. Schools may involve their School Accountability Committee (SAC) when health related initiatives arise, or when seeking parent and community involvement around health and wellness related issues.
  5. The District Health Advisory Council (DHAC) represents the voice of parents,  community members, and district leaders whose departments provide health and wellness services.  The DHAC supports district and school health and wellness initiatives, promotes alignment of the wellness policy, and the work surrounding the WSCC model.  DHAC will review the compliance and updates annually.

Monitoring and Policy Review
The DCSD Superintendent or designee shall ensure compliance with established Local Wellness Policy.  DCSD principals or designees shall ensure policy compliance in schools.  Nutrition Services shall ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas.  Employees (school nurses, classroom teachers, physical education teachers and other school staff) shall assist with ensuring compliance at individual schools.

The DCSD Superintendent or designee shall maintain supporting documentation of the implementation, assessment, and public updates to the Local Wellness Policy.  The Communications Team will inform the school community of the policy and give an opportunity for input on an annual basis.  The report shall be provided to the Board of Education and made available on the DCSD website.


·         Final Rule: Cooperation in USDA Studies and Evaluations, and Full Use of Federal Funds in Nutrition Assistance Programs Nondiscretionary Provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296 (6/29/11)

      Nutrition references:

      Sustainability References:



Adopted: June 20, 2006
Revised:  April 27, 2009
Revised:  October 4, 2010
Revised:  July 13, 2017


Section 204 of P.L. 108-265 (Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004)
C.R.S. § 22-32-134 (nutritious choices in vending machines)
C.R.S. § 22-32-136 (policies to improve children’s nutrition and wellness)

CROSS REFS:         
ADF Student Wellness