Howard County Puts Lid on School Parties with Food

The Howard County Public School System said it's aligning its standards with those from the Institute of Medicine.

Schools will incorporate "brain breaks," or bursts of physical activity, into the school day. (Credit: Patch File Photo)
Schools will incorporate "brain breaks," or bursts of physical activity, into the school day. (Credit: Patch File Photo)

The Howard County Public School System released the following statement on April 14 regarding passage of its new wellness policy.

The Howard County Board of Education adopted a revised Policy 9090 Wellness Through Nutrition and Physical Activity at the April 10 board meeting. The board first began reviewing revised policy in spring 2013, followed by work sessions, updated board reports and two public hearings.

With the revised policy, HCPSS becomes one of the few public school systems in the state to adopt Institute of Medicine (IOM) Nutritional Standards as its own.

Phase I of the policy was put in place May 9, 2013, and includes the following:
  • Breakfast is available in all schools.
  • Recess may not be taken away as punishment.
  • Foods/beverages will not be offered as a reward or withheld as a punishment.
  • Vending machines are only allowed at the high school level, after the school day ends.

With the adoption of the revised policy, HCPSS will begin implementation of Phase II, which includes these measures:

  • Adopting IOM standards as HCPSS standard.
  • All food and beverages sold or given to students, including snack items, will comply with the IOM Nutrition Standards.
  • School staff provided professional development on "brain break" strategies and activities.
  • School celebrations involving food and beverages may be permitted by the principal no more than once per month after the end of the last lunch period, and must comply with IOM Nutrition Standards.
  • Concessions are encouraged to offer healthier options, and to consider fundraisers that do not involve food and beverages.

Additionally, several areas will require long-term study and collaboration beyond policy involvement. These include recess, time for physical education class, intramurals and after-school food sales.

The adopted policy can be found online at http://hcpssne.ws/BOE9090.

Skye Anderson April 14, 2014 at 01:48 PM
I wonder if, rather than going almost cold-turkey, it might be better to teach our students moderation (in all things).
Michael April 14, 2014 at 01:52 PM
The Institute of Medicine is nothing but a think tank that needs something to do. Nothing but academics without a clue. Same for the brainiacs who dreamed up the seriously idiotic Common Core agenda. Read the IOM report and try to make sense of it: http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/SchoolFoods.aspx
JaySmith April 15, 2014 at 06:43 AM
Government gone wild. And none of it is free or.....in the end..... particularly helpful. Because it takes away personal and family-oriented responsibility. Makes me SICK !
robert fleisch April 15, 2014 at 09:22 AM
And to top it off, the teacher's union wants a raise. Maybe we should just hire some dieticians and go to home schooling.
Jerry Krasnick April 15, 2014 at 09:27 AM
I am glad to see there will be no more taking recess away as punishment. My son has forgotten his homework on occassion, and had recess taken away. I don't mind punishment, like giving him double homework the next day, or taking points off his grade, but taking re ess away from a kid that needs the physical activity...was never ok with that.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »