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Natchitoches Parish School Board (hereto referred to as the District) is committed to the optimal development of every student.  The District believes that for students to have the opportunity to achieve personal, academic, developmental and social success, we need to create positive, safe and health-promoting learning environments at every level, in every setting, throughout the school year.


Research shows that two components, good nutrition and physical activity before, during and after the school day, are strongly correlated with positive student outcomes.  For example, student participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) School Breakfast Program is associated with higher grades and standardized test scores, lower absenteeism and better performance on cognitive tasks.1,2,3,4,5,6,7  Conversely, less-than-adequate consumption of specific foods including fruits, vegetables and dairy products, is associated with lower grades among students.8,9,10  In addition, students who are physically active through active transport to and from school, recess, physical activity breaks, high-quality physical education and extracurricular activities – do better academically.11,12,13,14  Finally, there is evidence that adequate hydration is associated with better cognitive performance.15,16,17


This policy outlines the District’s approach to ensuring environments and opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions.  Specifically, this policy establishes goals and procedures to ensure that:



This policy applies to all students, staff and schools in the District.  Specific measureable goals and outcomes are identified within each section below.  This policy was patterned after the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Model Wellness Policy that reflects the USDA Final Rule of 2016.


  1. School Wellness Committee

    Committee Role and Membership


The District will convene a representative district wellness committee (hereto referred to as the DWC) that meets at least four times per year  to establish goals for and oversee school health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation and periodic review and update of this district-level wellness policy (heretofore referred as “wellness policy”).


The DWC membership will represent all school levels (elementary and secondary schools) and include (to the extent possible), but not be limited to: parents and caregivers; students; representatives of the school nutrition program (e.g., school nutrition director); physical education teachers; health education teachers; school health professionals (e.g., health education teachers, school health services staff [e.g., nurses, physicians, dentists, health educators, and other allied health personnel who provide school health services], and mental health and social services staff [e.g., school counselors, psychologists, social workers, or psychiatrists]; school administrators (e.g.., superintendent, principal, vice principal), school board members; health professionals (e.g., dietitians, doctors, nurses, dentists); and the general public.  When possible, membership will also include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education coordinators (SNAP-EDEDSNAP-Ed).  To the extent possible, the DWC will include representatives from each school building and reflect the diversity of the community.





The Superintendent or designee(s) will convene the DWC and facilitate development of and updates to the wellness policy, and will ensure each school’s compliance with the policy.


The designated official for oversight is Jennifer Ingram, Program Coordinator at 318-352-2358.


Each school will designate a school wellness policy coordinator, who will ensure compliance with the policy.


  1. Wellness Policy Implementation, Monitoring, Accountability and Community Engagement

    Implementation Plan


The District will develop and maintain a plan for implementation to manage and coordinate the execution of this wellness policy.  The plan delineates roles, responsibilities, actions and timelines specific to each school; and includes information about who will be responsible to make what change, by how much, where and when; as well as specific goals and objectives for nutrition standards for all foods and beverages available on the school campus, food and beverage marketing, nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, physical education and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.  Each school will use the Action for Healthy Kids School Index or Alliance for a Healthier Generation to create an action plan that fosters implementation and generate an annual progress report.


This wellness policy can be found at:




The District will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy at the Title I Media Center.  Documentation maintained in this location will include but will not be limited to:



Annual Notification of Policy


The District will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy and implementation status.  The District will make this information available via the district website and/or district-wide communications.  The District will provide as much information as possible about the school nutrition environment.  This will include a summary of the District’s and/or schools’ events or activities related to wellness policy implementation.  Annually, the District will also publicize the name and contact information of the District/school officials leading and coordinating the committee, as well as information on how the public can get involved with the school wellness committee.


Triennial Progress Assessments


At least once every three years, the District will evaluate compliance with the wellness policy to assess the implementation of the policy and include:



The position/person responsible for managing the triennial assessment and contact information is Jennifer Ingram, Program Coordinator at 318-352-2358.


The DWC, in collaboration with individual schools, will monitor schools’ compliance with this wellness policy.


The District and/or school will actively notify households/families of the availability of the triennial progress report.


Revisions and Updating the Policy


The DWC will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the annual School Health Index and triennial assessments and/or as District priorities change; community needs change; wellness goals are met; new health science, information, and technology emerges; and new Federal or state guidance or standards are issued. The wellness policy will be assessed and updated as indicated at least every three years, following the triennial assessment.


Community Involvement, Outreach and Communications


The District is committed to being responsive to community input, which begins with awareness of the wellness policy.  The District will actively communicate ways in which representatives of DWC and others can participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the wellness policy through a variety of means appropriate for that district.  The District will also inform parents of the improvements that have been made to school meals and compliance with school meal standards, availability of child nutrition programs and how to apply, and a description of and compliance with Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.  The District will use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on the district’s website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parents, or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of the content of, implementation of, and updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy.  The District will ensure that communications are culturally and linguistically appropriate to the community, and accomplished through means similar to other ways that the district and individual schools are communicating important school information with parents.


The District will actively notify the public about the content of or any updates to the wellness policy annually, at a minimum.  The District will also use these mechanisms to inform the community about the availability of the annual and triennial reports.


  1. Nutrition

    School Meals


Our school district is committed to serving healthy meals to children, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk; that are moderate in sodium, low in saturated fat, and have zero grams trans- fat per serving (nutrition label or manufacturer’s specification); and to meeting the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements.  The school meal programs aim to improve the diet and health of school children, help mitigate childhood obesity, model healthy eating to support the development of lifelong healthy eating patterns and support healthy choices while accommodating cultural food preferences and special dietary needs.


All schools within the District participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and some schools participate in Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).  All schools within the District will:



Menus will be posted on the District website at


Staff Qualifications and Professional Development


All school nutrition program directors, managers and staff will meet or exceed hiring and annual continuing education/training requirements in the USDA professional standards for child nutrition professionals.  These school nutrition personnel will refer to USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Standards website to search for training that meets their learning needs.




To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to all students throughout the school day* and throughout every school campus* (“school campus” and “school day” are defined in the glossary).  The District will make drinking water available where school meals are served during mealtimes.



Competitive Foods and Beverages


The District is committed to ensuring that all foods and beverages available to students on the school campus* during the school day* support healthy eating.  The foods and beverages sold and served outside of the school meal programs (e.g., “competitive” foods and beverages) will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, at a minimum. Smart Snacks aim to improve student health and well-being, increase consumption of healthful foods during the school day and create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits.  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 on the school campus during the school day* and ideally, the extended school day* will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards.  These standards will apply in all locations and through all services where foods and beverages are sold, which may include, but are not limited to, à la carte options in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores and snack or food carts.


Celebrations and Rewards


All foods offered on the school campus will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards including through:


  1. Celebrations and parties.  The district will provide a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers, including non-food celebration ideas.  Healthy party ideas are available from the Alliance for a Healthier Generationand from the USDA.

  2. Classroom snacks brought by parents.  The District will provide to parents a list of foods and beverages that meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards.

  3. Rewards and incentives.  The District will provide teachers and other relevant school staff a list of alternative ways to reward children.  Foods and beverages will not be used as a reward, or withheld as punishment for any reason, such as for performance or behavior.
    [Meets Healthy  Schools Program Silver-level criteria]


Nutrition Education


The District will teach, model, encourage and support healthy eating by all students.  The District will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus, as well as encourage participation in school meal programs.  Schools will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:



Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools


The District is committed to providing a school environment that ensures opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions.  The District strives to teach students how to make informed choices about nutrition, health and physical activity.  These efforts will be weakened if students are subjected to advertising on District property that contains messages inconsistent with the health information the District is imparting through nutrition education and health promotion efforts. It is the intent of the District to protect and promote student’s health by permitting advertising and marketing for only those foods and beverages that are permitted to be sold on the school campus, consistent with the District’s wellness policy.


Any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus* during the school day* will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, such that only those foods that comply with or exceed those nutrition standards are permitted to be marketed or promoted to students.


Food and beverage marketing is defined as advertising and other promotions in schools.  Food and beverage marketing often includes an oral, written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of a food or beverage product made by the producer, manufacturer, seller or any other entity with a commercial interest in the product.15  This term includes, but is not limited to the following:



As the District/school nutrition services/Athletics Department/PTA/PTO reviews existing contracts and considers new contracts, equipment and product purchasing (and replacement) decisions should reflect the applicable marketing guidelines established by the District wellness policy.


  1. Physical Activity


Children and adolescents should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. A substantial percentage of students’ physical activity can be provided through a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP).  A CSPAP reflects strong coordination and synergy across all of the components: quality physical education as the foundation; physical activity before, during and after school; staff involvement and family and community engagement and the district is committed to providing these opportunities.  Schools will ensure that these varied physical activity opportunities are in addition to, and not as a substitute for, physical education (addressed in “Physical Education” subsection).  All schools in the district will be encouraged to participate in Let’s Move! Active Schools ( in order to successfully address all CSPAP areas.


Physical activity during the school day (including but not limited to recess, classroom physical activity breaks or physical education) will not be withheld as punishment for any reason, this does not include participation on sports teams that have specific academic requirements.  The district will provide teachers and other school staff with a list of ideas for alternative ways to discipline students.


To the extent practicable, the District will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe and that equipment is available to students to be active.  The District will conduct necessary inspections and repairs.


Physical Education


The District will provide students with physical education, using an age-appropriate, sequential physical education curriculum consistent with national and state standards for physical education.  The physical education curriculum will promote the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and will help students develop skills to engage in lifelong healthy habits, as well as incorporate essential health education concepts (discussed in the “Essential Physical Activity Topics in Health Education” subsection).  The curriculum will support the essential components of physical education.


All students will be provided equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes.  The District will make appropriate accommodations to allow for equitable participation for all students and will adapt physical education classes and equipment as necessary.


All District elementary and junior high students in each grade will receive physical education for at least 150 minutes per week throughout the school year.  All District secondary students (high school) are required to take the equivalent of one academic year of physical education.


The District physical education program will promote student physical fitness through individualized fitness and activity assessments (via the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Wellnet/Focused Fitness, or other appropriate assessment tool) and will use criterion-based reporting for each student.



Essential Physical Activity Topics in Health Education


Health education will be required in all grades (elementary and middle school as outlined by The Rapides Foundation Healthy Behaviors grant) and the district will require high school students to take and pass at least one health education course.  The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 the following essential topics on physical activity:



Recess (Grades K-8)


All grades K-8 will offer at least 20 minutes of recess on all days during the school year  If recess is offered before lunch, schools will have appropriate hand-washing facilities and/or hand-sanitizing mechanisms located just inside/outside the cafeteria to ensure proper hygiene prior to eating and students are required to use these mechanisms before eating.  Hand-washing time, as well as time to put away coats/hats/gloves, will be built in to the recess transition period/timeframe before students enter the cafeteria.  Recess shall not be withheld as punishment for any reason.  The district will provide teachers and other school staff with a list of ideas for alternative ways to discipline students.


Outdoor recess will be offered when weather is feasible for outdoor play in the event that the school or district must conduct indoor recess, teachers and staff will follow the indoor recess guidelines that promote physical activity for students, to the extent practicable.  Recess will complement, not substitute, physical education class.  Recess monitors or teachers will encourage students to be active, and will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.


Classroom Physical Activity Breaks (Elementary and Secondary)


The District recognizes that students are more attentive and ready to learn if provided with periodic breaks when they can be physically active or stretch.  Thus, students will be offered periodic opportunities to be active or to stretch throughout the day on all or most days during a typical school week.  The District recommends teachers provide short (3-5-minute) physical activity breaks to students during and between classroom time at least three days per week.  These physical activity breaks will complement, not substitute, for physical education class, recess, and class transition periods.


The District will provide resources and links to resources, tools, and technology with ideas for classroom physical activity breaks.  Resources and ideas are available through USDA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.


Active Academics


Teachers will incorporate movement and kinesthetic learning approaches into “core” subject instruction when possible (e.g., science, math, language arts, social studies and others) and do their part to limit sedentary behavior during the school day.


The District will support classroom teachers incorporating physical activity and employing kinesthetic learning approaches into core subjects by providing annual professional development opportunities and resources, including information on leading activities, activity options, as well as making available background material on the connections between learning and movement.


Teachers will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.


Before and After School Activities


The District offers opportunities for students to participate in physical activity either before and/or after the school day (or both) through a variety of methods.  The District will encourage students to be physically active before and after school by: providing running clubs, physical activity in afterschool programs, intramurals, and/or sports.


Active Transport


The District will support active transport to and from school, such as walking or biking.  The District will encourage this behavior by engaging in six or more of the activities below; including but not limited to:



  1. Other Activities that Promote Student Wellness


The District will integrate wellness activities across the entire school setting, not just in the cafeteria, other food and beverage venues and physical activity facilities.  The District will coordinate and integrate other initiatives related to physical activity, physical education, nutrition and other wellness components so all efforts are complementary, not duplicative, and work towards the same set of goals and objectives promoting student well-being, optimal development and strong educational outcomes.


Schools in the District are encouraged to coordinate content across curricular areas that promote student health, such as teaching nutrition concepts in mathematics, with consultation provided by either the school or the District’s curriculum experts.


All efforts related to obtaining federal, state or association recognition for efforts, or grants/funding opportunities for healthy school environments will be coordinated with and complementary of the wellness policy, including but not limited to ensuring the involvement of the DWC/SWC.


All school-sponsored events will adhere to the wellness policy guidelines.  All school-sponsored wellness events will include physical activity and healthy eating opportunities when appropriate.


Community Partnerships


The District will continue relationships with community partners (e.g., hospitals, universities/colleges, local businesses, SNAP-Ed providers and coordinators, etc.) in support of this wellness policy’s implementation.  Existing and new community partnerships and sponsorships will be evaluated to ensure that they are consistent with the wellness policy and its goals.


Community Health Promotion and Family Engagement


The District will promote to parents/caregivers, families, and the general community the benefits of and approaches for healthy eating and physical activity throughout the school year.  Families will be informed and invited to participate in school-sponsored activities and will receive information about health promotion efforts.


As described in the “Community Involvement, Outreach, and Communications” subsection, the District will use electronic mechanisms (e.g., email or displaying notices on the district’s website), as well as non-electronic mechanisms, (e.g., newsletters, presentations to parents or sending information home to parents), to ensure that all families are actively notified of opportunities to participate in school-sponsored activities and receive information about health promotion efforts.


Staff Wellness and Health Promotion


The DWC will have a staff wellness subcommittee that focuses on staff wellness issues, identifies and disseminates wellness resources and performs other functions that support staff wellness in coordination with human resources staff.  The subcommittee leader’s name is Jennifer Ingram.


Schools in the District will implement strategies to support staff in actively promoting and modeling healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.  Examples of strategies schools will use, as well as specific actions staff members can take, include healthy meeting policy, participation in after school exercise programs, and staff wellness as outlined in The Rapides Foundation Healthy Behaviors grant.  The District promotes staff member participation in health promotion programs and will support programs for staff members on healthy eating/weight management that are accessible and free or low-cost.




Extended School Day – the time during, before and after school that includes activities such as clubs, intramural sports, band and choir practice, drama rehearsals and more.


School Campus - areas that are owned or leased by the school and used at any time for school-related activities, including on the outside of the school building, school buses or other vehicles used to transport students, athletic fields and stadiums (e.g., on scoreboards, coolers, cups, and water bottles), or parking lots.


School Day – the time between midnight the night before to 30 minutes after the end of the instructional day.


Triennial – recurring every three years.


Revised:  December, 2009

Revised:  June, 2010

Revised:  April, 2017

Revised:  October 4, 2018



Ref:    42 USC 1751 et seq. (Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act)

42 USC 1771 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act of 1966)

7 CFR 210 (National School Lunch Program)

7 CFR 210.31 (Local school wellness policy)

7 CFR 220 (School Breakfast Program)

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:17.1, 17:197.1

Board minutes, 10-4-18


Natchitoches Parish School Board



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8 MacLellan D, Taylor J, Wood K. Food intake and academic performance among adolescents. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. 2008;69(3):141–144.

9 Neumark-Sztainer D, Story M, Dixon LB, Resnick MD, Blum RW. Correlates of inadequate consumption of dairy products among adolescents. Journal of Nutrition Education. 1997;29(1):12–20.

10 Neumark-Sztainer D, Story M, Resnick MD, Blum RW. Correlates of inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption among adolescents. Preventive Medicine. 1996;25(5):497–505.

11 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance.  Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2010.

12 Singh A, Uijtdewilligne L, Twisk J, van Mechelen W, Chinapaw M. Physical activity and performance at school: A systematic review of the literature including a methodological quality assessment. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 2012; 166(1):49-55.

13 Haapala E, Poikkeus A-M, Kukkonen-Harjula K, Tompuri T, Lintu N, Väisto J, Leppänen P, Laaksonen D, Lindi V, Lakka T. Association of physical activity and sedentary behavior with academic skills – A follow-up study among primary school children. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9(9): e107031.

14 Hillman C, Pontifex M, Castelli D, Khan N, Raine L, Scudder M, Drollette E, Moore R, Wu C-T, Kamijo K. Effects of the FITKids randomized control trial on executive control and brain function. Pediatrics 2014; 134(4): e1063-1071.

15 Change Lab Solutions. (2014). District Policy Restricting the Advertising of Food and Beverages Not Permitted to be Sold on School Grounds. Retrieved from