Return to Headlines

Wellness Guidelines

The Barnstable Public School district is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. School districts are required by public health law 108.25, Section 204, to have a wellness policy, as childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels in the United States. Our goal is to create an environment that promotes healthy lifelong eating and exercise habits, and therefore the following guidelines have been established.

The District complete School Wellness Guidelines, including information about snacks, physical activity opportunities and health education, can be found below.


Schools Wellness Guidelines

The Barnstable Public School district is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. School districts are required by public health law 108.25, Section 204, to have a wellness policy, as childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels in the United States. Our goal is to create an environment that promotes healthy lifelong eating and exercise habits, and therefore the following guidelines have been established. 

Nutrition Standards for Foods SOLD in School (signed into law 2010) include:

  • Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product; or
  • Have as the 1st ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food: or
  • Be a combination of food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable; or
  • Contain 10% of the daily value of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber)

Foods sold must also meet several nutrient requirements:

  • Calorie limits:
    • Snack items: < 200 calories; Entrée items: < 350 calories
  • Sodium limits
    • Snack items: < 230 mg; Entrée times < 480 mg
  • Fat limits
    • Total fat: < 35% of calories; Saturated fat: <10% of calories; Trans-fat: 0 grams
  • Sugar limit:
    • < 35% of weight from total sugars in foods

Beverage Guidelines: Water without added caloric or artificial sweeteners or color; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit based drinks that contain 100% juice and no additional sugar; unflavored or flavored low fat (1%) or fat-free milk. Portion sizes: elementary schools may sell up to 8 ounce portions, while MS and HS may sell up to 12 ounce portions of milk and juice.

Resource: USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools


Snacks 

Snacks served by the schools during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will follow the nutritional standards, and make a positive contribution to children's diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. The district will make available a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents on health services websites, newsletters, or handouts.

We ask that everyone consider moderation as well as a thoughtful approach focused on wellness for all rewards, celebrations, fundraising activities, and events.

Rewards

If schools provide food or beverage rewards for academic performance or good behavior they shall utilize the USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools (see above), or the districts food service provider catering menu through the teacher during the school day. Schools are encouraged to use other options besides foods for rewards. Food or beverages will not be held as a punishment.

Celebrations

Given our role to promote student health, Principals and staff will promote alternative non-food celebrations. Schools should limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. No outside food that is prepared at home for sharing will be allowed during the school day. Only products that are labeled, pre-packaged or purchased from a licensed vendor will be allowed. Principals can refer to the internal document: “Guidelines for Optional Foods for Sharing & Celebrations” if parents offer to provide food or food can also be ordered through the districts food service provider by the staff member.

Fundraising activities

To support children's health and school nutrition-education efforts, the use of foods that meet the nutrition standards will be utilized by school groups engaged in fundraising activities during the school day. These standards do not apply during non-school hours. Schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity and other alternatives besides food. There will be no food fundraisers sold to students during the school day. The school district will make available a list of ideas for alternatives to food fundraising activities. PTOs will be notified of guidelines.

School-sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, dances, performances, presentations): Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events after school, will be encouraged to meet the nutritional standards for foods and beverages sold individually. During the school day, no foods that are prepared from someone’s home can be shared with students due to safety concerns.

Foods/beverages sold in vending machines, snack bars, school stores and concession stands:
To support children’s health and school nutrition goals, the use of foods that meet the nutrition standards will be encouraged to be sold in vending machines, snack bars, school stores and concession stands outside of the school day. During the school day, only foods that align with the School meal nutrition standards and the Smart Snacks in school nutrition standards will be allowed.

Communication with Parents/Guardians

The schools will provide guideline information to parents through web sites, newsletters, or handouts. Schools should encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks. Ideas for healthy celebrations, rewards and fundraising activities can be provided by the school. 

Staff Wellness

Each school will promote and support staff wellness. This can be done through school Wellness Taskforces, and will obtain staff input to encourage healthy eating and physical activity.

Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

Physical activity and education is provided K-7th grade, and opportunities for physical activity and education for 8th-12th. Whenever possible, schools should work to increase recess and physical activity times even during inclement weather days utilizing indoor spaces. Annual walk-a-thons are encouraged for all students and staff.K-7th grade, and opportunities for physical activity and education for 8th-12th grades. Whenever possible, schools will work to increase recess and physical activity times even during inclement weather days utilizing indoor spaces. Annual walk-a-thons are encouraged for all students and staff.

Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School

All schools are encouraged to offer extracurricular physical activity programs, including a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students.

Physical Activity and Punishment

All schools will promote "reflective walking" rather than withholding physical activity as punishment, as per the discretion of the Principal.

Health Education

Health Education is provided K-7th grade, and opportunities for health education for 8th-12th grades that focus on healthy choices.

Monitoring

The superintendent or designee will ensure compliance with established district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. In each school, the principal will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school's compliance to the school district superintendent or designee.

Each year, all schools are highly encouraged to have a Wellness Taskforce or at a minimum incorporate wellness into the agenda of at least two committee meetings at their school to address issues/communications in their building and improve compliance in their school. School food service staff, at the school or district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent, or if done at the school level, to the principal. Each year the District Wellness Advisory Committee will review wellness practices and provide resource information to schools as needed and requested.

Latex Safety

In an effort to protect staff and students who are allergic to latex, balloons made with latex and latex gloves are not allowed in the building. The use of rubber bands is discouraged.