Wellness Policy

St. Michael School believes that it is essential to educate the whole child academically, spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally. To accomplish this, our school aims to teach, encourage and support a healthy lifestyle for students and staff while embracing reverence for life, self-respect, and respect for others.

This policy outlines our approach to ensuring environments and opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day. Good health fosters student attendance and ability to learn.

School Wellness Committee

This committee will be comprised of a school administrator, staff (physical education teacher, nurse) and parents. Student council will be involved in various aspects. The committee meets at least three times per year and serves in an advisory capacity.

Setting Goals for Nutrition Education

St. Michael School aims to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students. As a school community we will provide nutrition education that follows the sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program outlined in the diocesan health and sciences courses of study.

Our school will not use foods or beverages as a reward for good behavior or academic performance.

  • Classroom parties will have an emphasis on activities, crafts and healthy snacks. Room parents and parent volunteers will be reminded to have smaller portions, limited selections and healthy treats for the students. Parents are encouraged to find a non-food alternative for individual student birthdays.
  • St. Michael School will promote the consumption of nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy products and lean protein. It also promotes healthy food preparation methods and health-enhancing nutrition choices. Educational displays and posters encouraging healthy food choices will be displayed in the cafeteria.
  • St. Michael School encourages school staff to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

Setting Goals for Physical Activity

As a school community, St. Michael School aims to provide and stress the importance of physical activity by:

  • Following the standards-based diocesan physical education course of study.
  • Providing physical education classes at a minimum of twice per week for all students.
  • Physical activities within class periods will be encouraged.
  • Including recess in the schedule of every student. Recess will be outdoors whenever possible. All students will be encouraged to be active during this time. Teachers and recess monitors will serve as role models by being physically active alongside students whenever possible.
  • The alternative to indoor classroom recess will be using the gym for recess time, schedule permitting.
  • Open gym times will be available to teachers for activities, schedule permitting.
  • Recess will not be restricted as a disciplinary method.
  • Enrollment in diocesan athletic programs will be offered for students in grades 4-8.

School Food Nutrition Standards

Foods offered/sold at St. Michael School will:

  • Be appealing and attractive to students and served in a clean and pleasant setting.
  • Meet, at a minimum, the nutrition requirements established by state and federal regulations for portion size and nutritional value as detailed by the National School Lunch Program and the Ohio Department of Education.
  • Include a variety of foods from the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and protein. Fat-free and low-fat milk will be available for school lunch and be available for purchase for those students bringing lunch from home.
  • Be offered (not served) to students. Students must choose a meal representing at least 3 food groups and must include at least one fruit (1/2 cup) or one vegetable (3/4 cup). This requirement applies to a tray lunch and a salad bar lunch.
  • Engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal program in order to identify new, healthful and appealing food choices. In addition, the school will share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students if asked.
  • Include access to drinking water during lunch for all students. Students are encouraged to have capped water bottles for hydration throughout the day.
  • Not allow student access to vending machines.
  • Include classroom snack breaks when determined appropriate by the teacher based on lunch schedule. Parents will be educated and encouraged to send healthy snacks to school.
  • Lunch will be scheduled to provide nutrition and nourishment within an appropriate time frame from the start of the school day.
  • Lunch will be scheduled before recess for a 30 minute period to allow for a minimum of 20 minutes of seated eating time.
  • Students will have access to handwashing/hand sanitizing prior to eating lunch/snacks.
  • Lunch will not conflict with club or organizational meetings, tutoring sessions, or other activities.
  • Sharing of food and beverages during lunch and snack times will be discouraged.
  • Parents will be encouraged via health promotional materials to make healthy choices for student lunches when students bring their meals from home.
  • All staff will be given a list of students that have food allergies. Staff will also be aware of students with special dietary needs.

Free and Reduced-price school meals will be available to all students who qualify. Applications will be available at any time throughout the school year. All information will be kept confidential.

School Food Service Staff will receive continuing professional development. These programs will include certification and/or training programs for staff according to their level of responsibility and correspond with Columbus Public Health Code. School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the principal.

Communication The wellness policy will be on the school’s webpage and can be accessed at www.stmichaelworthington.org. Wellness ideas communicated to parents will include information that promotes physical activity and healthy eating. Such communication may include information about the benefits of physical activity to children and distribution of information about youth sports programs.

Evaluation of Wellness Goals, Policy Monitoring and Review The Wellness Policy will be reviewed by the school wellness committee every year for school-wide compliance and effectiveness. Revisions to the policy will be reviewed and approved by the principal. The principal will ensure compliance with established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.