In passing the Child Nutrition and WIC (Women, Infants and Children program) Reauthorization Act of 2004, Congress mandated that all school districts participating in federal school meal programs create and implement school wellness policies by July 2006. In 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act strengthened local wellness policy requirements and added requirements for public participation, transparency and implementation. These policies must address nutrition education, nutrition standards for foods sold, and physical activity, and must include measures for evaluating the policy’s effectiveness.
What is a School Wellness Committee?
A school wellness committee is essentially an advisory group concerned with the health and well-being of students and staff. A committee can be formed at the district or school building level. This group typically has 6-12 members and includes school staff, students, family members, and community members.
Why do we need a school wellness committee?
The school wellness committee provides a way to inform teachers, staff, students and families about the work the school is doing to improve the health and academic success of its students. The school wellness committee is also a way to ensure that district level wellness policies are implemented at the building level. In addition, these committees represent the unique perspective of the community in a school building. This enables the health priorities and activities put in place to truly reflect the needs and interests of that school.
What do school wellness committees do?
School wellness committees typically assess the school health environment, programs and policies in place and identify ways to strengthen these to improve the health of students and staff. Usually committees will develop and implement an action plan based on what they learn about the school. They also provide advice and expertise to administrators in the building and provide feedback to the district regarding implementation of health-related wellness policies and programs and report on the content and implementation to the public (including parents, students and the community members).
Please contact our department if you would like to join the committee!