Ambridge Area School District

901 Duss Avenue, Ambridge PA 15003 | 724.266.2833


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STUDENT WELLNESS POLICY                                                            ADOPTED:    08/30/2006

                                                                                                            REVISED:      11/01/2013

1.      PURPOSE                       

Ambridge Area School District recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to our students’ physical health, well-being, growth, development, and readiness to learn.  The School Board of Directors is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education, and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience.  In a healthy school environment, students will learn about and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices that can improve student achievement.

2.      AUTHORITY     

To ensure the health and well-being of all students, the Board establishes that the district shall provide to students:

·         A comprehensive nutrition program consistent with federal and state requirements.

·         Access at reasonable cost to food and beverages that meet established nutritional guidelines.

·         Physical Education courses and opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day.

·         Curriculum and programs for grades K-12 designed for educating students about proper nutrition and lifelong physical activity, in accordance with State Board of Education curriculum regulations and academic standards.

3.      DELEGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY                       

The Superintendent or Food Service Director shall be responsible to monitor district schools, programs, and curriculum to ensure compliance with the policy, related policies, and established guidelines or administrative regulations.  Each building Principal or designee shall report to the Superintendent or Food Service Director regarding compliance in each respective school.  Staff members responsible for programs related to student wellness shall report to the Superintendent regarding the status of such programs.

4.      GUIDELINES    

The district shall appoint a Wellness Committee consisting of members of the administrative staff, physical education/health education teachers, school nurse, student council representatives, parent representatives, Food Service Director, and one member of the food service industry.


·         The goal of Ambridge Area School District is to teach measures which support a healthy lifestyle by students, which will promote student readiness and enhance achievement toward student performance.

·         All students will be required to take and pass at least four (4) health education courses between grades K-12 in Health Education and/or Family and Consumer Sciences.

·         All Health education courses are taught using the curriculum that is consistent with Pennsylvania and National Standards.

·         Health education courses teach objectives for students on adopting a healthy lifestyle and emphasizing nutrition and physical activity.

·         Health education faculty is certified in their field and participates in ongoing professional development and continuing education in the health/nutrition/wellness discipline.

·         Health education messages will be emphasized throughout Ambridge Area School District by way of course content, guest speakers, menu messages, nutrient labeling of menus and educational décor in classrooms.

·         Health education messages shall extend into the community via the district newsletter, and support of parent-teacher organizations.


·         All foods made available through the district operate under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program guidelines and are served in accordance with federal nutrition standards under the School Meals Initiative and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  A primary focus will implement measures to combat the issue of childhood obesity and promote, in awareness and practice, a healthier eating lifestyle.

·         Meals will meet the nutritional criteria for calories, fat, low-fat dairy foods, whole-grain baked (bread) products, a variety of at least 3 fruits and/or vegetables daily, as per the current Nutritional Guidelines from Pennsylvania Department of Education Division of Food and Nutrition.

·         Ala carte foods sold within the district’s food service department will be packaged in single serving sizes, not list sugar as the first ingredient, provide minimal or no trans fat, and include a variety of items that provide 2+ grams of fiber per serving.  Caloric content will not exceed 200 calories per serving for all foods except entrees. To be updated upon receipt of final rule regarding competitive foods.


·         Beverages sold within the food service department will include allowable milk selections at minimum of two (2) fat-free flavors, and white 1%.  Whole milk will not be offered.  Milk will be packaged in 8 ounce containers.  Bottled water and 100% juice will be sold/offered as part of the menued lunch and ala carte sales.

·         Junior and Senior High cafeterias will offer a variety of beverages that meet the current nutritional criteria.  Beverage offerings will be in compliance with the forthcoming newly adopted competitive foods rule.

·         Foods of minimal nutritional value will not be sold anytime during the day within the food service department.

 Refer to USDA regulation 7 CFR 210 and 220.

·         The district will ensure that beverages sold through vending machines will reflect current competitive food rules.

·         Vending machines containing carbonated soft drinks will not be turned on during the normal school day.

·         Vending machines will not be available in schools grades K-6.

·         Healthier meal options and menued suggestions will be marketed on menus, the food service newsletters, and on the district’s website.  Signage and nutritional information will be posted on menus and in serving areas to encourage students to choose healthier eating and promote nutrient awareness.

·         All food service employees will be in-serviced on the implementation of the process of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

·         The Food Service Director and appropriate staff will arrange to meet with Junior and Senior High student council no less than once every three (3) months to review menus, hold taste tests, and gather student feedback via surveys, interviews.

·         The Food Service Director will communicate with parents on a regular basis on menus, wellness, and departmental offerings.  This communication will take place via the district newsletters and via online email accessibility and the district website.

·         Food Service Department, working in cooperation with food vendors, and the district, will sponsor events such as health and wellness food fairs as often as possible.

·         Food Service Department will continue to sponsor a nutrition awareness classroom lesson to all first graders, annually.  The program is in conjunction with school instructional staff and the district’s dairy provider, who currently provides a nutrition education specialist to educate the children on healthy food and dairy choices.


·         Vendors will work with food service staff in providing complete nutritional content of all foods offered within the school food service department.

·         Additionally, all foods menued will be analyzed for nutrition content to meet current US dietary guidelines.  Nutritional software will be implemented to accomplish this task.  Recipes will be standardized and analyzed for nutrient data as well.

·         Ample substitutions will be made for gluten free students, as well as students with food allergies.

·         School meals will be served in clean, safe pleasant surroundings.  Adequate space and time will be provided to ensure a positive meal experience.  The National Association of School Boards recommends the promotion of a relaxed dining experience including 10 minutes after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch.

·         All food service staff will have ongoing opportunity to participate in continuing nutrition education and staff development via attendance in workshops, district in-service days, and department food service meetings.  Head Cooks will participate at least annually in workshops or seminars related to food and nutrition services.  At least four (4) food service members per year will become trained in the Serv-Safe Program.

·         Food service staff shall take all measures to ensure that student access to foods and beverages meet federal, state, and local guidelines, as well as sanitation regulations.

·         The food service department cooking, storage, and serving areas shall be limited to “Authorized Personnel Only” in an effort toward maintaining kitchen sanitation and infection control.

·         Food Service Director, working with active and/or parent members of the Wellness Committee, will take measures to promote awareness among parents and teachers to emphasize the offering of healthier food alternatives for classroom parties and fundraisers.

·         Nutritional facts and advice, i.e. carbohydrate counts, gluten free offerings, and similar circumstances.

·         In an effort to reduce competition with the district’s school lunch program, the Ambridge Area School District will remain a “closed-campus”, i.e., students will not be permitted to leave school grounds during the school day for alternative food or beverage purposes.

·         The Food Service Director shall provide appropriate training to all food service staff on the specific area components of the Student Wellness Policy.


·         Ambridge Area School District will provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day for all students.

·         District schools and instructors provide students the opportunity to exercise through physical activity daily on most days of the week, in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

·         A variety of age-appropriate physical activities, in addition to physical education class, shall be provided in the form of recess and after school extra-curricular clubs and groups.

·         Physical fitness tests and/or challenges will be offered annually to students in grades 7-12.

·         A physical and social environment will be offered and maintained that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students.

·         After school programs shall provide developmentally appropriate physical activity for participating children.  The district has already partnered with the YMCA for after school activities in elementary levels.

·         District schools shall partner with parents/guardians and community members to institute programs that support physical activity.

·         Parents and staff will be encouraged to participate in such activities.

·         The district will continue to provide students and community with acceptable physical activity facilities after school hours.


·         The district will offer a quality physical education instruction that promotes lifelong physical activity in accordance with the US dietary guidelines.

·         Physical education classes shall be the means through which all students learn, practice, and are assessed on the development of appropriate skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong health and physical activity.

·         A comprehensive physical education course of study that focuses on providing students the skills, knowledge, and confidence to participate in a healthy, active lifestyle shall be implemented.

·         A sequential physical education program consistent with State Board of Education curriculum regulations and Health, Safety and Physical Education Academic Standards shall be developed and implemented.

·         Adequate amounts of planned instruction shall be provided in order for students to achieve the proficient level for the Health, Safety and Physical Education Academic Standards.

·         Students shall be moderately to vigorously active for the major portion of a given physical education class.  Documented medical conditions and disabilities shall be accommodated each class.

·         Safe and adequate equipment, facilities and resources shall be provided.

·         Physical education shall be taught by certified instructors who shall participate in ongoing continuing education to maintain a level current expertise in the discipline.

·         Physical education classes shall have a teacher to student ratio comparable to those of other courses.


·         Parent Partnerships:

Parents shall be provided information to help them incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into their children’s daily lives.  The information will be provided in the form of student handouts, the school district website, articles in school district community or food service newsletters, presentations during PTA/PTO meetings that focus on healthy eating, exercise, and/or wellness, and any other appropriate means for reaching parents.

Parents shall be educated to partner with school staff in order to provide a healthy diet and appropriate level of physical activity during both school hours and in their respective homes.

·         Fundraising:

The Wellness Committee will distribute a list of suggestions for non-food fundraising efforts to all PTA/PTO groups and other student groups that participate in fundraising.  While the Wellness Committee cannot prohibit the sale of foods of minimal nutritional value, it can and will encourage the use of many alternative methods for raising funds.                            SEE APPENDIX C

The Wellness Committee and subsequent Policy will request that the cooperation of PTA/PTO groups and other groups that any fundraising items of minimal nutritional value WILL NOT be offered nor eaten during the school day.  This is in order to assure that they are not in direct competition with the National School Lunch Program.

·         Classroom Parties:


Parents will be encouraged to offer variety in their choice of party food.  The Wellness Committee will encourage that parents cooperate with the teachers in order to avoid duplication of excessive sweets being brought in from home.  Example: offer fresh fruit, one sweet, one non-sweetened beverage, etc. instead of cupcake, cookie, chips, pop…

Food brought in for classroom parties shall not be offered before those particular students have eaten lunch so as to avoid negatively affecting the students’ appetite.

Each building Principal will have final decision as to frequency of party celebrations and food offered.