• Our Lady of Victory Catholic School Wellness Policy

    Purpose:

    Our Lady of Victory Catholic School recognizes the gospel value of the sanctity of life. We attempt to foster in all our students a respect for the gift of health. We also realize it is our task as educators to educate our students in body, mind and soul. This impels us to recognize the value of proper nutrition and physical activity in the development of each child trusted in our care. The school is committed to providing a school environment that promotes wellness, nutrition education, and physical activity and education for parents to enable them to assist their children to make healthy choices. 

    The School Council adopts this policy based on the recommendation of the Wellness committee in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations. 

    Policy:

    1. All stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, parents, school council members, parishioners, and priests will be invited to join the Wellness Committee to implement, monitor, and review the Wellness Policy. 
    2. All students will receive opportunities and encouragement to stay physically active on a regular basis. 
    3. OLVCS will provide a health and physical education curriculum K - 8, and nutritional education opportunities during the school day, as well as other developmentally appropriate activities aimed at fostering lifelong habits. 
    4. Food and beverages sold or served at school are consistent with a healthy lifestyle. 
    5. The school environment, including physical, as well as climate and culture will support student/staff health and wellness. 
    6. The mental, emotional and social health of students and staff will be supported by certified school nurses, and certified school counselors and counselors from Catholic Social Services. 
    7. The Wellness Policy will be considered in planning all school-based activities. 
    8. OLVCS will support families through outreach and parent education in regards to student health and wellness. 
    9. OLVCS will use the resources of the greater community, Our Lady of Victory Parish and those of the Altoona/Johnstown Dioceses to support the well-being of students and staff. 

    Delegation of Responsibility: 

    The OLVCS principal shall monitor school programs and curricula to ensure compliance with this policy and related policies and to establish guidelines or administrative regulations. 

    The OLVCS staff members responsible for programs related to school wellness shall report to the principal regarding the status of the programs. 

    The OLVCS principal will report annually to the school council on the school’s compliance with the wellness policy. 

    Guidelines

    Annual Notification of Policy 

    OLVCS shall annually inform and update all stakeholders of the contents, updates and implementation of this policy via the website and/or other efficient communication methods. This annual notification shall include information on how to access the Coordinated School Health and Wellness policy; information about the most recent triennial assessment; information on how to participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the Wellness policy; and a means of contacting the School Health and Wellness Council leadership. 

    Assessment 

    The Principal or designee and the established Wellness Committee shall conduct an assessment at least once every three (3) years on the contents and implementation of this policy as part of a continuous improvement process to strengthen the policy and ensure implementation. This triennial assessment shall be made available to all stakeholders in an accessible and easily understood manner and include: 

    1. The extent to which OLVCS is in compliance with law and policies related to school wellness. 
    2. The extent to which this policy compares to model wellness policies. 
    3. A description of the progress made by the school in attaining the goals of this policy. 

    At least once every three years, OLVCS shall review and modify this policy as needed based on the results of the most recent triennial assessment and/or as school and families' needs and priorities change. In addition, as wellness goals are met, new health science information emerges, and new federal or state guidance or standards are issued. 

    Wellness Committee 

    OLVCS will have a Wellness Committee, in which members will be recruited via a public announcement to all stakeholders, with at least one representative for each of the following areas: 

    1. 1)  Building principal 
    2. 2)  Food service manager 
    3. 3)  Parent representative 
    4. 4)  P.E Teacher 
    5. 5)  School nurse 
    6. 6)  School counselor 
    7. 7)  Coach 
    8. 8)  Health professional 
    9. 9)  Representative of a local or county agency 
    10. 10)  Appropriately aged students 
    11. 11)  School Council Representative 

    The Wellness Committee serves as an advisory committee regarding student health issues and is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, periodic review and update of the Wellness Policy. 

    The wellness Committee will serve as a clearinghouse for information regarding student health issues and as liaison with community agencies. The information will then be disseminated to the school. 

    School Food Environment 

    School Meals 

    1. Menus and the nutritional content of school meals will be available to parents/guardians and students on the OLVCS website 
    2. OLVCS will provide adequate time for students to enjoy healthy foods, 20 minutes for lunch 
    3. Dining areas will be pleasant with enough space to comfortably seat all students. 

    Competitive Foods 

    OLVCS is committed to ensuring that all foods and beverages available to the students within the school, during the school day (midnight until 30 minutes after the end of the scheduled day) support healthy eating. The foods and beverages sold and served outside the school meal program will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards at a minimum. This includes foods sold in the cafeteria, in vending machines, or any other in-school outlets. 

    Fundraising 

    Food fundraisers may not take place during the first 1/2 hour of the school day nor during the time that lunch is served in the school building. 

    All food fundraisers that occur on school property during the school day will meet USDA’s Smart Snacks standards. 

    OLVCS does not recognize exempt fundraisers during the school day. 

    School organizations that engage in fundraising off school property or outside school hours will be encouraged to consider healthy food or non-food related fundraising options. 

    Classroom Snacks, Rewards, & Celebrations

    Parties and celebrations held in elementary schools should limit foods (maximum 2-3 items) that contain added sugar as the first ingredient and will provide fresh fruits and/or vegetables and water and/or milk as healthier alternatives. 

    Food should not be used as a reward for elementary classroom or school activities unless the reward is an activity that promotes a positive nutrition message. 

    Parents/guardians and teachers at the middle school level will be made aware of the school’s commitment to wellness and will be encouraged to provide healthy snacks. Non-food rewards and celebrations will be encouraged. 

    School Sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, dances, performances or 

    ceremonies) 

    Coordinators of these events will be made aware of the commitment from OLVCS to wellness and will be encouraged to provide healthy options. 

    Nutrition Promotion & Marketing


    Nutrition promotion and education positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by using evidence-based techniques and nutrition messages, and by creating food environments that encourage healthy nutrition choices and encourage participation in school meal programs. 

    OLVCS will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus. This promotion will occur through at least: 

    1. Implementing research-based, behavioral economics techniques in the school cafeteria to promote healthy food choices 
    2. Ensuring that any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus during the school day shall meet or exceed the established federal nutrition standards (USDA Smart Snacks in School). 
    3. Offering resources about health and nutrition to parents/guardians 
    4. Providing samples of food items that could become part of the upcoming menu, thereby allowing the students to have a voice in menu planning. 

    Faculty and staff are encouraged to set a positive example for students. Students are not likely to believe that nutrition policies are beneficial if they see faculty and/or staff consuming foods and beverages that do not align with OLVCS Wellness policy. 

    Health Education 

    The goal of Health Education is to provide students with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for making health-promoting decisions, achieving health literacy and adopting health-enhancing behaviors. Comprehensive K- 8 health education courses address a variety of topics such as drug and alcohol use and abuse, healthy eating and nutrition, mental and emotional health, personal health and wellness, physical activity, safety and injury prevention, tobacco use, and violence prevention. 

    A qualified teacher who has been trained in Health Education (with the assistance of a certified elementary education teacher) will teach Health Education at the elementary level. A certified health educator will teach the middle school classes. 

    The Health Education curriculum will be a sequential, comprehensive Health Education program in accordance with State Board of Education curriculum regulations and the national academic standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education and Family and Consumer Sciences. 

    Nutrition Education will be included within the health curriculum but will also include a Health Fair, integration of nutrition education in other core subjects, such as math and reading. 

    Physical Education 

    The goal of K-8 Physical Education is to provide students with opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills to allow for participation in a wide variety of lifetime health-enhancing physical activities. Active participation in Physical Education classes will also increase the level of the student’s overall fitness and well-being. 

    Comprehensive K-8 physical education courses shall be the means through which all students learn, practice and are assessed on the developmentally-appropriate skills and knowledge that are needed to sustain lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity. 

    Certified health and physical education teachers will teach the physical education curriculum. 

    The physical education curriculum will be a sequential, comprehensive program in accordance with State Board of Education curriculum regulations and the academic standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education. 

    Physical Education class will not be withheld as a form of punishment or as a time to make up class work or homework. 

    Physical Activity 

    In addition to planned physical education, age-appropriate physical activity opportunities will be provided to meet the needs of all students. These may include recess, activities before and after school and during lunch, clubs, and interscholastic athletics. 

    Health Services 

    School Health Services, a division of Student Services, provides for the health needs of the school child in accordance with the School Laws of Pennsylvania. Included among these services are: health screenings, physical examinations, health appraisals and counseling, first aid and emergency care in case of injury and sudden illness, referral of detected health problems and education for wellness promotion, disease prevention and control. 

    The goal of School Health Services is to help students attain and maintain an optimum health status so that they may receive maximum benefit from educational experience. School Health Services will promote the development of positive health attitudes and practices, and integrate the school health program with other health service delivery systems.

    In addition, medication: students will be provided with nursing services during the school day to accommodate special needs. 

    Counseling/Mental Health 

    A program of school counseling will be offered to all students and will involve the coordinated efforts of all staff members under the professional leadership of certificated school counseling provided by IU 10. 

    Staff Health 

    OLVCS recognizes that employees are a valuable resource. The Wellness Committee will create staff wellness programs that include worksite health promotion programs, and employee wellness programs to improve health and overall wellness. These programs will include physical activity opportunities and mental health options for improvement of overall health. 

    Family/Community

    OLVCS is committed to the belief that all students can learn and acknowledges that parents/ guardians and the community share in the school’s commitment to the educational success of children. OLVCS recognizes that the responsibility of each student’s education is shared by the school, the family and the community. 

    OLVCs will support the development of programs that involve families, such as health challenges, the Walk-A-Thon, and nutrition fairs. 

    Environment

    OLVCS is committed to establishing a healthy and safe school environment. OLVCS will strive to develop a positive school climate that includes: 

    1. students, faculty/staff, families feeling socially, emotionally, and physically safe 
    2. students, faculty/staff, families feeling engaged and respected 
    3. students, faculty/staff, families, contributing to the operations of the school as well as the care of the physical environment 

    Recordkeeping

    The School will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the Coordinated School Health and Wellness policy. The record will include: 

    1. The Wellness Policy 
    2. Documentation demonstrating that OLVCS has informed the public, on an annual basis, about the contents of the Wellness policy and any updates to the policy 
    3. Documentation of efforts to review and update the Wellness policy, including who is involved in the review and methods used to inform the stakeholders of their ability to participate in the review. 
    4. Documentation demonstrating the most recent assessment on the implementation of the Wellness policy and notification of the assessment results to the public.