Policy Details Page
Regulation – Nutrition, Health, and Physical Fitness
Tacoma Public Schools recognizes the importance of providing a school environment that enhances student learning and fosters the development of lifelong wellness practices.
The purpose of this regulation is to create a school environment that models and promotes healthy and nutritious food choices and regular physical fitness activity. The regulation establishes guidelines that will provide students nutritious food choices and opportunities for regular physical fitness activity.
NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Since there are three major programs/organizations engaged in food sales governed by the Smart Snack standards within Tacoma Public Schools, there are three designated authorities who approve/review/monitor Smart Snack sales in Tacoma Schools. They are as follows:
- USDA meal programs and a la carte sales – Director, Nutrition Services
- DECA program and student stores – Director, Career & Technical Education
- Vending Program, PTA, ASB, and PTO intermittent fundraisers – Building Principals
The following documentation must be submitted, in advance of sales, to the designated authority as part of the prior approval and annual review process for any food items sold on campus during the school day:
- In a box or binder (depending upon the size of proposed menu) the following sections/subfolders:
- Menu Section: Total list of all menu/sales items available
- Label Section: Contents organized in same order of the listed sales items in section. For each item sold include:
- Manufacturer’s Product formulation statement (required – this is listed creditable ingredients).
- Manufacturer’s Nutrition Fact Label (required – this is the standard nutrition label with the contents and nutrient analysis date, can be combined with formulation statement).
- CN label (This would only be required of the a la carte items normally sold to students as part of the regular USDA meal, that don’t meet Smart Snack standards in a stand-alone analysis. Leftover monitoring required along with review of ongoing menu practices.)
- Product Recipe, including portion standard: This is only relevant when ingredients (above items) are used to create/assemble another sales item (e.g. not required for prepackaged sales item).
- Alliance for Healthier Generation Calculator print out (e.g. the Smart Snack Calculator results) http://foodplanner.healthiergeneration.org/calculator/
- Authority contact information: Name, Phone, Location, Address (This is the person to contact with questions regarding nutrient content, recipe, or other submittal information.)
All foods sold on campus during the school day (e.g., vending machines, bake sales, school stores) must meet USDA Smart Snacks in Schools standards. Under the federal regulations, a school day begins at midnight on an official day of instruction and lasts until 30 minutes after the end of school day. Additionally, any food or beverage that is marketed on school campuses during the school day must meet Smart Snacks standards.
Nutritional standards are encouraged for all groups utilizing district facilities. However, after school day hours, events and activities are not required to follow the nutritional standards.
School Eating Environment
Creating an environment that provides students with sufficient time and a safe place to eat a healthy meal is important. Priority will be given to creating space and scheduling meal periods that allows a seat for each student consuming a meal.
It is recommended that all schools allow a minimum of 15 minutes for eating time when possible, not including the time spent in line getting a meal.
The school principal shall review and consider the lunch schedule options that allow the appropriate number of lunches, recommended 15 minutes of eating time, as well as students time to transition effectively to the classroom and encourages meal consumption.
In an attempt to prevent the spread of illnesses and exposure of students with life-threatening allergies to hidden allergens, sharing of food items at school should generally be discouraged.
Students and staff are encouraged to wash their hands prior to meal service.
Classroom and Fundraising
Food used in classes is an important part of the learning environment. Curriculum and activities that involve food should be handled in a safe environment and be appropriate for the students involved. Foods produced as a part of a student learning experience will be exempt from the nutrition requirements in this regulation, but healthy foods meeting the district’s current nutrition standard are encouraged. Food items sold or offered to students outside of the classroom, during the day, must comply with nutrition standards in this regulation.
Outside food brought into the school and/or classes shall be unopened, commercially processed and commercially pre-packaged, requiring no preparation. If the food item requires refrigeration, it must be consumed within two hours.
Food used as a classroom reward or incentive must comply with the nutrition standards in this regulation.
Parents and teachers shall encourage use of foods and/or beverages that comply with the nutrition standards in this regulation for school/classroom parties. They will be encouraged to offer no more than one food or beverage that does not meet the nutrition standard for parties.
Food used in fundraising during the school day must comply with the nutrition standards in this regulation. Fundraising outside the school day is encouraged to meet the nutrition standard.
In order to promote family and community involvement in supporting and reinforcing nutrition and physical education in schools, the schools are responsible for offering:
- Nutrition education materials and meal menus as well as physical education activities ideas are made available to parents.
- Parents are encouraged to promote their child’s participation in the school meals program, physical education programs, and afterschool activities. If students do not participate in the school meal program, parents will be encouraged to provide their children with healthy snacks/meals.
- Families are invited to attend exhibitions of student nutrition projects, participate in physical education and activity programs and health fairs.
- Nutrition and physical education curriculum includes homework that students can do with their families.
- School staff consider various cultural preferences in development of nutrition and physical education programs.
- School staff are encouraged to cooperate with other agencies and community groups to provide opportunities for student projects related to nutrition and to participate in physical activity programs.
HEALTH NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL FITNESS CURRICULUM
All schools will deliver a quality standards-based articulated fitness and health curriculum for grades K12 that is aligned with the Essential Academic Learning Requirements.
All schools will deliver quality physical education consistent with district and state standards.
An average of at least one hundred instructional minutes per week per year in physical education shall be required of all students in the elementary and middle school programs.
Every student attending grades one through eight shall receive instruction in physical education as prescribed by rule or regulation, provided, that the individual student may be excused on account of physical disability, religious believe, or because of participation in directed athletics.
Recess, as normally provided, cannot be used to meet the requirement of an average of 100 minutes per week of instruction in physical education. If an additional recess is considered, schools may use teacherdirected physical activities one or two days a week to further lessons taught by a physical education specialist. The criterion that must be met is directed activity, provided by a classroom teacher in which all students participate.
A .5 credit course shall be offered each semester in physical education for the high school program.
All high schools shall emphasize physical education, and implement all physical education requirements established by rule or regulation, provided that individual students may be excused from participation in physical education otherwise required under this section on account of physical disability, employment or religious belief, or because of participation in directed athletics or military science and tactics or for other good cause. “Directed athletics” shall be interpreted to include community-based organized athletics. A district waiver form is available for parents to complete to meet the physical education requirement. Information regarding the physical education waiver process for high school students can be found under regulation 2410, High School Graduation Requirements.
Physical activity and withholding of physical education class, recess, and/or other forms of physical activity as punishment or in lieu of completing other academic work is discouraged. Occasional loss of recess and/or physical education may occur if the principal concurs that it is academically beneficial to the student. Repeated loss over time of physical activity, recess or physical education is prohibited.
Students and parents must complete the Tacoma Public Schools “Application of Waiver to Meet 1-8 Physical Education Requirement” form by May 1 for students who would like to Waiver their physical education requirement in the first semester and /or by January 1 for students who would like to waiver their physical education requirement in the second semester. This form is available at the 1-8 sites and must be processed through the student’s counselor and/or principal.
The principal in the building, in conjunction with the Physical Education Department Chair (in schools where the position exists) and the student’s counselor, have the authority to approve or disapprove all requests for a physical education waiver. This process will fulfill a physical education requirement.
The following is a sample of activities and organizations in which students may participate that may qualify for waiver of a physical education credit.
- WIAA athletics
- Tacoma School District athletics
- Tacoma School District intramurals
- Organized recreational programs
- Athletic Club teams
- Organized dance lessons
An individual student may also be excused form participation in physical education on account of physical disability or religious belief.
The organization is responsible for verifying the student has completing 50 instructional minutes per week of active participation during the activity to receive waiver for physical education for the elementary programs. For the middle school programs an average of at least one hundred instructional minutes per week must be verified by the organization. The student must complete the hours within the semester that the waiver is being requested. Hours must be honestly documented and approved by the organization with which the student is participating. All documentation will be kept in the student’s cumulative file.
The Superintendent or designee will appoint a Healthy Youth Task Force to assist in development and implementation of the District nutrition, health and wellness policy. Formation of the task force will be consistent with Board Policy 4110 governing Public Advisory Committees. The committee will include the Nutrition Service director and may include parents, administrators, students, teachers, school nurses, public health professionals and interested members of the public. The district may utilize any of the following suggestions to solicit and include a variety of stakeholders:
- sending a letter to parents/families
- posting a call for volunteers on the district website
- including a blurb in school or district newsletters or blog posts
- partnering with community organizations to request volunteers
- posting information about the committee process on social media
The committee will assess the district’s wellness policy at least once every three years with a focus on (1) the extent to which schools are in compliance with the district wellness policy, (2) the extent to which the wellness policy compares to model school wellness policies, and (3) the progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness policy. The district will make this assessment available to the public.
Program changes will be implemented as necessary. The Superintendent or designee is responsible for evaluating and assessing whether Board policy and procedures are implemented and the effectiveness of the nutrition, health and fitness program.
CHARGING MEALS IN SCHOOLS
The purpose of charging procedures is to establish consistent meal charging and collection procedures district-wide. The goals of the procedures are:
- To maintain a positive experience for students during meal service.
- To treat all students with respect and dignity.
- To establish practices that are age-appropriate.
- To minimize meal charges an encourage parents to pre-pay for all meals.
- To promote parents’ responsibility for meal payments and self-responsibility of the students.
- Payments in advance for meals enables the District to achieve these goals.
Emergency Meal Service
Tacoma Public Schools recognizes that on occasion, students may forget or lose meal money. In such cases, the child’s statement of need will be accepted and food will be made available upon a site administrative decision. Annually, the principal, or designee, in cooperation with the Director of Nutrition Services, will develop procedures to provide meals to students without lunch money.
Evaluate Individual Circumstances
When a student repeatedly comes to school without a meal from home or money to participate in the school meal program, administrators should consider there is a family need for free or reduced-price meals. If for any reason parents decline to complete an eligibility application and the principal is aware that the student is eligible for free or reduced-price meals, the principal may complete an application on behalf of the student. Consistent with 7 CFR § 245.6, written justification must be made on the application as to the reason the student should be receiving free or reduced-price meals.
Pre-paid Meal System
The school meal accounting system is a pre-paid system. Parents or guardians must deposit money into their child’s account before meals are served. Payments can be made daily, weekly, monthly or annually. In addition to using cash and checks, parents can pay online with their credit/debit cards. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure money is in the account or a home-prepared meal is sent to school with their child.
Repayment for Meal Charges and Bad Checks
Every effort will be made to collect for unpaid meals. Unpaid meal charges will result in the following:
- A verbal reminder will be given to students that they have a low-balance.
- Schools will send home low-balance notices addressed to parents.
- Parents will receive automated telephone calls and/or emails if their student’s account is negative.
- Principals will receive regular reports on students with negative balances over $10.
- In a case of significant delinquent payments, a letter or personal phone call will be sent from the Nutrition Services Department.
Students with negative account balances can only purchase regular breakfast and lunch meals. A la carte (extra) items cannot be charged. Monies received from students with negative account balances must first be used to satisfy the negative balance. No change will be given back to students with negative account balances and any extra monies will be deposited into the student’s account.
Revised: 01/25/07, 9/17/2019
- physical fitness