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507.9 Wellness Policy

Code No.  507.9


The board promotes healthy students by supporting wellness, good nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment.  The school district supports a healthy environment where students learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices.  By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, schools contribute to the basic health status of students.  Improved health optimizes student performance potential.

The school district provides a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors.  The entire school environment, not just the classroom, shall be aligned with healthy school district goals to positively influence a student's understanding, beliefs and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity.  

The school district supports and promotes proper dietary habits contributing to students' health status and academic performance.  All foods available on school grounds and at school-sponsored activities during the instructional day should meet or exceed the school district nutrition standards and in compliance with state and federal law.  Foods should be served with consideration toward nutritional integrity, variety, appeal, taste, safety and packaging to ensure high-quality meals.  See the DE guidance on Healthy Kids Act

The school district 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.  Toward this end, the school district may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; promote the availability of meals to all students; and/or use nontraditional methods for serving meals, such as "grab-and-go" or classroom breakfast.

The school district will develop a local wellness policy committee comprised of parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators, and the public, physical education teachers, and school health professionals.  The local wellness policy committee will develop a plan to implement the local wellness policy and periodically review and update the policy.  The committee will designate an individual to monitor implementation and evaluation the implementation of the policy.  The committee will report annually to the board and community regarding the content and effectiveness of this policy and recommend updates if needed.  When monitoring implementation, schools will be evaluated individually with reports prepared by each school and the school district as a whole.  The report will include which schools are in compliance with this policy, the extent to which this policy compares to model Wellness policies and describe the progress made in achieving the goals of this policy.  

Specific wellness goals will be evaluated on a yearly basis by the wellness team, with review and oversight provided by the school board. Specific goals for nutrition education and promotion, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness are set forth in Appendices A, B, and C respectively.  School food nutrition guidelines are set forth in Appendix D.  The board will monitor and evaluate this policy as set forth in Appendix E.  

Note: This policy is written to require a school wellness committee. The committee is not required by the federal law. The school district is merely required to consult with a specific group of individuals.

Legal Reference:    
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C 1751 et seq. (2013)
Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.,
Iowa Code 256.7(29), 256.11(6)
281 IAC 12.5(19), 12.5(20, 58.11

Cross Reference:    
504.5 Student Fund Raising
504.6 Student Activity Program
710 School Food Services

Approved 2/24/16
Revised 11/15/2023

Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell, IA


Code No.  507.9

Appendix A


The school district will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
    • is part of health education classes;
    • includes enjoyable, developmentally appropriate activities, such as contests, promotions, taste-testing, farm
    visits and school gardens;
    • 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 physical activity;

Note: School districts can choose whatever goals they want based upon their individual school district needs assessments. The law only requires one goal but the school district can choose as many as it sees appropriate for its school district and students.


Code No.  507.9

Appendix B


Daily Physical Education

The school district will provide physical education that:

  • is for all students in grades K-12 for the entire school year;
  • is taught by a certified physical education teacher;
  • includes students with disabilities, students with special health-care needs may be provided in alternative educational settings; and,
  • engages students in moderate to vigorous activity during at least 50 percent of physical education class time.

Additionally, physical education can:

  • Expose youngsters to a wide variety of physical activities;
  • Teach physical skills to help maintain a lifetime of health and fitness
  • Encourage self-monitoring so youngsters can see how active they are and set their own goals

Daily Recess

Elementary schools should provide recess for students that:

  • is at least 30 minutes a day;
  • is preferably outdoors;
  • encourages moderate to vigorous physical activity through the provision of space and equipment; and,
  • discourages extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity.

When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

Physical Activity and Punishment

Employees should not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.

Note - Iowa law now requires elementary students, K-5, to have 30 minutes of physical activity, not physical education, per day.  This requirement can be met through a combination of PE, recess, classroom and other activities.  Middle and high school students must have at least 120 minutes of physical activity per week.  Again this is not just physical education but can be met with a combination of PE, school and non-school sponsored athletics and other activities where the body is exerted.  Should a student wish to meet the requirement outside of school, the student and school district must have an agreement detailing the outside activity.  A physical activity sample agreement may be found on IASB's Web site at:  or the Iowa Department of Education Healthy Kids Act.


Code No.  507.9

Appendix C


Integrating Physical Activity into Classroom Settings

For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond the physical education class.  Toward that end, the school district will:

  • offer classroom health education that complements physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities;
  • discourage sedentary activities, such as watching television, playing computer games, etc.


Staff Wellness

The Grinnell-Newburg School District values the health and well being of every staff member.  To assist staff members with their personal wellness, the fitness rooms at the Grinnell Middle School and Grinnell High School are available to all school employees and spouses who are accompanied by a school employee.  Guidelines of use and availability of the fitness rooms are available in the school offices at Grinnell Middle School and Grinnell High School.  In addition, workout equipment is available at some elementary buildings and the District Office.   



Code No.  507.9

Appendix D


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 state and federal law:
  • offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains;
  • serve only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives (as defined by the USDA);

Schools should:

  • engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods offered through the meal programs in order to identify new, healthful and appealing food choices; and,
  • share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students.  (The information could be made available on menus, a web site, on cafeteria menu boards, placards or other point-of-purchase materials.)


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, schools will:

  • operate the breakfast program, to the extent possible;
  • arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve breakfasts that encourage participation, including serving breakfast in the classroom, “grab-and-go” breakfasts or breakfast during morning break or recess, to the extent possible;
  • notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program, where available; and,
  • encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials or other means.

Free and Reduced-Priced Meals

The school district 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.  Toward this end, the school district may:

  • utilize electronic identification and payment systems;
  • promote the availability of meals to all students.

Meal Times and Scheduling

The school district:

  • will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 10 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
  • should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; should not schedule tutoring, club or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
  • will try schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools);
  • will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and,
  • should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
  • take reasonable steps to accommodate students with varying eating habits.

Qualification of Food Service Staff

Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the meal programs.  As part of the school district’s responsibility to operate a food service program, the school district will:

  • provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals; and,
  • provide staff development programs that include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, nutrition managers and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.

Sharing of Foods

The school district discourages students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children’s diets.

Competitive Foods and Beverages
The school district is committed to ensuring that all foods and beverages available to students during the school day
support healthy eating. The foods and beverages sold and served outside of the school meal programs (e.g.,
competitive food and beverages) will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, at a minimum. A
summary of the standards and information, as well as a Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools are available at: The Alliance for a Healthier Generation
provides a set of tools to assist with implementation of Smart Snacks available at To support healthy food choices and improve student health and well-
being, all foods and beverages outside the reimbursable school meal programs that are sold to students during the
school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards. These standards will apply in all
locations and through all services where food and beverages are sold, which may include, but are not limited to, a la
carte options in the cafeteria, vending machines, school stores and snack or food carts. The school district will
extend this to include the marketing of foods and beverages that do not meet the Smart Snack standards. To help
with the health and well-being of the students, the school will not allow the sale of highly caffeinated beverages, i.e
all beverages must contain 150 mg or less of caffeine per serving/container.

Fundraising Activities

There are two types of fundraising – regulated and other.  Regulated fundraisers are those that offer the sale of foods or beverages on school property and that are targeted primarily to PK-12 students by or through other PK-12 students, student groups, school organizations, or through on-campus school stores.  Regulated fundraising activities must comply with the state nutrition guidelines.  All other fundraising activities are encouraged, but not required, to comply with the state nutrition guidelines if the activities involve foods and beverages.


Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage.  Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages and other considerations.  The school district will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel and parents.


The school district will try not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually, as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through meals) as a punishment.  This includes treats in the classroom where nutrition standards and food allergies need to be addressed. 

School-Sponsored Events

Encourage that healthy options be sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day .

Food Safety

All foods made available on campus adhere to food safety and security guidelines.

  • All foods made available on campus comply with the state and local food safety and sanitation regulations. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and guidelines are implemented to prevent food illness in schools.
  • For the safety and security of the food and facility, access to the food service operations are limited to child nutrition staff and authorized personnel.  

Summer Meals

Schools in which more than 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program for at least six weeks between the last day of the academic school year and the first day of the following school year, and, preferably, throughout the entire summer vacation.

Note: School district can choose whatever goals they want based upon their individual school district needs assessments. The law only requires one goal but the school district can choose as many as it see appropriate for its school district and students.

Schools are encouraged to follow guidelines similar to those outlined by state and federal law for foods sold outside the school day. Boards can determine to what extent it wants its goals to reach beyond the school day.


Code No.  507.9

Appendix E



The Food Service Director, with support from the superintendent, will ensure compliance with established school district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.

In each school:

  • the Food Service Director will work with the principal to ensure compliance with those policies in the school and will report on the school’s compliance to the superintendent; and,
  • food service staff, at the school or school district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent or Food Service Director.

In the school district:

  • the school district will report on the most recent USDA Administrative Review (AR) findings and any resulting changes.  If the school district has not received an Administrative Review from the state agency within the past five years, the school district will request from the state agency that an AR be scheduled as soon as possible;
  • the Food Service Director will develop a summary report every three years on school district-wide compliance with the school district’s established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the school district; and,
  • the report will be provided to the superintendent and school board and also made available on the district website under the Nutrition tab for staff and the public to access. 

Policy Review

To help with the initial development of the school district’s wellness policies, the Food Service Director will conduct a baseline assessment of the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and practices.  The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the school district level to identify and prioritize needs.

Assessments will be repeated every 3 years to help review policy compliance, assess progress and determine areas in need of improvement.  As part of that review, the school district will review the nutrition and physical activity policies and practices and the provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity.  The school district, and individual schools within the school district, will revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.