District Wellness Program

District Wellness Program

Thayer R-II School District
District Wellness Program


Background Information
Nutrition Education and Standards

Obesity rates in the United States have risen significantly, particularly among young people.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Type 2 diabetes has become more prevalent among children and adolescents as rates of overweight and obesity rise.  Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as Adult Onset Diabetes but the name has been changed because of the prevalence of the disorder among young people!

Overweight children and adolescents are more likely to become overweight or obese adults.  CDC reports that children who were overweight by age 8 were more severely obese as adults.
Here's the situation today as reported by CDC:
Approximately 16% of children and adolescents ages 6-19 years are overweight.
The prevalence of overweight among children aged 6-11 years has more than doubled in the past 20 years and among adolescents aged 12-19 has more than tripled.
Less than 40% of children and adolescents in the United States meet the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for saturated fat.
Nearly 80% of young people do not eat the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables.
Only 39% of children ages 2 - 17 meet the USDA's dietary recommendation for fiber.
Eighty-five percent of adolescent females do not consume enough calcium.  During the last 25 years, consumption of milk, the largest source of calcium, has decreased 36% among adolescent females.
A large number of high school students use unsafe methods to lose or maintain weight.
The Nutrition Education Program should be designed to influence students' eating habits.  Connections between nutrition theory and practice should be immediately apparent to students.
In a joint statement, the American Dietetic Association, the American School Food Service Association (now the School Nutrition Association) and the Society for Nutrition Education have stated that "comprehensive nutrition services must be provided to all of the nation's preschool through grade twelve students." Several research studies have shown that multi-faceted programs involving classroom education, parental involvement and food service changes are effective in changing student behaviors.  Programs that give students the opportunity for skill-building with hands-on activities work best.  Good nutrition education programs connect to the larger school environment and families. These connections should include the school foodservice program and any other food sales in school.

The primary goals of the Thayer R-II School District's wellness program are to promote student health, reduce student overweight/obesity. Facilitate student learning of lifelong healthy habits and increase student achievement. The following procedures will guide the implementation of the district's wellness program. 

Nutrition Guidelines
The district will comply with USDA regulation for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program and designates the following minimum nutrition guidelines, based on the Missouri Eat Smart Nutrition Guidelines, for foods and beverages served in schools during the school day:

School Breakfasts: 

  • At least 50% of cereals offered contain no more than 35% of weight from sugar per serving.
  • Foods containing whole grains are offered at least one day a week with a goal of at least 3 times a week.
  • Fresh, canned dried or frozen fruits or vegetables are offered at least 3 days a week
  • At least one of the following will be offered daily
    • Low fat 1% or ½ % milk
    • Skim (nonfat) milk

School Lunches:

  • A main dish with total fat less than or equal to 16 grams per serving is offered at least 3 times a week.
  • Dark green or orange vegetables or fruits are offered at least 1 time a week.
  • Fresh fruits or raw vegetable are offered 1-3 times a week.
  • A food item containing whole grains is offered at least 1 time a week.
  • At least one of the following will be offered daily
    • Low fat 1% or ½ % milk
    • Skim (nonfat) milk
  • Only Reduced-fat and/or fat-fee salad dressings are purchased by the district.



A' La Carte Food Items:

A' la carte items comply with USDA regulations prohibiting the sale of "foods of minimal nutritional value" where school meals are served or eaten during the meal period and include the following:

  • Main dishes are comparable in portion sizes to any food item served in the school lunch and breakfast programs.
  • Fruits or vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • At least 50% of items offered will contain no more than 35% of total calories form fat, except for nuts, seeds and nut butters.


A' La Carte Beverages:
Include the following:

  • Water
  • 50-100% juice


Food Items Sold in Vending Machines and School Stores:
Vending items comply with USDA regulations prohibiting the sale of "foods of minimal nutritional value" where school meals are served or eaten during the meal period and are not allowed on school property in areas accessible to students:  These foods include but is not limited to all soda water (includes soda); water ices (popsicles); chewing gum; certain candies such as hard candy, jellies and gums; marshmallow candies; fondant (candy corn and soft mints); licorice,; spun candy; and candy coated popcorn.
The sale of other vended foods:

·   All items offered must meet all of the following criteria per selling unit
Fat; not more than 35% of total calories from fat except for nuts, seeds, and nut butter.
Sugar; not more than 35% of weight from sugar except for fruit (without added sugar).
Calories; Not more than 200 calories per serving unit
The sale of vending beverages:

·   Carbonated beverages and soda will not be allowed in vending machines accessible to students at the elementary school.  Carbonated beverages and soda at the high school will be offered when at least 50% of the items in the vending machine include:
50-100% juice
Diet, low or no sugar
Non caffeinated
All beverages meeting USDA's "foods of minimal nutritional value" will be eliminated from vending machines by the 2008-2009 school year. 


  • Students are encouraged to have individual water bottles in the classroom.
  • Foods or beverages meeting USDA's "foods of minimal nutritional value" will not be allowed as rewards in the classroom.
  • Classroom parties and celebrations
    • Will be scheduled no less than 1 hour after the end of the last lunch period
    • The frequency of such events will be limited and will be left to the discretion of the building administration.
    • Food and beverage choices will be offered to promote healthy eating and meet the nutrition guidelines for vended items.
  • Fundraising activities that promote physical activity are encouraged.
  • Fundraising activities that sell food or beverages to be consumed during school hours will meet the nutrition guidelines listed for vended items.
  • Snacks served during the day, and after-school will make a positive contribution to the children's diet. Foods offered will meet the nutrition guidelines listed for vended items and will not be allowed before lunch.
  • Concessions served at school events will offer choices that promote healthy eating.

The district's nutrition education goal is to work in partnership with the Missouri Extension Office and the County Health Department to integrate sequential nutrition education with the comprehensive health education program and, to the extent possible, the core curriculum taught at every grade level in order to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to make healthy nutrition decisions.  In order to achieve the nutrition education goal, the district will:

  1. Provide students at all grade levels with adequate nutritional knowledge including, but not limited to:
    1. The benefits of healthy eating
    2. Essential nutrients
    3. Nutritional deficiencies
    4. Principles of healthy weight management
    5. The use and misuse of dietary supplements
    6. Safe food preparations, handling and storage
  2. Provide students with nutrition-related skills that minimally include the ability to:
    1. Plan healthy meals
    2. Understand and use food labels
    3. Apply the principles of he Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid
    4. Critically evaluate nutrition information, misinformation and commercial food advertising
    5. Assess person eating habits, nutrition goal setting and achievement.
  3. Provide instructional activities that stress the appealing aspects of healthy eating and are hands-on, behavior based, culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate and enjoyable.  Examples of activities include, but are not limited to: food preparation, contests, promotions, taste-testings, farm visits and school gardens.
  4. Encourage district staff to cooperate with local agencies and community groups to provide students with opportunities for volunteer work related to nutrition, such as in food banks, soup kitchens or after-school programs.
  5. Ensure that school counselors and school health services staff consistently promote healthy eating to students and other staff and that these professionals are prepared to recognize conditions such as unhealthy weight, eating disorders and other nutrition-related health problems among students and staff as well as assure access to healthcare.
  6. Coordinate the food service program with nutrition instruction.  Food service staff should also work closely with those responsible for other components of the school health program to achieve common goals.


The district's physical activity goal is to assist students in learning to value and enjoy physical activity as an ongoing part of a healthy lifestyle by ensuring that every student has the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities, maintain physical fitness and regularly participate in physical activity.  In order to achieve the physical activity goal, the district will: 

  1. Develop a sequential program of appropriate physical education for every student.  The program will:
    1. Provide for an average of at least 90 minutes of physical education for students at the elementary grades during the school week; at least 225 minutes during each week for students in junior high; and one unit for students in high school with a recommendation of two units.
    2. Emphasize knowledge and skills for a lifetime of regular physical activity.
    3. Devote at least 50% of physical education class time to actual physical activity in each week at middle and high school and at least 80% at the elementary level, with as much time as possible spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
    4. Meet the needs of all students, especially those who are not athletically gifted or who have special needs.
    5. Provide a variety of activity choices, feature cooperative as well as competitive activities, and account for gender and cultural differences in students' interests.
    6. Be closely coordinated with the other components of the overall school health program.
  2. Provide time in elementary schools for supervised recess.  All students K-5 will have at least 40 minutes per day of supervised recess.  Recess will be held outdoors when possible.  The withholding of recess for punishment will be used sparingly.
  3. Provide opportunities and encouragement for students to voluntarily participate in after school physical activity programs.
  4. Strive to provide joint school an community recreational activities by:

· Actively engaging families as partners in their children's education and collaborating with community agencies and organizations to provide ample opportunities for students to participate in physical activity beyond the school day.

· Encouraging schools to negotiate mutually acceptable, fiscally responsible arrangements with community agencies and organizations to keep district-owned facilities open for use by students, staff and community members during non-school hours and vacations.

· Encouraging district officials to work together with local public works, public safety, police departments and /or other appropriate state and federal authorities in efforts to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school.

  1.  Discourage periods of inactivity that exceed two or more hours.  When activities such as mandatory school wide testing make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, staff should give students periodic breaks during which they are encourage to stand and be moderately active.
  Other School-Based Activities

The district's goal for other school-based activities is to ensure an integrated whole-school approach to the district's wellness program. The district will achieve this goal by addressing the areas itemized below.

Community Involvement

School instructional staff will collaborate with agencies and groups conducting nutrition education in the community to send consistent messages to students and their families.  Guest speakers will receive appropriate orientation to the relevant policies of the district.

The wellness program shall make effective use of district and community resources and equitably serve the needs and interests of all students and staff, taking into consideration differences of gender, cultural norms, physical and cognitive abilities and fitness levels.

Family Involvement

The district will strive to engage families as partners in their children's education by supporting parental efforts to motivate and help their children with maintaining and improving their health, preventing disease and avoiding health-related risk behaviors. 

Marketing and Advertising

Marketing in district facilities will be consistent with the goals of the district's wellness program and comply with Board Policy. The district will strive to promote the wellness program and educate parents regarding the quality of district foods.

Meal Times

Students are not permitted to leave school campus during the school day to purchase food or beverages. Meal times will comply with the following guidelines:

· Meal times will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch.

· Activities such as tutoring or meetings will not be held during mealtimes unless students may eat during such activities.

· Students will have access to hand-washing facilities before they eat meals or snacks.

· The district will take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students on an individual basis with supplies for this provided by the parent.

· The cafeteria will be clean, orderly and inviting.

 Staff Development and Training

Staff will be provided with training and related to all areas of student wellness.  Staff responsible for nutrition education will be adequately prepared and regularly participate in professional development activities to effectively deliver the nutrition education program as planned. Staff responsible for implement the physical education program will be properly certified and regularly participate in area-specific professional development activities.  Qualified professionals will administer the district meal program and will receive ongoing, area-specific professional development. 

Staff Wellness

The Thayer R-II School District highly values the health and well-being of every 

staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The district will establish and maintain a staff wellness committee composed of staff representatives from each building, wellness committee member, school nurse, employee benefits specialist, and other appropriate personnel.  The staff wellness committee will develop, promote and oversee a plan to promote staff health and wellness.   

Sun Safety

The Thayer R-II School District will provide sun safety education that will assist students with:

  • Knowledge about the harmful effects of the sun and ways to protect skin.
  • Sun-safe skills, including the correct use of protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm as well as seeking shade and limiting sun exposure when possible and practical during the hours of peak sun intensity.
  • Knowledge about how to assess personal sun safety habits, set goals for improvement and achieve these goals.


Tobacco use prevention education will focus on all grades with particular emphasis on the middle grades. Instructional activities will be participatory and developmentally appropriate. Tobacco use prevention education programs will be implemented in accordance with Board policy, relevant administrative procedures and law.

Oversight and Evaluation

The wellness program coordinators are responsible for monitoring implementation of the district wellness program by:

  • Assuming responsibility for the assessment of existing policies and procedures.
  • Prioritizing wellness goals and writing work plans for each goal.
  • Measuring implementation of the district wellness policy and procedure.
  • Ensuring that the district meets the goals of the wellness policy and procedure.
  • Reporting to the Board on compliance and progress annually.
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