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2.80 Wellness Policy

The School Board of Okeechobee County 

Chapter 2.00: School Board Governance and Organization 



On June 30, 2004, Congress passed Section 204 of Public Law 108-265, of the Child Nutrition and WIC reauthorization Act of 2004. This law requires each local education agency participating in a program, authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 USC 1751 et. seq.) or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 USC 1771 et. seq.), to establish a local school wellness policy by July 1, 2006. In 2010, additional requirements were set forth under Section 204 of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. This policy incorporates federal law as well as Chapter 5P-1.003(2)(d) of Florida Administrative Code (FAC). 


  1. Philosophy and Commitment 

The Okeechobee County School District believes that a healthy school environment goes beyond the meals in the cafeteria. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight require a combination of healthy food choices and an appropriate amount of physical activity. A healthy and physically active child is more likely to be academically successful. Children and youth who begin each day as healthy individuals can learn more and learn better and are more likely to complete their formal education. The District also believes that healthy employees can more effectively perform their assigned duties and model appropriate wellness behaviors for students. This policy encourages a holistic approach to staff and student wellness that is sensitive to individual and community needs. The District shall implement a multifaceted wellness program with the involvement of students, staff, families, and the community and encourage consideration of the District’s wellness policy goals in planning all school activities. 

  1.  Okeechobee County School District will assemble a representative wellness committee that will meet biannually to evaluate and set goals for the development, implementation and periodic review and update of its local school wellness policy. 

  1. The appointed District Administrator shall ensure overall compliance with the local school wellness policy. 

  1. Parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators and the general public shall be permitted to participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the local school wellness policy. 

  1.  Each school within Okeechobee County School District will establish and ongoing Healthy School Team that will meet quarterly to ensure compliance and facilitate implementation of Okeechobee County School District’s wellness policy. 

  1. The school principal and local school staff shall have the responsibility to comply with federal and state regulations as they relate to the local school wellness policy. 

  1. In each school, the principal or designee will be responsible for establishing the Healthy School Team that will ensure compliance with the policy. 

  1. The Healthy School Team will include, but not be limited to, the following stakeholders: parents, students, school food service program representatives, school administrators, school health professionals, physical education teacher and the public. A member of this shall be a representative on the School Advisory Committee (SAC). 

  1. The Healthy School Team will be responsible for: 

  1. Ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations for competitive food and beverage items sold on the school campus (7 CFR 210.11 and FAC 5P-1.003). 

  1. Maintaining a school calendar identifying the dates when exempted competitive food fundraisers will occur in accordance with the frequency specified in paragraph (c) of FAC 5P-1.003. 

  1. Reporting its school’s compliance of the aforementioned regulations to the appointed District Administrator, the person responsible for ensuring overall compliance with the local school wellness policy. 

  1.  Okeechobee County School District will review and consider evidence-based strategies and techniques in establishing goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity and other school-based activities that promote student wellness to, at a minimum, include a review of Smarter Lunchroom tools and techniques. 


  1. Nutrition and Health Education 

Nutrition education shall be provided that teaches the knowledge, skills, and values needed to adopt healthy eating behaviors. Nutrition topics shall be integrated within the comprehensive health education curriculum in each grade level according to state standards. The Okeechobee County Health Department along with other community resources can provide nutrition and health educational programs for classroom presentations upon request. Healthy living skills shall be taught to provide the opportunity for all student to understand and practice concepts and skills related to health promotion and disease prevention. The Okeechobee County School Health Services Plan addresses the coordination of activities to promote healthy living. Comprehensive School Health Staff from the Okeechobee Count Health Department will provide health educational programs upon request.  

  1.  Each school shall provide nutrition and health educational programs. 

  1.  Students shall have access to valid and useful health information. 

  1.  Students shall have the opportunity to practice behaviors that enhance health          and/or reduce health risks during the school day. 

  1.  Students shall be taught communication, goal setting and decision-making skills that enhance personal, family and community health. 


  1. Physical Education and Activity 

Physical education and physical activity shall be an essential element of each school’s instructional program. The program shall provide the opportunity for students to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to participate in a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Physical education and activity will be provided by Board approved personnel. 

  1.  All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes of daily recess. Each school will provide space, equipment and an environment conducive to safe and enjoyable play. 

  1. Students will have additional opportunities for physical activity integrated into the overall school curriculum, as well as, through before and after school activities or other activity programs. Students will be encouraged to participate in community-offered fitness and athletic programs. 


  1. Physical Education Program 

The physical education program shall be designed to encourage physical activity and encourage healthy, active lifestyles. The program shall consist of physical activities that are sufficient to provide a significant health benefit to students, subject to the differing abilities of students. 

  1.  Requires each district school board to include the availability of one-on-one counseling concerning the benefits of physical education in their written physical education policy. 

  1.  Continues to require 150 minutes each week for student in grades K-5 and requires at least 30 consecutive minutes of physical education on any day during which physical education instruction is conducted. 

  1.  Requires the equivalent of one class period per day of physical education for one semester of each year for students enrolled in grades 6-8. 

  1.  Provides waiver options for students and requires that each district school board is required to notify parents of waiver options prior to scheduling a student in physical education. 

  1.  High school students much have one credit of a HOPE physical education course or Personal Fitness course and an additional half credit elective for graduation purposes. 

  1.  Students electing one of the three-year, 18 credit options do not have to meet the high school requirement and may use the physical education courses listed as elective credit. Students may waive a portion or all of these requirements only to the extent permitted by state law. 




  1. Health Services 

An effective health care delivery system that promotes academic achievement by providing a broad scope of services from qualified health care providers will improve the mental and physical health of students and staff. The Okeechobee County School District and the Okeechobee County Health Department are required by Florida Statute 381.0056 to jointly develop a School Health Services Plan. Each school is provided with a licensed nurse. 

  1.  Primary coordination of health services shall be through a licensed nurse with the support and direction of the Okeechobee County School District and the Okeechobee County Health department. 

  1.  A coordinated program of accessible health services shall be provided to students and staff and may include violence prevention, school safety, communicable disease prevention, health screening [including Body Mass Index (BMI), community health referrals, immunizations, parenting skills, first aid and other priority health education topics. 


  1. Nutrition 


Academic performance and quality of life issues are affected by the availability of good foods in our schools. Healthy foods support student physical growth, brain development, resistance to disease, emotional stability and ability to learn. Students will be encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast. Menus will be in compliance with the new pattern requirements issued by the USDA (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010). 

  • The school environment, including the cafeteria and classroom, shall provide clear and consistent messages that promote and reinforce healthy eating. 

  • Student will have access to useful nutrition information. Posters, worksheets and brochures will be available in classrooms and throughout the school campus. 

  1.  Nutrition guidelines that require the use of products that are high in fiber, low in added fats, sugar and sodium, and served in appropriate portion sizes consistent with USDA standards shall be established for all foods offered by the district’s Nutrition Services Department or contracted vendors. Menu and product selection shall utilize student, parent, staff and community advisory groups whenever possible. Menus are posted in the schools, announced via school media production, and posted on websites, included in newsletters and local news media. 

  1.  A la carte offerings to students shall be nutritious and meet federal recommended guidelines. A student must buy a lunch or bring one from home to be eligible to purchase a la carte items in elementary schools. 

  1.  Vending Machines: The sale of food and beverage items to students in completion with the District’s food service program is prohibited, including those items classified as “foods of minimum nutritional value” as listed in the Code of Federal Regulations 21. Provided, however, school organizations approved by the School Board for exempted fund raising events are permitted to sell these items thirty (30) minutes following the close of the last lunch period. Proceeds from the sale of foods and beverage items during the school day shall accrue to the food service program or to a school organization approved by the School Board. 

  1.  Free water must be made readily available to children during lunch. 

  1.  School must offer fat-free or low-fat milk varieties. 

  1. Ensure students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week. Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain rich foods. 

  1. Limit calories based on age of children being served to ensure proper portion size. 

  1. Increase focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans-fat and sodium. 

  1.  Student will be provided adequate time to consume breakfast and lunch. 

  1.  Fundraising 

  1.  Fundraising efforts will be supportive of healthy eating by complying with all   applicable regulations and nutrition standards for competitive foods while also emphasizing the sale of nonfood times. 

  1.  Exempt fundraisers that include the sale of food items may not occur until thirty (30) minutes after the conclusion of the last designated meal service period. 

  1.  The school board is permitted to grant a special exemption from the standards for competitive foods as specified below for the purpose of conduction infrequent school-sponsored fundraisers, not to exceed the following maximum number of school days per school campus each school year: 

School Type 

Maximum Number of School Days to Conduct Exempted Fundraisers 

Elementary Schools 

5 days 

Middle/Junior High Schools 

10 days 

Senior High Schools 

15 days 

Combination Schools 

10 days 

  1.  Each school’s Healthy School Team will maintain a school calendar identifying the dates when exempted competitive food fundraisers will occur and submit to the Food Service Supervisor (FAC 5P-1.003). 


  1. Policy for Food and Beverage Marketing 


  1. School-based marketing will be consistent with policies for nutrition education and health promotion. As such the following guidelines apply: 

  1.  School will only be allowed to market and advertise those foods and beverages that meet or exceed USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. 

  1.  Marketing activities that promote healthy behaviors (and are therefore encouraged) include: vending machine covers promoting water, pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines, sales of fruit for fundraisers and coupons for discounted gym memberships. 


  1. Nutrition Standards for All Goods Sold in School 


  1. Competitive Foods for Sale 

  1. All foods and beverages sold on the school campus to students outside of reimbursable school meals are considered “competitive foods”, and must comply with the nutrition standards for competitive food as defined and required in 7 CFR 210.11. 

  1.  School campus means, for the purpose of competitive food standards implementation, all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day. 

  1.  School day means, for the purpose of competitive food standards implantation, the period from the midnight before, to thirty (30) minutes after the end of the official school day. 

  1.  The Food and Nutrition Services department will comply with the provisions set forth in Federal Law regarding the sale of competitive food and foods of minimal nutritional value. The Food and Nutrition Services department shall be the sole provider of food and beverage items sold in all school until thirty (30) minutes after the end of the official school day at which time other school organizations may begin to sell food and beverage items in accordance with the School Board’s wellness policy and with principal approval. 

  1.  Accordingly, all foods and beverages for sale to students on campus from vending machines, from school stores, or as fundraisers by student clubs and organization, parent groups, or boosters shall comply with current USDA dietary guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools regulations, applicable State law, and Florida Administrative Code rule, and shall only be available thirty (30) minutes following the close of the official school day. 

  1.  Unless being sold by the Okeechobee County School District food service program, it is impermissible for any competitive food item sold to students during the school day to consist of ready-to-eat combination foods of meat or meat alternative and grain product, as defined in 7 CFR 210.10 and 210.11 (FAC 5P-1.003). 

  1.  General Nutrition Requirements 

  1.  Water- Free water must be readily available to children during breakfast and lunch. 

  1.  Whole Grains- All snack food sold in schools must be whole grain rich. This means they contain at least 50% whole grains, have whole grains as the first ingredient, or have fruit, vegetable, dairy product, or protein rich good as the first ingredient. 

  1.  Calories- Snacks must contain no more than 200 calories. A la carte entrees must contain no more than 350 calories. 

  1.  Sugar- Snacks must contain no more than 35% sugar by weight. 

  1. Exceptions exist for dried fruit without added sugars and even for some that have added nutritive sweeteners that are required for processing and/or palatability purposes. 

  1.  Sodium- Snacks must contain no more than 230 mg of sodium. Entrees must contain no more than 480 mg of sodium. 

  1.  Fat- Total fat must be no more that 35% of calories. Saturated fat must be no more than 10% of calories. There must be no trans-fat in the package as served. 

  1.  Exemptions 

  1. Entrees served in the NSLP/SBP on the day of service and the following school day. 

  1. Fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables with no added ingredients, except water, which are packed in 100% juice, extra light syrup, or light syrup. 

  1.  Beverages 

  1. Allowable beverages are limited to plain water (carbonated or noncarbonated), low-fat milk (unflavored), non-fat milk (flavored and unflavored), nutritionally equivalent milk alternatives, full strength fruit and/or vegetable juices, and full strength fruit and vegetable juices diluted with water or carbonated water. 

  1. Beverages must be caffeine free for elementary and middle school. 

  1. Beverage portion limits: 8 fluid ounces for elementary school and 12 fluid ounces for middle and high school. 

  1.  High School 

  1. Calorie free beverages are allowable in up to 20 ounce containers (5 calories per 8 ounce serving and no more than 10 calories per 20 fluid ounces). 

  1. Lower calorie drinks are allowed with up to 40 calories per 8 ounces or 60 calories per 12 ounces. 

  1. Caffeine is permitted. 

  1.  Special Note- These rules only apply to food sold to students. These rules do not apply to food brought from home for lunch, or for birthday parties, off-campus fundraiser, athletic events, and school plays, or for foods sold during non-school hours (thirty (30) minutes after school). 


  1. Standards for Food and Beverages Available During the School Day that are Not Sold to Students 


  1.  The school will provide parents and teachers a list of ideas for healthy celebration/party rewards and fundraising activities. 

  1.  Class parties or celebrations shall be held after the lunch period. 

  1.  Schools will limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. 


  1. Counseling/Psychosocial and Social Services 


  1.  Each school shall provide a supportive and nurturing environment that includes school counseling, social workers, mental health counseling, and psychological services. 

  1.  Each school shall provide a supportive environment that includes guidance, counseling, and school social work services offered to encourage students, families, and staff members to request assistance when needed and to help link them to school and community resources as appropriate. Programs and student service plans that support and value the social and emotional well-being of students, families and staff build a healthy school environment. 

  1.  Students shall be taught the skills to express thoughts and feeling in a responsible manner and give and receive support from others. 

  1.  Student shall be taught to understand and respect the differences in others and how to build positive interpersonal relations. 

  1.  Students and staff shall be encouraged to balance work and recreation. 


  1. Health and Safety Goals 


  1.  To ensure that all buildings, structures, and grounds are inspected and meet health and safety standards. 

  1.  To maintain a school and worksite environment that is free from tobacco.  

  1.  To maintain a school and worksite environment that is free from alcohol and drugs. 

  1.  To monitor routes to school and encourage walking and bicycle riding where appropriate and safe. 

  1.  To provide a comprehensive health and safety education program for students. 

  1.  To provide career education awareness for careers in health and wellness related fields. 

  1.  To provide career education awareness for careers in health and wellness related fields. 

  1.  To refer students, families and staff to health resources in the community. 

  1.   To promote and support health and safety programs in the community. 


  1. Staff Wellness 


The district, and each work site, shall provide information about wellness resources and services to assist in identifying and supporting the health, safety and well-being of site staff. 

  1. Employees shall be encouraged to engage in daily physical activity before or after work hours in site-sponsored programs or as part of a local fitness facility. 

  1. Each school and district site shall be in compliance with drug, alcohol and tobacco free policies. 

  1. Each school and district site shall provide an accessible and productive work environment free from physical dangers or emotional threat that is as safe as possible and consistent with applicable occupation and health laws, policies and rules. 


  1. Family and Community Involvement Goals 


  1.  To make facilities available to the community for wellness related activities through established procedure. 

  1.   To collaborate with community agencies and organizations to promote, support and encourage wellness activities in the community and support and encourage participation in the community activities such as organized walks, health screenings, and educational programs. 

  1.  Long term effective partnerships improve the planning and implementation of health promotion projects and events within each school and throughout the community. 

  1.  Family, students, and community partners shall be included on an ongoing basis in school and district wellness planning processes. The equality and diversity of the school and district community shall be valued in the planning and implementation. 


  1. Wellness Coordinator and Worksite Contact Persons 


  1.  The Superintendent shall appoint a Wellness Coordinator to manage and coordinate the implementation of the program. 

  1.  Each principal shall appoint a Well Contact for his/her school. 

  1.  The Superintendent shall appoint a Wellness Contact for the District Office. 

  1.  Wellness Steering Committee 

Shall include: 

Parents:(3) Representatives from SAC Committees 

      (1) Each: Elementary, Middle, and Senior 

Students:(2) Representatives from Student Council 

(1) Each: Middle and Senior 

School Board Member:(1) 

School Administrators: (3) Representatives from District level 

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction 

Director of Student Services 

Supervisor of Food Service 

School Nurse:(1) Representative from Health Department 

Coordinator of School Nurses 

Phys. Education Teachers:(2) Representatives from School level 

(1) Each: Elementary and Secondary 

Health Educator:(1) Representative 

Lead Teacher, Health Occupations, Senior High 

  1. Implementation 


  1.  The Wellness Steering committee will conduct a baseline assessment of current nutrition guidelines and activities, nutrition education, physical activity, involvement of student, families, and staff in wellness activities and other wellness related topics. 

  1.  The Wellness Steering committee will work with staff to develop a comprehensive wellness program based on the adopted goals and results of the initial assessment.  

  1.  The goals of the program will be implemented in a progressive manner. The plan will identify the goals for each year. 

  1.  The program shall be implemented at all grade levels, for staff, for parents, and for community. 

  1.  The program will be incorporated into existing parent involvement programs. 

  1.  The Wellness Coordinator will work with the Wellness Contacts regarding implementation of the program. 


  1. Evaluation and Monitoring 


To ensure compliance each, each school administrator, or their designee, will coordinate with staff members to complete a compliance checklist at the end of each school year. The Wellness Committee members will meet to review the policy and revise as necessary, based on the results of the compliance checklist. The result will be shared with the School Board each year. See Appendix I for a sample of the checklist. 


  1. Triennial Progress Assessments 


  1.  Okeechobee County School District will develop a triennial assessment to measure compliance with Okeechobee County School District’s wellness policy. This assessment will include, but is not limited to the following: 

  1. The extent to which schools under the jurisdiction of Okeechobee County School District are in compliance with the local school wellness policy; 

  1. The extent to which the local school wellness policy compares to model wellness policies; and 

  1. A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the local school wellness policy. 

  1.  Informing the Public 

The Okeechobee County School district will ensure the wellness policy, information and updates to and about the wellness policy and the triennial assessment are available to the public at all times. 

  1.  The Okeechobee County School District will ensure the most updated version the wellness policy and the triennial assessments are always available on the school website for the public to view. 

  1.  Wellness goals and policy updates will be provided to students, parents and staff on a monthly basis. Wellness updates may be provided in the form of handouts, Okeechobee County School District website, articles and information provided in each school’s newsletter, presentations and through other appropriate means to ensure that the community in the district is informed and that public input is encouraged. 

  1.  Each school will provide all parents with a complete copy of the local school wellness policy at the beginning of the school year by making the policy available to the public by posting it on Okeechobee County School District’s website. 

  1.  Community Involvement 

Okeechobee County School District is committed to being responsive to community input, which beings with awareness of the wellness policy. Okeechobee School District will actively communicate ways in which parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators and the general public can participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the local school wellness policy through a variety of means, including: 

  1.  The school will consider student need in planning for a healthy nutrition environment. Students will be asked for input and feedback through the use of surveys and attention will be given to their comments. 

  1.  Okeechobee County School District will use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on Okeechobee County School District’s website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parent or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of the content of, implementation of and updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy. 

  1.  A the final public school board meeting of each year the local school wellness policy will be discussed and all stakeholders will be asked to provide feedback on the policy. All comments and recommendations will be reviewed and considered. 

  1.  Record Keeping 

Okeechobee County School District will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the local school wellness policy at 700 SW 2nd Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34974. Documentation kept in this location will include, but is not limited to, the following: 

  1.  The written local school wellness policy; 

  1.  Documentation of the triennial assessment of the local school wellness policy for each school under its jurisdiction; 

  1.  Documentation demonstrating compliance with the public notification requirements (consistent with the section on informing/updating the public); and 

  1.  Documentation demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements. 













381.0056, 1001.41, 1001.42, 1001.43, 1003.42, 1003.429, 1003.43, 1003.455, 1006.06, 1006.0606, F.S. 


Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 USC 1771 et seq.), Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004,Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act PL 108-265, USDA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296 







Revision Date(s):