The link between nutrition and learning is well documented. Healthy eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Healthy eating is demonstrably linked to reduced risk for premature mortality and development of many chronic diseases as adults. Schools have a responsibility to help students develop and maintain lifelong, healthy eating patterns. Well-planned and well-implemented school nutrition programs have been shown to positively influence students’ eating habits.
All students should possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritious and enjoyable food choices for a lifetime. In addition, staff members are encouraged to model healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of life. The Fort Smith Public School District will take positive steps to encourage such healthy eating habits and physical activities.
I. Goals for nutrition, physical activity, and other school based activities that are designed to promote student wellness:
C. Physical Activity
A. Nutrition Education
i. The Fort Smith Public Schools will provide a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors.
ii. The Fort Smith Public Schools will promote a comprehensive approach to nutrition in Kindergarten through 12th Grade.
B. Nutrition Promotion
i. Fort Smith Public Schools work to improve the health and well-being of its students by developing and promoting nutrition guidance and education that links scientific research to the nutritional needs of students.
i. A quality physical education program is an essential component for all students to learn about and participate in physical activity. Physical activity should be included in a school’s daily education program from grades K through 12. Physical activity should include regular instructional physical education, co-curricular activities, and recess as appropriate.
ii. Fort Smith Public Schools will meet or exceed all physical activity requirements as described in the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards in Arkansas Schools.
D. Other School Based Activities
i. School Dining Areas
1. School dining areas will have sufficient space for students to sit and consume meals.
2. School dining areas will be clean, safe and pleasant.
3. Adequate time will be given for students to enjoy eating healthy.
1. All fundraising projects for sale and consumption of food items within the school day will follow the district’s nutritional standards when determining the items being sold.
2. Groups doing fundraisers outside the school day will be encouraged to consider non-food sales and/or items supportive of healthy eating when possible.
iii. Professional development
1. Nutritional and physical activity education opportunities will be a part of the district’s regular professional development program.
II. Nutrition guidelines for all foods available on school campuses during the school day:
The Fort Smith Public Schools support and promote proper dietary habits contributing to student’s health status and academic performance. All foods available on school grounds and at school sponsored activities during the school day should meet or exceed the state nutrition standards. Emphasis should be placed on foods that are nutrient dense per calorie. To ensure high quality, nutritious meals, foods should be served with consideration toward variety, appeal, taste, safety, and packaging.
III. Assurance that guidelines for reimbursable meals shall not be less restrictive than regulation and guidance as defined in the federal Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B Russell National School Lunch Act:
A. The Fort Smith Public Schools will offer breakfast, lunch and after school snacks programs and will adhere to guidelines for reimbursable meals not to be less restrictive than the most current regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture.
B. The full meal school breakfast and lunch programs will continue to follow the USDA Requirements for Federal School Meal Programs.
IV. Plan for measuring the implementation of the local wellness policy:
The Fort Smith Public Schools will comply with all state regulations pertaining to nutrition and physical activity including annual assessment and modification of the wellness plan
V. Involvement of parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators, and the public in development and maintenance of the school wellness policy:
The Fort Smith Public Schools will include all the necessary shareholders in the creation and maintenance of the wellness policy.
Updated FSPS School Board July 2012
Reviewed SNPAA Committee May 2013
Reviewed SNPAA Committee May 2014
Reviewed SNPAA Committee May 2015
Reviewed SNPAA Committee May 2016