Wellness Policy Change - Frequently Asked Questions
In April 2019, the Yorkville CUSD 115 Board of Education approved changes to Policy 6:50 – School Wellness. Changes to no longer allow snacks to be distributed as a reward or as part of a celebration were necessary in order to comply with the requirements of the federal National School Lunch Program and Illinois State Board of Education.
What is the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)?
The USDA offers the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast programs to school districts throughout the country. The benefits of participating in the program include:
- Healthy, research-based food choices for students
- Since 2012-13 the district has received an average of $488,000 per year as a participant in the NSLP federal grant program (district gets reimbursed for a portion of each meal)
However, the district is required to follow specific federal and state requirements.
What is different in the new wellness policy?
The most significant change to the district’s wellness policy is that starting in the 2019-20 school year, food and beverages can no longer be provided to students as a reward or as part of a celebration.
- food (including snacks) consumed during the school day that a parent/guardian provides for his/her own child
- food that is part of the district’s curriculum
- food that is part of a student’s IEP or medical plan
- food provided after normal school day hours
- food that is used as a reward (e.g., a pizza party as a classroom prize)
- food that is part of a celebration (e.g., snacks distributed as part of a holiday celebration)
What are some alternative options for classroom rewards and/or celebrations?
Schools will implement non-food rewards and celebrations, if it is not curricula related. Some examples of alternative celebrations include:
- Extra recess
- Eating lunch outdoors
- School supplies (including, but not limited to): Pencils/Pens, Erasers, Notepads/Notebooks, Boxes of Crayons, Stencils, Stamps, Rulers
- Going to the lunchroom first
- Reading outdoors
- Listening to music while working
- Dancing to music
Why was the recommendation made to not allow snacks as rewards or celebrations?
It was determined that due to the extremely stringent food standards that are deemed acceptable in the Smart Snacks for School requirements, the ability to successfully monitor compliance throughout the district would be highly unlikely and could place the district’s NSLP grant in jeopardy.
Who was involved in deciding the wellness policy option?
Administration worked in collaboration with the district’s Food Service and Wellness Committee members to review the policy options. The district Food Service and Wellness Committee is composed of district parents, administrators, staff members, and Aramark’s Food Service Manager. In addition, revisions and recommendations were presented and discussed at district meetings including the Parent-Teacher Organization Council, Citizens Advisory Council, and Council of Instructional Leaders (comprised of all district and school administrators). The Food Service and Wellness Committee then made its recommendation to the Board of Education for its adoption.
Local School Wellness Policy Resource Center