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.