Wellness Policy for the Special Schools
A. The link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning is well documented. Healthy eating and activity patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Healthy eating and physical activity, essential for a healthy weight, are also linked to reduced risk for many chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes. Schools have a responsibility to help students learn, establish, and maintain lifelong, healthy eating and activity patterns. Well-planned and effectively implemented school nutrition and fitness programs have been shown to enhance studentsí overall health, as well as their behavior and academic achievement in school. Staff wellness also is an integral part of a healthy school environment, because school staff can be daily role models for healthy behaviors.
B. All students at the Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School shall possess the knowledge and skills, to the best of their ability, necessary to make nutritious food choices and enjoyable physical activity choices for a lifetime. All staff members at the special schools are encouraged to model healthful eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.
To meet this goal, the Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School shall adopt this student wellness policy with the following commitments to nutrition, physical activity, comprehensive health education, and implementation. This policy is designed to utilize school and community resources effectively and to serve the needs and interests of all students and staff equitably, taking into consideration differences in culture.
1. The Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School shall engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing school‑wide nutrition and physical activity procedures.
2. All students in grades K-12 shall have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
3. Foods and beverages sold or served at the special schools shall meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans published jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.
4. Qualified child nutrition professionals shall assist food service personnel with providing students access to a variety of nutritious and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; shall accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and shall provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
5. The Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School shall provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and shall establish linkages between health education and school meal programs and related community services.
C. Each school shall develop a student wellness implementation policy that addresses the Student Wellness Policy and all of the requirements of the federal legislation.