Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Wellness Committee Responsibilities

Memo Information

Memo Number
CNU-20-023
Memo Date
12/6/2019
Memo Type
Regulatory
Unit
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 Final Rule for Local Wellness Policy Implementation (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; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

ATTENTION:  SUPERINTENDENTS, CO-OP DIRECTORS, PRINCIPALS, CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTORS, WELLNESS COMMITTEE CHAIRS     

 

 

The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance 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.  Also, visit the Child Nutrition Unit website and click on the “Wellness” tab for training materials and tools.

 

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 six 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 School Improvement Plan.

     

    Module 1- School Health Policies and Environment

    Module 2- Health Education

    Module 3- Physical Education and other Physical Activity Programs

    Module 4- Nutrition Services

    Module 10-Family Engagement (formerly Module 8)

    Module 11-Community Involvement (formerly Module 8)

     

  5. School Improvement: The Wellness Committee will develop goals for nutrition education and promotion, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in the annual School Improvement Plan. 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, nutrition education and promotion, and the option to address additional data/goals/objectives.

     

    While these goals are part of the Arkansas School Improvement process and are required by Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003, they also are required under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Final Rule on Local Wellness Policy Implementation and will be monitored for completeness by the Arkansas Child Nutrition Unit during an Administrative Review.  Failure to complete the SHI, BMI assessment, and goal-setting portion of the Wellness Priority in the School Improvement Planning process will result in an Administrative Review finding and will require a corrective action plan.

     

  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 USDA Final Rule on Local School Wellness Policy Implementation required districts to have updated their policies to fully comply with the requirements of the final rule by June 30, 2017.

    Districts 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.Districts who updated their policies in 2017 are due for an assessment and possible update of the wellness policy in 2020.

     

  7. State Nutrition Standards: The Wellness Committee will ensure that each school campus meets the standards outlined in the Arkansas Department of Education (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.

     

  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 School Improvement Plan), including who was involved in the process (Wellness Committee Members district report in the School Improvement Plan) 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;
    • Documentation of quarterly menu reviews; and,
    • Documentation of 9 Special Event Days by school in the eSchool calendar.

     

  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; and
    • The Triennial Assessment, including progress toward meeting the goals of the policy. 

     

Wellness Committees may use the attached Wellness Committee Checklist for Implementation and Compliance.

 

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

 

Visit the Arkansas Child Nutrition Unit webpage and click the “Wellness” Tab for additional tools and training materials.

 

If you have additional questions, please contact your district’s area specialist at the Child Nutrition Unit at (501) 324-9502 or School Health Services at (501) 683-3604.

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