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Santa Cruz City Schools |  BP  5030  Students

Student Wellness   

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The educational mission of the Santa Cruz City School District includes improving the health and wellness in our community by teaching students to establish and maintain life-long healthy eating and physical activity habits. The mission shall be accomplished through nutrition education, physical education, Life Lab garden experiences, foods and beverages served in schools, environmental education, psychological and counseling services, health promotion for staff, a safe and healthy school environment, core academic content in the classroom, and family/parent/community collaboration.

The Superintendent or designee will ensure all schools in the district are in compliance with this Wellness Policy.

Statement of Principles

1. The Governing Board recognizes that there is a link between nutrition education, the foods and beverages served in schools, physical activity, environmental education and academic achievement.

2. The Board also recognizes the important connection between a healthy diet, physical activity and a student's ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school.

3. The Board also recognizes that it is Santa Cruz City School's (SCCS) role, as part of the larger community, to model and actively practice through policy and procedures the promotion of family health, physical activity, good nutrition, sustainable agriculture and environmental restoration.

4. SCCS further recognizes that the sharing and enjoyment of food, and participation in physical activity, are fundamental experiences for all people and are a primary way to nurture and celebrate our cultural diversity. These fundamental human experiences are vital bridges for building friendships, forming inter-generational bonds, strengthening core values, and promoting the general wellness of our community.

5. The Board recognizes the positive benefits of physical activity for the health of all students, teachers, staff, and administrators. In addition, recognizing that physical education is crucial in support of academic achievement and an integral part of a child's education, the district will provide opportunities to ensure students engage in healthful levels of physical activity in order to promote and develop the student's physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Besides promoting high levels of personal achievement and a positive self-image, physical education activities should teach students how to cooperate in the achievement of common goals.

In order to accomplish its mission and to comply with its principles, the Board has adopted this student wellness philosophy.

Wellness Goals

To help ensure the wellness of each student attending SCCS and to provide guidance to school personnel in the areas of nutrition, health, physical activity and food service the Board subscribes to the following as guided by the District Wellness Committee.

1. No student in the district will go hungry while in school. A fresh, healthy, nutritious breakfast and lunch is available to every student at every school, so that students are prepared to learn to their fullest potential. The Board will ensure that guidelines for reimbursable meals will not be less restrictive than Federal regulations and guidance issued by the USDA.

2. In order to maximize the district's ability to implement Wellness Goal 1 above and provide nutritious meals and snacks, all district schools shall participate in available federal school nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, to the extent possible.

3. The board supports the use of health - promoting marketing strategies for our meal programs. School food service to the extent possible will incorporate Smarter Lunchroom Movement tools and strategies, which are evidence-based that are shown to improve student participation and healthy choices.

4. The nutritional value of the foods and beverages served by SCCS and after school programs will significantly improve upon USDA and State Dietary Guidelines by providing nutritious, fresh, tasty, and when possible, locally grown food (250 mile radius to the district) that reflects Santa Cruz's cultural diversity. The Board encourages staff to utilize food from local youth farms and farmers as defined by a 250 mile radius to the district, based upon availability and acceptability.

5. Marketing and advertising of non-nutritious foods and beverages through signage, vending machine fronts, logos, scoreboards, school supplies, advertisements in school publications, coupon or incentive programs, or other means are prohibited.

6. SCCS will support sustainable, and when possible, organic agriculture. Therefore Food Services shall develop and implement a plan to integrate local sustainable food, into the meals served to our students by the district. The plan shall seek to eliminate potential harmful food additives and processes, such as bovine growth hormones, irradiation, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and known genetically modified foods.

7. Meals served to students shall be attractively presented in a pleasant environment with sufficient time for eating. It shall be the responsibility of the school staff to foster good manners and respect for fellow students. School staff will be encouraged to support the concept that healthy eating in an attractive environment is an important element in student academic success.

8. The Board encourages the consumption of water. The district will provide clean drinking water in all food service areas and promote water hydration education.

9. Parents/Guardians and staff are encouraged to be consistent with the goals of the policy when providing foods and beverages as a snack, party or incentives offered during the school day. All efforts will be made to hold parties after the lunch hour whenever possible.

10. Teachers, principals and Food Services employees will recognize that the lunch period is an integral part of the educational program of SCCS and work to implement the goals of this policy.

11. Eating experiences, gardens and nutrition education are integrated into the core academic curriculum at all grade levels.

12. The district and each school shall post the district's policies and regulations on nutrition and physical activity on the school's web page, and in public view within all school cafeterias or in other central eating areas.

13. The Superintendent, following the guidance of the Wellness Committee, shall recommend for Board approval specific quality indicators that will be used to measure the implementation of the policy district-wide and at each district school. These measures shall include, but not be limited to the analysis of the nutritional content of meals served, student participation rates in school meal programs; any sales of non-nutritious foods and beverages in fundraisers or other venues outside the district's meal programs, participation in nutrition education and feedback from food service personnel, school administrators, the school health council, parents/guardians, students, and other appropriate persons. The Superintendent or designee shall report to the Board at least annually on the implementation of this policy and any other Board policies related to nutrition and physical activity.

14. All students will be provided opportunities for physical activities and education during the school day.

15. The district will follow the Smart Snack Rule which is part of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act 2010 (HHFKA), which defines the hours of the school day and the foods and beverages that can be sold outside the school food service program.


Integration into the Curriculum

1. Integrate eating experiences, gardens and nutrition education into the curriculum where appropriate for math, science, social studies and language arts at all grade levels.

2. Maintain a Life Lab school garden in comprehensive elementary schools. Give students the opportunity to plant, harvest, prepare, cook and eat food they have grown.

3. Establish and maintain relationships with local farms and farm-to-school programs. Encourage farmers and farm workers to come to the school classroom and arrange for students to visit farms.

Student Participation

1. Solicit student preferences in planning menus and snacks through annual focus groups, surveys and taste tests of new foods and recipes.

2. Coach students to become advocates and peer teachers of healthy food habits and lifestyles.

3. Ensure that students are represented on the Wellness Committee.

Waste Reduction

1. In collaboration with the district Green Schools Committee, ensure that cafeterias are part of the environmental education of students and staff through reducing waste, composting, recycling and purchasing recycled material.

Sustainable Agriculture

1. Procure food from school gardens, and local youth farms and farmers as a first priority, based on availability and acceptability. Food Service will coordinate its menus with school garden production and provide to garden coordinators a list of the produce it wishes to purchase.

2. Work collaboratively with local agencies to increase the ratio of products purchased from local farms and organic food suppliers.


Professional Development

The district will follow the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act 2010 (HHFKA), which outlines professional standards including minimum hiring requirements for some, and training requirements for all school nutrition program employees.

Public Information

Each year, Food Services shall prepare the director's Annual Report for the Board, which will include: a) Description of the level of service for each site and level of participation; b) Profit and Loss Statement for the past fiscal year; c) Outreach and Promotion Marketing Plan (with assistance from Wellness Committee) d) Budget for the future year; e) Report on the progress in meeting the food policy goals; f) Nutritional quality of the foods and beverages being served; g) Inventory of equipment; and h) Budget for maintenance and replacement equipment.


The Wellness Committee will assess and support the development and implementation of evidence - based, healthy food promotion techniques through the school meal program when possible using Smarter Lunchroom Movement techniques and promoting foods and beverages that meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

Physical Education

The Board recognizes the benefits of physical activity for student health and academic achievement. The Board desires to build and maintain a physical education program that builds interest and proficiency in physical activities as well as organized sports and movement skills, encouraging students' lifelong fitness through physical activity. The Board will ensure the programs meet or exceed the current guidelines for physical activity, with a goal of the nationally recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per student per day.

1. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that Physical Education programs in all schools meet or exceed current State and Federal guidelines for all students, except where exempted by State Education Codes (51241, 51242, 52316), and that the programs will include a wide variety of activities, including team and individual sports, and other aesthetic movement forms and activities.

a. All K-8 students will receive physical education to an equivalent of at least 200 minutes every 2 weeks.

b. All grade 9-12 students will receive two years of physical education to an equivalent of at least 225 minutes every two weeks.

c. At Least 50 percent of PE class time will be moderate to vigorous physical activity.

2. All Elementary students will have a minimum of 20 minutes per day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors. School staff shall encourage and promote moderate to vigorous physical activity using appropriate space and equipment.

3. All schools will endeavor to offer a wide variety of after-school physical activity programs that meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students. After-School programs will provide and encourage physical activity using appropriate space and equipment.

4. Schools may not use participation or non-participation in physical education classes for disciplinary action or punishment.

Public Policy

The Board will work cooperatively with School Boards throughout the state and the nation to advance goals of wellness.

Wellness Committee

1. Wellness Committee has been established to discuss food, nutrition and physical activity related topics of concern to the school community and help make policy recommendations to the Board.

2. The Wellness Committee shall be as follows:

A representative(s) from the Board , the Director of Food Services, parent representatives, classified employees appointed by their employee organization, teachers (elementary, middle and high school) appointed by their employee organization, principal appointed by cabinet, students and Community Organizations.

3. The Wellness Committee will draft and review district wellness and nutrition policies and practices, track implementation and recommend changes or improvements to the district. The Wellness Committee is responsible for addressing food-related topics of concern to the school community, and making wellness policy recommendations to the Board. In conjunction with adoption of a district Wellness Policy, the district shall formally establish a standing Wellness Committee to remain actively engaged with food service in monitoring the implementation of the Wellness Policy and in presenting recommendations to the Board.

Legal Reference:


33350-33354 CDE responsibilities re: physical education

49430-49436 Pupil Nutrition, Health, and Achievement Act of 2001

49490-49494 School breakfast and lunch programs

49500-49505 School meals

49510-49520 Nutrition

49530-49536 Child Nutrition Act

49540-49546 Child care food program

49547-49548.3 Comprehensive nutrition services

49550-49561 Meals for needy students

49565-49565.8 California Fresh Start pilot program

49570 National School Lunch Act

51210 Course of study, grades 1-6

51220 Course of study, grades 7-12

51222 Physical education

51223 Physical education, elementary schools

51795-51796.5 School instructional gardens

51880-51921 Comprehensive health education


15500-15501 Food sales by student organizations

15510 Mandatory meals for needy students

15530-15535 Nutrition education

15550-15565 School lunch and breakfast programs


1751-1769 National School Lunch Program, especially:

1758b Local wellness policy

1771-1791 Child Nutrition Act, including:

1773 School Breakfast Program

1779 Rules and regulations, Child Nutrition Act


210.1-210.31 National School Lunch Program

220.1-220.21 National School Breakfast Program


Frazer v. Dixon Unified School District, (1993) 18 Cal.App.4th 781

Management Resources:


Building Healthy Communities: A School Leader's Guide to Collaboration and Community Engagement, 2009

Safe Routes to School: Program and Policy Strategies for School Districts, Policy Brief, 2009

Monitoring for Success: Student Wellness Policy Implementation Monitoring Report and Guide, 2007

Nutrition Standards for Schools: Implications for Student Wellness, Policy Brief, rev. October 2007

Physical Education and California Schools, Policy Brief, rev. October 2007

Student Wellness: A Healthy Food and Physical Activity Policy Resource Guide, rev. April 2006

School-Based Marketing of Foods and Beverages: Policy Implications for School Boards, Policy Brief, March 2006


Physical Education Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, 2009

Healthy Children Ready to Learn: A White Paper on Health, Nutrition, and Physical Education, January 2005

Health Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, 2003


Policy in Action: A Guide to Implementing Your Local School Wellness Policy, October 2006


Changing Lives, Saving Lives: A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Food Security in Afterschool Programs, March 2010


School Health Index for Physical Activity and Healthy Eating: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide, 2005


Fit, Healthy and Ready to Learn, 2000


Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005

Changing the Scene, Improving the School Nutrition Environment: A Guide to Local Action, 2000



Action for Healthy Kids:

California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division:

California Department of Public Health:

California Healthy Kids Resource Center:

California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition):

California School Nutrition Association:

Center for Collaborative Solutions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Dairy Council of California:

National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity:

National Association of State Boards of Education:

National School Boards Association:

School Nutrition Association:

Society for Nutrition Education:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Nutrition Service, wellness policy:


adopted: March 13, 2013 Soquel, California

revised: May 6, 2015

revised: April 19, 2017