Kirkwood Campus: 404-622-2727 | Gwinnett Campus: 770-342-0089 || Free Public Charter Schools Serving DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Fulton Counties

WELLNESS POLICY

Preamble/Statement of Responsibility

Ivy Preparatory Academy (IPA) desires to provide children the needed access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive. IPA believes that good health fosters student attendance, a student’s ability to learn effectively and to achieve high standards in school.

  • IPA is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of IPA that:
  • IPA will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members to work within the existing school’s health and wellness committee to review and make suggestions regarding nutrition and physical activity policies.
  • All students in grades K-11 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
  • IPA will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
  • IPA will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program
  • IPA will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.

Nutrition, Nutrition Standards, and Health Education

Ivy Preparatory Academy aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. The school will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designated to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
  • is part of not only health education classes but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social studies, and elective subjects;
  • promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
  • emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
  • links with the school meal program, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services.

Physical Activity

All students in grades K-10, including students with disabilities, will receive daily physical education (or its equivalent of 90 minutes/week for elementary school students and 200 minutes/week for middle and high school students) for the entire school year. Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity (e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which moderate to vigorous physical activity is encouraged verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.

IPA will discourage extended periods (i.e., periods longer than 2 hours) of inactivity. When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for student to remain indoors for long periods of time, IPA will give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

IPA’s After-school Program will provide and encourage – verbally and through the provision of space, equipment, and activities – daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.

School Meals

Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

  • be appealing and attractive to children;
  • be served in clean and pleasant settings;
  • meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
  • offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
    • serve two milk options containing 1% fat content or less; and
  • ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.

IPA will engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. In addition, IPA will share (upon request) information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students.

Breakfast: To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:

  • • IPA will operate the School Breakfast Program.
  • • IPA will utilize methods to serve school breakfasts that encourage participation.
  • • IPA will notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program.
  • • IPA will encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.

Ivy Preparatory Academy will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.

IPA will discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack time, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children’s diets.

Fundraising, Vending, and Other Opportunities to Promote Healthy Eating

Healthy food and beverage choices will be encouraged for vending. IPA will work with vendors to provide choices and selection for healthy food and beverages in their vending machines. A healthy school environment should not be dependant on revenue from high-fat, low nutrient foods to support school programs. Decisions about the sale of competitive foods should be based on nutrition goals for students, not for profit making.

IPA will encourage parents to send in healthy snacks. Examples might include: yogurt, fruit snacks, boxed raisins, frozen fruit ban, fruit, granola bars, etc. Teachers will send home a list of healthy food item suggestions to parents.

At any IPA function (parties, celebrations, festivals, etc.), healthy food choice options will be available to students. Snacks served during the school day for class parties, birthdays, award incentives, etc. should include healthy choices and should promote a positive nutrition message.

Other School-Based Activities

It is the goal of IPA to promote the students’ physical, emotional, and social well being through a coordinated and comprehensive school health program. This includes providing a healthy physical and psychological environment, nutritious school meals, health education, and opportunities for physical education and activity.

Ivy Preparatory Academy will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. IPA encourages parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and refrain from including beverages and foods without nutritional value.

Environmentally-friendly practices such as the use of locally grown and seasonal foods, school gardens, and no disposable tableware will be used whenever possible. Each school campus will have a recycling program.

Measurement and Evaluation

IPA will conduct an assessment of the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environment and policy will be completed annually to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, the health and wellness committee will review nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements.

Join the Wellness Committee!

Dear Stakeholder

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious health epidemics facing America today. The American Medical Association now recognizes obesity as a disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of children and teens in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is leading to a range of health problems that previously were not generally seen until adulthood, including high blood pressure, type II diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. We believe we have a responsibility to improve the health and well-being of our children.

Experience shows that schools can be powerful places to make behavioral and environmental changes for students and staff. To make our school environment healthier, our school is forming a School Wellness Committee. The purpose of the committee is to bring together representatives from the school and community who can help us address issues facing the health and well-being of our children and Youth.

As a parent/community member/stakeholder, your input is particularly important, and we would be honored to have you as a School Wellness Committee member. We understand that your time is valuable, and we want you to know we are committed to making changes in policies and programs that will positively affect the health of our students and school staff. We will be examining and planning for changes in the classroom, cafeteria, playing fields and more. We are following the Healthy Schools Program, which is part of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Alliance is aimed at reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity. The Healthy Schools Program provides technical assistance, resources, and tools to help our school create a healthier environment for students and staff. Our goal is to obtain the Bronze Level Recognition this year.

Our first meeting will take place on January 6, 2016 at Kirkwood from 2pm-3pm. We will provide a conference call number if you want to participate but cannot attend. We anticipate holding under-an-hour meetings monthly until April. If you have any questions, or want to know more about what sort of responsibilities you would have as a member, please contact me at LaTanya Crooms, School Nutrition Manager 404.622.2727 or lcrooms@ivyprepacademy.org. We hope you will accept our invitation and join us in taking action against the growing youth obesity epidemic.

Sincerely,

LaTanya Crooms
School Nutrition Program Manager

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