CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Board of Education accredited modifications to its nutrition coverage in a Thursday assembly.
The new coverage, efficient Jan. 2, consists of aligning with federal Smart Snacks in School nutrition requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture when it comes to meals that may be bought to college students through the day or food bought for fundraisers, whereas additionally addressing food for college celebrations. It additionally deems that college students won’t be punished by denying a meal for an impressive meal debt.
The Standards for School Nutrition, Policy 4321.1, had a minor edit in 2014 however had not been completely up to date since 2008. The new coverage repeals and replaces the previous model to align with federal youngster nutrition requirements
Michele Blatt, assistant superintendent, stated faculties have operated beneath the Healthy Hunger-Free Act since 2012, however the coverage had not but caught as much as what was occurring in faculties.
Existing coverage asks districts to replace native wellness insurance policies to ensure they’re consistent with the state normal they usually have till Jan. 2 to try this, Blatt stated.
Counties need to undergo a formalized public course of on the county degree, together with proposing a coverage, sending it to public remark after which bringing it again to the native board for approval.
The coverage initially added language to limit baked items from house, permitting solely packaged gadgets at college celebrations if a faculty chooses to permit them. However, after public remark, this restriction was taken out to permit baked items.
The coverage additionally requires water to be made obtainable to college students all through the varsity day at no cost.
According to the coverage, 419 feedback from greater than 180 individuals have been acquired in the course of the 30-day public remark interval
After that interval, language was reinserted to proceed prohibiting caffeine and meals and drinks containing synthetic sweeteners from being bought, served and distributed in public faculties.
Amanda Harrison, government director of the Office of Child Nutrition with the Department of Education, stated West Virginia is the fifth state to have a statewide coverage to ban punishing college students for any excellent meal debt. Other states with such a coverage are New Mexico, Texas, Oregon and Minnesota.
She stated some counties take authorized motion towards the grownup guardians relating to giant balances however no matter technique the county decides to take, that punishment can’t embrace the scholar, she stated.
She stated the division doesn’t advocate for non-nutritional meals to be allowed in faculties for celebration however stated it’s for native districts to determine.
“It’s not this blanket ‘let them eat cake’ statement,” Harrison stated. “It makes it a localized decision through the federally required local wellness policies.”
It’s as much as the counties to outline what constitutes a particular occasion or celebration.
“The counties can define it, limit it, cap it to a certain number per year. They can say the school has to provide the food, the PTA or PTO provides it. Or they can say they will have food-free parties or celebrations. It is their local decision.”
The coverage doesn’t have an effect on concession stands or mother and father bringing in food for his or her youngsters. Parents or guardians are the one ones allowed to usher in outdoors food to youngsters, Harrison stated.
“We don’t want to open up the door to pizza delivery showing up and nobody knows where it’s supposed to go other than the student can have it because the parent ordered the pizza.”
Harrison additionally burdened that this coverage doesn’t override or change present guidelines for college lunch or faculty breakfasts.
Harrison additionally stated the coverage has inserted language in order that college students with particular dietary circumstances can’t be forgotten creating the necessity for native plans to incorporate specialised college students.
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