The Cotter Public Schools recognize that nutrition education and physical education are essential components of the educational process and that good health fosters student attendance and education. The school district will involve students, parents, teachers, food service staff and community partners in implementing, monitoring and reviewing our district Wellness Policy and Guidelines. The school environment will promote and protect students' health, well-being and ability to learn by providing opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis. All students will have access to a variety of nutritious and appealing foods that meet their health and nutrition needs. All foods and beverages made available on campus (including, but not limited to, vending, beverage contracts, and a la carte cafeteria items) will meet and strive to exceed USDA Dietary Guidelines where appropriate. The food allergies of the student body will be respected in meal planning, nutrition education and physical activity; and school sites will provide clean, safe and pleasant settings with adequate time for students to eat. All schools in the district will fully participate in the federal school meal programs to the maximum.
Nutrition Education and Promotion. Cotter Public Schools strives to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects;
includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions and taste testing.
Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
Food Marketing in Schools. School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
Physical Education (P.E.) K-12. All students in grades K-12 will receive at a minimum weekly physical education.
Daily Recess. All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment. Schools should discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity. When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
The superintendent or designee will develop a summary report every three years on district wide compliance with the district's established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the district. That report will be provided to the school board and also distributed to all school health councils, parent/teacher organizations, school principals, and school health services personnel in the district.
Policy Review. To help with the initial development of the district's wellness policies, each school in the district will conduct a baseline assessment of the school's existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies. The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the district level to identify and prioritize needs.
Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, the school district will review our nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements. The district, and individual schools within the district, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.