OSPI Releases Wellness Toolkit
OLYMPIA — January 7, 2013 — One Washington school partners with local farmers to provide fresh local food in school lunches. Another makes school meals from scratch. A third creates and maintains a school garden. And a fourth conducts physical education nights, which includes parents.
The common thread is wellness: ensuring that students are healthy. A toolkit released today by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction – “School Wellness Policy | Best Practices” – represents some of the current thinking on wellness. Included in the toolkit are specific policies and programs districts use to promote nutrition education and promotion, as well as physical education and activity.
“As a former principal, I understand the need for students to be healthy,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “Students who are hungry or who haven’t had enough physical activity have a tough time giving 100 percent to their education. This toolkit is a great resource that can help districts reach those students who most need help.”
The toolkit is a response to a federal law passed in 2010 that requires all school wellness policies to include:
- Involvement of stakeholders;
- Goals for nutrition guidelines for all foods available on school campus, nutrition
- Education and promotion, as well as physical education and activity;
- Notification to the public; and
- Monitoring and evaluation.
A 2004 federal law required that all schools develop a wellness policy. The 2010 law, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, requires districts to include making sure schools implement the local policy, monitor and evaluate the policies and periodically update the community on the status of the policy.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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OSPI Communications Manager
The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.