MADISON WELLNESS COMMITTEE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 the 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).
Can we use our district level health committee instead?
The district level committee is key to many of the health policies and standards that the district develops and implements. It is important to have a school wellness committee that can focus on the implementation of district policies and translating policy into practice that is relevant to students and staff in the school building. Utilizing a structure that includes school wellness committee members serving as liaisons to the district level wellness committee will provide information and feedback on how or if policies are being implemented in all of the schools.
Who should be on the school wellness committee?
Most schools include parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, school staff, a community parks and recreation representative or parent organization representative and others who are committed and interested in making the school environment healthier for students and staff.
What if we already have a school level group that meets to address student health?
The Healthy Schools Program has been designed to reduce duplication of efforts and assist with coordination. If the school already has a group that meets to address student and staff health including School Wellness Committee healthy eating and physical activity, this group can also take on the role of guiding the implementation of the Healthy Schools Program Framework of Best Practices.
Who decides what the school wellness committee will work on?
Through the six-step process included in the Healthy Schools Program, the committee will determine the needs and interests of students and school staff. The Framework Criteria that is the foundation of the Healthy Schools Program provides best practice guidance on what types of actions and programs can be implemented to make healthy eating and physical activity accessible and enjoyable.
Celebrations and Rewards
All foods and beverages served and offered on the school campus during the school day and extended school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards including through:
- 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 Generation and from the USDA.
- Classroom snacks brought by parents. The District will provide to parents a list of foods and beverages that meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards.
- 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.