Wellness Policy

South Kingstown School Department Wellness Policy

Policy # 7751



The purpose of this policy is to assure a healthy school environment for all K-12 students that enhances student academic success.  This policy meets the requirements of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 and the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA )

By establishing herein the South Kingstown School District’s goals and expectations relative to wellness, including nutrition guidelines and education, physical and health education, and physical activity, the District is providing clear and consistent direction for all administrators, principals, teachers and other school staff, as well as students and parents, in every school.  This policy promotes and encourages students to adopt lifelong healthy behaviors that can protect students’ health and well-being, as well as reduce the risk of chronic disease, and adheres to all federal and state mandates relative to the wellness of students and staff.

Policy Intent:

The South Kingstown School District recognizes the important relationship that exists between academic success and student health, and that meeting the basic developmental needs of students - helping to ensure that they are safe, drug-free, healthy and resilient - is vital to improving academic success.  Research studies have consistently concluded that student health and achievement are directly connected, and in fact, that the health and well-being of students is one of the most significant influences on learning and academic achievement.  While the primary responsibility of schools is academic preparation, the District recognizes that schools also share in the responsibility to prepare students for life, which includes teaching and modeling the skills and behaviors necessary for lifelong health.

Goals of the policy are:

  1.  Provide a comprehensive learning environment for developing lifelong wellness behaviors for students and staff in all schools in the district.
  2. Support and promote proper dietary habits contributing to student’s health status and academic performance.
  3. Provide opportunities for students and staff to engage in physical activity.

Table of Contents


Definitions……..........................................................................................................  2

Wellness Committee…………………………………………………………………........3

Nutrition Education and Wellness Promotion/Health Education…………………....................................................................……….....  4

Nutrition Guidelines for All School Foods and Beverages……  .......................5

Physical Education and Physical Activity………………………….…………10

 Implementation, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting…...………………12



A la carte- is any food or beverage sold outside of the reimbursable school meals program (School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program) by the School Food Service Provider.


Competitive Foods and Beverages- is any food or beverage sold outside of the reimbursable school meals program (School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program)


Life Skills- are abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable people to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.


Physical Activity (PA)- is any leisure or non-leisure movement of the body that expends energy, such as exercise, sports, dance, mobility training or physical therapy, brisk walking, swimming or other body movements that result in an increased heart rate. 


Physical Education (PE)- a sequential developmentally appropriate K-12 curriculum, in accordance with the Rhode Island Physical Education Framework, enabling students to develop the knowledge, motor skills, self-management skills, attitudes and confidence needed to adopt and maintain physical activity throughout their lives.


School Campus (Premises)- is defined as all areas of property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the day.


School Day- is defined as the period from the midnight before, to one hour after the end of the official school day.


School Function- is any school sponsored extracurricular activity or event.  (examples:  football games, concerts, parent/teacher conferences, open house, and dances)



  1.  South Kingstown Wellness Committee


RI General Law (16-21-28) requires the establishment of a District-wide coordinated school health and wellness subcommittee chaired by a full member of the School Committee.


  1.  The South Kingstown School Committee will establish and maintain a Wellness Committee, co-chaired by a School Committee member and the Superintendent (or designee), whose membership will include, but is not limited to:


    1. School personnel, including but not limited to :
      1. School Nurse Teachers
      2. Staff member representative from each school in the district
      3. Physical Education teachers
      4. Health Education teachers
      5. Other teachers
    2. District/School Administrators
    3. District Food Service Director/Manager
    4. Students
    5. Parents and guardians
    6. Community health professionals such as nutritionists, dietitians, doctors, nurses, etc.


  2. The members of the Wellness Committee will:


   i.       Collaborate and coordinate resources to drive school health objectives

   ii.       Annually review and suggest updates to the Wellness Policy

   iii.      Make recommendations to the Superintendent and the School Committee

regarding issues related to:


a.         Nutrition and physical activity policies to decrease obesity and enhance     the health and well-being of students and employees

b.         Physical education curriculum and instruction

c.         Health education curriculum and instruction

d.         Annually prepare all district, state, and federal reports required by the Wellness Committee

iv.        This committee shall meet no less than four times during the school year.  All meetings will be public and meeting dates will be posted on the district website.


2.  Nutrition Education and Wellness Promotion


  1. Student Nutrition Education and Wellness Promotion


    1. The South Kingstown School District shall have a comprehensive, standards based, age appropriate health education program for grades K-12, in accordance with current RI General Law (16-22-4), that includes nutrition themes and topics in accordance with the Rhode Island Department of Education Framework. Nutritional themes will also be integrated across the core curriculum into daily lessons as appropriate
    2. Students will receive nutrition education that fosters the adoption and maintenance of healthy eating behaviors
    3. Nutrition education and wellness promotion will be linked with the entire school food environment with consistent nutrition messages throughout the cafeteria programs, health fairs, field trips, after-school programming and assemblies


  2. Parent Nutrition Education and Wellness  Promotion


Nutrition education and wellness promotion will be provided to parents beginning at the elementary level.  The goal is to continue to educate parents throughout middle and high school levels.  Communication to parents about healthy eating and physical activity may include but is not limited to:


  1. Postings on the district website
  2. Articles and information in school newsletters
  3. School presentations or assemblies
  4. Other appropriate means of reaching parents


    C.  Staff Nutrition Education and Wellness Promotion


The South Kingstown School District highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts made by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Staff will be encouraged to model healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.

The Wellness Committee and the District, with input from the staff, will develop a plan to encourage, promote, reward and support school and administrative staff health and wellness.  The purpose of staff wellness education and promotion will be to:


  1. Encourage all staff to improve their own personal health and wellness
  2. Improve staff morale
  3. Create positive role modeling for students
  4. Build commitment of staff to improve the school nutrition and physical activity environment


3.  Nutrition Guidelines for All School Foods and Beverages

  1.   Food Safety and Security


  1. All foods made available to students will comply with state and local food safety and sanitation regulations
  2. Food sharing between students is discouraged
  3. The School Food Service Provider will implement and maintain guidelines in order to prevent foodborne illness in schools
  4. Access to food service operations is limited to food service staff and school personnel authorized by the Superintendent or a designee


    B.     Food Marketing in Schools


  1. School-based marketing shall be consistent with the District’s nutrition education curriculum and the promotion of good health.  As such, schools will limit marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet or exceed nutrition standards for reimbursable meals and competitive foods and beverages
  2. Marketing and promotion of foods and beverages that do not meet nutrition standards is prohibited
  3. The promotion of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and water is strongly encouraged
  4. The District will work to foster an environment that promotes healthy behaviors and activity


   C.    Reimbursable Meal Program/School Food Service Provider Operations


  1. All foods served as part of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), including its afterschool snack component, will meet both the current USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals as well as the current Rhode Island Nutritional Requirements (RINR)
  2. All meals will promote fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and low sodium unprocessed items, in accordance with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  3. As part of the District’s responsibility to operate a high-quality food service program, qualified nutrition professionals will administer the meal program and professional training and development will be offered for all food service staff working in the schools, as appropriate for their levels of responsibility.  Training sessions will be offered for staff working directly under the food service provider, and educational materials will be provided to district/school staff assigned to meal supervision duty in order to best promote the importance of healthy eating, food safety and positive healthy lifestyle role modeling, in a clear and consistent way among all school personnel 
  4. Schools will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to students who are eligible for free/reduced price school meals and will prevent the overt identification of students who are eligible for free/reduced meals by using an electronic identification/payment system
  5. The District will ensure that all children eligible for free/reduced meals will have the opportunity to participate in the SBP and NSLP by engaging in frequent outreach to families and coordination with local agencies involved in food security issues.
  6. Information on the nutritional content and ingredients of meals will be available to students and parents, as requested
  7. Food service will procure, serve and promote locally sourced RI products as much as possible
  8. Schools and School Food Service providers should engage students and parents through various means to assist in identifying new, healthy and appealing food choices within the program to promote healthier eating habits


D.        School Breakfast Program (SBP)


To ensure that all children have a breakfast that meets their nutritional needs and optimizes their ability to learn:


  1. All schools will operate the School Breakfast Program
  2. Schools will use methods to serve breakfasts that encourage participation, including but not limited to breakfast before school, grab-n-go style breakfast, etc.
  3. All schools will notify students, parents and guardians of the availability of the School Breakfast Program


E.         Eating Environment


The South Kingstown School District believes a well-designed and pleasant eating area is important for the promotion of healthy eating habits.  Schools will address time allotted for meals, traffic flow and cafeteria layout to ensure students are actively encouraged to eat.


  1. Adequate time in order to eat meals:  ideally, minimums of 20 minutes for lunch and 10 minutes for breakfast
  2. Clean, pleasant surroundings in which to eat
  3. Access to convenient hand washing and /or hand sanitizing facilities


                        Additionally, schools will adhere to the following guidelines:

iv.        There should be no scheduled activities such as mentoring, clubs, or   organizational meetings during school mealtimes unless students are         allowed to eat while such activities take place

v.         The District will work with School Food Service Providers to explore,   identify, and implement ways to reduce time students spend in line.


F.         Competitive Food and Beverage SALES/Other Foods and Beverages SERVED


The South Kingstown School District believes in maintaining a high quality school wellness culture which relies on the good nutritional quality of all foods and beverages available and sold to all students and staff.   Communicating the message of healthy eating and adherence to the South Kingstown Wellness Policy in all food-related events within the school community such as rewards, classroom and school celebrations, health fairs and other school events is strongly encouraged.


G.        Competitive Food and Beverage SALES


All foods and beverages, sold outside of the reimbursable school meal program (competitive foods and beverages) on school premises before, during, and up to one hour after school must comply with the current USDA Smart Snacks in Schools regulations and RI General Law (16.21.7) for the sale of only healthier snacks and beverages. 


  1. Foods/Snacks


Only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, nonfat or lowfat dairy and combination products may be sold, following the standards Nutritional StandardsThe only foods and snacks allowed to be sold outside of school meals must comply with the Nutritional Standards.


   2.    Beverages


The only beverages allowed to be sold outside of school meals must comply with   the nutritional standards Nutritional Standards.


3.  Cafeteria A La Carte Food


  1. All foods and beverages sold in the cafeteria (outside of a reimbursable meal) before, during and up to one hour after school must comply with current USDA Smart Snacks in Schools regulations and current RI General Law (16.21.7) for the sale of only healthier snacks and beverages
  2. A la carte items in the cafeteria must be USDA school meal components (with a maximum of 350 calories) and meet the above fat and sugar limits per servings.  A la carte items cannot exceed 480 mg of sodium per serving 
  3. Elementary School Food Service Providers are ONLY allowed to sell whole or cut fresh fruit and/or vegetables and kitchen prepared (unprocessed) fruit and/or vegetable side dishes


4.  Vending Machines


  1. All foods and beverages sold in vending machines anywhere on school premises before, during and up to one hour after school must comply with current USDA Smart Snacks in Schools regulations and current RI General Law (16.21.7)  for the sale of only healthier snacks and beverages


5.  School Stores


  1. All foods and beverages sold in school stores before, during and up to one hour after school must comply with the current USDA Smart Snacks in Schools regulations and current RI General Law (16.21.7) for the sale of only healthier snacks and beverages
  2. School stores cannot sell any foods/snacks/beverages during the meal service, in accordance with the District’s School Food Service Provider contract


6.  Fundraising


  1. Non-food based fundraisers are strongly encouraged. South Kingstown Fundraising Policy #2110
  2. Fundraisers that promote academic activity are strongly encouraged.
  3. Any foods and beverages sold on school premises before, during and up to one hour after school must comply with current  USDA Smart Snacks in School regulations and current  RI General Law (16-21-7) for the sale of only healthier snacks and beverages
  4. No foods or beverages (even those that are compliant) sold as part of school fundraising can be sold during school meal service, in accordance with the District’s School Food Service Provider contract
  5. Schools may permit the sale of foods and beverages that do not comply with current  USDA Smart Snacks in Schools regulations and current  RI General Law (16.21.7) for the sale of only healthier snacks and beverages as part of school fundraising in any of the following circumstances:  (1) The items are sold by parent fundraising groups (Booster Clubs etc.) of the school and the sale of those items takes place off and away from the premises of the school; (2) The items are sold by parent fundraising groups and the sale of those items takes place an hour or more after the end of the school day; or (3) The items are sold by a parent fundraising group during a school-sponsored function after the end of the school day
  6. The sale of candy is prohibited on school premises before, during and up to one hour after the school day
  7. Compliant foods/snacks and beverages to be used for school fundraising may be purchased through the District’s food service provider


7.  Other Foods and Beverages SERVED


  a.       School Staff and Student Acknowledgements, Incentives, and                                            Celebrations


i.    School-based rewards must support the efforts of South Kingstown           nutrition policies.  The use of food or candy as a reward or incentive in the   classroom or school environment is strongly discouraged. Alternative       non-food rewards or incentives are encouraged (i.e. extra recess, books,         letter to parent, etc.)


b.         Classroom and School Celebrations


i.    The distribution of candy by students and/or staff is prohibited in the

      classroom and on school grounds during the school day

ii.    Classroom and school celebrations will not be centered on food,     except if the food items are part of a curriculum-related activity.  While not prohibited, parties should be framed so as to discourage the consumption of unhealthy food items and should encourage food and beverage items that comply with USDA current  Smart Snacks in School regulations and current RI  General Law (16.21.7) for the sale of only healthier snacks and beverages

iii.   Home-prepared products such as baked goods increase risk of food-borne illnesses and allergic reactions, and are, therefore, prohibited strongly discouraged from being distributed at in-school celebrations and holidays. The only way to ensure the safety of all students and comply with Rhode Island State Law is to purchase all food products through the District Food Service Provider

      iv.  Parents/guardians must be given advance notice of any classroom or school celebration where food will be served.  Due to food safety and     allergy issues, ingredient lists for all food/beverages should be available upon request

                        Access to Drinking Water

  1. Students and staff will have access to free, safe, fresh drinking water throughout the day.


4.  Physical Education and Physical Activity


Physical activity is critical to a child’s healthy weight and lifestyle as well as to his/her ability to focus in the classroom.  To ensure that all students are adequately active during the school day, physical activity needs to be incorporated into the daily schedule of the school.  While Physical Education classes provide a specific environment in which students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills, and knowledge of personal fitness goals and practices, the South Kingstown School District recognizes the importance of offering students additional physical activity opportunities before, during and after school.   


a.         Physical Education


Every South Kingstown school will adhere to RI state requirements for Physical Education.  Physical Education is required for all students in Grades Kindergarten - Grade 12 according to RI General Law (16-22-4)  Instruction in Health and Physical Education, with curriculum aligned with the RI Physical Education Framework


  1. Students should receive an average of 100 minutes per week of Health/Physical Education
  2. Recess, free play and after school activities are not counted as Physical Education
  3. All Physical Education classes will be taught by a certified, highly qualified Physical Education teacher
  4. The District will provide adequate, safe and appropriate facilities for Physical Education instruction at each school
  5. Physical Education teachers will utilize developmentally appropriate health-related fitness assessments (e.g. FitnessGram)
  6. Waivers for Physical Education are prohibited, unless provided by a qualified physician or medical provider
  7. Student involvement in other physical activity (interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for Physical Education




b.         Physical Activity


All schools should encourage an environment that supports physical activity beyond the Physical Education Program, for students, staff and community before, during and after the school day.



  1. All elementary schools shall allot a minimum of 20 minutes per day for recess, preferably outdoors
  2. Building administrators shall have the discretion to hold indoor recess due to inclement weather or other concerns related to student safety during recess
  3. During times of inclement weather, alternative activities will be provided that promote free play and students’ social and emotional wellness
  4. Teachers shall make a good-faith effort to not withhold recess for punitive reasons. (RI General Law 16-22-4.2)


Physical Activity Breaks


  1. Schools will encourage movement breaks throughout the day when possible
  2. Opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject areas whenever possible and appropriate


Before/After School Activities


  1. All schools are encouraged to offer before/after school activities and extracurricular programs that promote staying physically active and provide opportunities for periods of moderate to physical activity for all participants
  2. Schools should make an effort to offer a range of physical activities that meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students
  3. School spaces and facilities should be available through the requirements of the District Facilities Use Policy (see fees/insurance and approval process) outside of the school day and should be available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity programs with the proper approval of school officials.  School policy concerning safety will apply at all times
  4. The South Kingstown School District recognizes all modes of transportation (such as; busing, biking and walking) to and from our schools. The district will support safe means of transportation for all students. 


5. Implementation, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting


The Superintendent shall develop regulations/procedures for the implementation of this policy.


  1.  Wellness Policy Communication


This policy, along with any proposed updates and progress reports, will be posted and accessible on the school district website to inform and update the public (including parents, students and others in the community) about the content and implementation of the District Wellness Policy.


        B.  Wellness Policy Implementation and Monitoring


The Superintendent (or designee) shall be responsible for leading the district’s implementation plan.  Building principals will work with the district wellness committee to document compliance with all provisions of the policy in order to assess progress and determine areas in need of improvement.


The South Kingstown Wellness Committee will include a review of this policy on a yearly basis and forward any recommended revisions and updates to the Superintendent and School Committee.


The Superintendent and School Committee are responsible for providing resources necessary for the achievement of the Wellness Policy goals.


              C.  Wellness Policy Compliance


The principal of each school shall be responsible for providing the leadership necessary to be in compliance with the Wellness Policy.  Review of the Wellness Policy will be included in principal and staff orientations at the beginning of the school year, and the Wellness Committee will support these orientations if requested.   The School Food Service Provider shall be responsible for meeting the nutrition regulations set forth in this policy.


            D.  Wellness Policy Reporting


The Wellness Committee, working with the School Food Service Provider staff and school administration, will report publicly to the Superintendent and the School Committee on the Wellness Policy implementation, and evaluation on an annual basis.  This report will be based on objective data collection as much as possible. This report will include evaluation of the following elements:


  1. The extent to which schools are in compliance with the Wellness Policy
  2. Obstacles that schools report in meeting compliance of the elements in the Wellness Policy
  3. A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the Wellness Policy
  4. A Wellness Policy implementation plan at the district level with measurable objectives for attaining each goal of the policy



The Health and Wellness Subcommittee recognizes that additional topics pertaining to health and wellness, including but not limited to personal health, mental and emotional health, injury prevention, nutrition, sexuality and family life, disease control and prevention, and substance abuse and abuse prevention may be reviewed by the Health and Wellness Subcommittee and recommendations will be forwarded to the School Committee for policy review.