Arkansas Department of Education Wellness Committee Responsibilities: A Joint Memo from ADE Child Nutrition and School Health Services

Memo Information

Memo Number
CNU-17-013
Memo Date
9/26/2016
Memo Type
Regulatory
Section
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Sec. 204 of Public Law 108-265); Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Sec. 204 of Public Law 111-296); United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services Proposed Rule (February 26, 2014); United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services Final Rule (July 21, 2016); Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003 and the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Nutrition, Physical Activity, and BMI, updated May 2016; Arkansas Act 2285 of 2005
Response Required
NO
Attention
Superintendents; Principals

Contact Information

Memo Text

ATTENTION CO-OP DIRECTORS, CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTORS, WELLNESS COMMITTEE CHAIRS AND MEMBERS 

 

The purpose of this memo is to provide a guide for school districts as they implement the annual requirements of the Local Wellness Committee.  Arkansas Code 20-7-135(e)(1), commonly known as Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003, required districts to develop Wellness Committees that represent the local school environment for the first time in SY 2004-2005.  Since then, both state and federal requirements for Wellness Committees have been modified.  The following is a brief overview of the essential duties of the Local Wellness Committee; be sure to read all attachments and review mentioned memos for further clarification.

 

Wellness Committee responsibilities include:

  1. Regular Meetings: Meetings will be planned and conducted at least quarterly, and meetings will be documented with sign-in sheets, agendas, and minutes of the meetings.  At least 2/3rds of Wellness Committee members must be present to conduct business.

  2. Committee Membership: The Local Wellness Committee will have representative membership that correlates with the current grade configuration of the school district and that involves the general public and the school community.

    Wellness Leadership:  Districts must designate one or more district and/or school official(s) who have the authority and responsibility to ensure each school complies with the wellness policy and wellness committee requirements.


    The district will document outreach to stakeholders and partners to make them aware of their ability to participate on the Wellness Committee (examples include sending out a district-wide email or posting flyers in various locations to notify potential stakeholders about the opportunity).

    State Required Members

    Federal Required Members

    School Board Member

    School Board Member

    Administrator

    Administrator

    Food Service

    Food Service

    Teacher Organization

    Teachers of Physical Activity

    Parents

    Parents

    Students

    Students

    Professional groups, i.e. nurses

    School Health Professionals

    Community Members

    Public


  3. Menu Reviews: In addition to following the dietary guidelines of the National School Lunch Program, each district will provide to the Wellness Committee:
    • Information on the requirements and standards of the National School Lunch Program
    • Menus for the National School Lunch Program and other food sold in the school cafeteria on a quarterly basis.

    The Wellness Committee will provide written recommendations to the Child Nutrition Director concerning menus and other foods sold in the school cafeteria.

  4. School Health Index:The Wellness Committee will assess annually each school campus using all five School Health Index (SHI) modules listed below.  The “Plan for Improvement” section of the School Health Index should then be used to discuss the results of the SHI and to develop goals that will be included in the Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (ACSIP).

                                               #1- School Health Policies and Environment

                                               #2- Health Education

                             #3- Physical Education and other Physical Activity Programs

                             #4- Nutrition Services

                             #8- Family and Community Involvement

  5. School Improvement: The Wellness Committee will develop goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in ACSIP. The district – level requirement is to identify members of the district wellness committee.  The school-level requirement includes the needs assessment (SHI and body mass index {BMI}), as well as goal setting in the areas of physical activity and nutrition, and the option to address additional data/goals/objectives.

  6. Wellness Policy: As of School Year 2006-2007, all districts were required to establish a local school wellness policy, per federal Child Nutrition regulations.  The recently published United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Final Rule on Local School Wellness Policy Implementation requires districts to begin developing a revised local school wellness policy during School Year 2016-2017. Districts must fully comply with the requirements of the final rule by June 30, 2017.

    District’s must conduct a Triennial Assessment of the wellness policy every three years, at a minimum, to determine compliance with the wellness policy, how the wellness policy compares to model wellness policies, and progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness policy.

    Additional information regarding the new Wellness Policy requirements will be released soon via Arkansas Department Education (ADE) Commissioner’s Memo.

  7. State Nutrition Standards: The Wellness Committee will ensure that each school campus meets the standards outlined in the ADE Rules Governing Nutrition, Physical Activity, and BMI, including the federal Smart Snacks regulations.  Please see the attached rules for details.
    • Each school’s “Nine Special Event Days” must be recorded in the eSchool Calendar – see Commissioner’s Memo CNU-16-044.

  8. State Physical Activity Standards:  The Wellness Committee will ensure that each school campus meets the standards outlined in the ADE Rules Governing Nutrition, Physical Activity, and BMI.  Please see the attached rules for details.

  9. Record Keeping:  The district and/or school will maintain records including...
    • a copy of the current wellness policy
    • documentation on how the policy and assessments are made available to the public
    • the most recent assessment of implementation of the policy
    • documentation of the efforts to review and update the policy (annual SHI and ACSIP), including who was involved in the process (Wellness Committee Members district report in ACSIP) and how stakeholders were made aware of their ability to participate
    • Documentation of Arkansas Wellness Committee requirements, including a record of activities and meetings
    • Documentation of compliance with Arkansas Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards.  See Commissioner’s Memo CNU-16-044
    • Documentation of quarterly menu reviews
    • Documentation of 9 Special Event Days in eSchool

  10. Public Updates:  The Local Educational Agency will make available to the public...
    • The wellness policy, including any updates to and about the wellness policy, on an annual basis, at a minimum
    • The amount of funds received and expenditures made from competitive food and beverage contracts, annually
    • The Triennial Assessment, including progress toward meeting the goals of the policy.

The Wellness Committee Checklist 2016-2017 that is attached is NOT required; however, it has been developed to help school districts track the state and federally required Wellness Committee responsibilities and can be kept on file along with Wellness Committee meeting minutes as documentation of activities.

 

It is important to note that in Arkansas, the wellness policy approved by the local school board and ACSIP together meet the USDA requirements for wellness policies.

 

Attachments:

May 2016 Final Rules

Wellness Committee Checklist 2016-2017