Skip To Main Content

Wellness Policy

Student grabbing an orange from a tray filled with fresh oranges and apples

Policy JL © STUDENT WELLNESS

The School District strives to make a significant contribution to the general well being, mental and physical capacity, and learning ability of each student while affording them the opportunity to fully participate in the educational process.

The District is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Healthy eating is demonstrably linked to reduced risk for mortality and development of many chronic diseases as adults.

To ensure the health and well-being of all students, the Board shall promote and monitor student wellness in a manner that the Board determines is appropriate in the following areas:

A. Nutrition Guidelines: All foods available in each school during the day will have as a primary goal the promotion of student health and the reduction of childhood obesity. All guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.

B. Nutrition Education: The goal is to influence students' eating behaviors by providing nutrition education that is appropriate for students' ages; reflects students' cultures; is integrated into health education or core curricula; and provides opportunities for students to practice skills and have fun.

C. Physical Activity/Recess: The goals for physical activity are to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, to maintain students' physical fitness, to ensure students' regular participation in physical activity, and to teach students the short- and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthful lifestyle. "Recess," as defined in statute, means a period of time during the regular school day, including time during a scheduled lunch period, during which a pupil is able to engage in physical activity or social interaction with other pupils.

  1.  The District shall provide at least two (2) recess periods during the school day for pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one (1) through three (3). From and after August 1, 2019, the District shall provide at least two (2) recess periods during the school day for pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one (1) through five (5).
  2. A school that offers a half-day kindergarten program is required to provide at least one (1) recess period during the school day for pupils in that kindergarten program.
  3. The school District may count a pupil's participation in a physical education course during a school day as one (1) of that day's recess periods.
  4. The District is not required to extend the school day to meet this recess requirement.
  5. This recess requirement does not apply to middle schools, junior high schools, high schools, Arizona online instruction or schools in which the lowest grade of instruction offered is grade five (5).

D. Sunscreen: The goal is to emphasize skin health and promote the application of sunscreen products and to inform students that a student who attends school in this District may possess and use a topical sunscreen product while on school property or at a schoolsponsored event without a note or prescription from a licensed health care professional.

E. Other School-Based Activities: The goal is to create a total school environment that is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

F. Evaluation/Implementation: A primary goal will be to regularly (at least annually) evaluate the effectiveness of this policy in promoting healthy eating and changing the program as appropriate to increase its effectiveness. Such evaluation will be measureable. The results of each evaluation, including the extent to which schools are in compliance with District policy, the extent to which the District policy complies with federal regulations, and a description/summary of the progress made in attaining the goals of the District, shall be made available to the public. Physical education teachers and school health professionals shall have an opportunity to participate in the evaluation and implementation of this policy.

G. Parent, Community and Staff Involvement: A primary goal will be to engage family members, students, and representatives of the school food authority, the Governing Board, school administrators, and the public in development and regular review of this school policy.

The Superintendent is directed to develop administrative regulations to implement this policy, including such provisions as may be necessary to address all food and beverages sold and/or served to students at school (i.e., competitive foods, snacks and beverages sold from vending machines, school stores, after-school programs, and funding-raising activities and refreshments that are made available at school parties, celebrations and meetings), including provisions for staff development, family and community involvement and program evaluation. The Superintendent shall institute and clearly communicate a meal charge policy to all District households and District staff responsible for policy enforcement that is consistent with aspects of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 applicable to the District. Regulations and exhibits created for the purpose of implementing this policy shall be considered, in effect, to be an extension of this policy subject to Governing Board review.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Adopted: February 23, 2021

LEGAL REF.: A.R.S. 15-118, 15-159, 15-242, 42 U. S. C. 1751 et seq. (National School Lunch Act), 42 U. S. C. 1771 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act)

CROSS REF.: ABA - Community Involvement in Education, ABAA - Parental Involvement, BBA - Board Powers and Responsibilities, EF - Food Services, EFDA - Collection of Money/Food Tickets, EFE - Competitive Food Sales/Vending Machines, IA - Instructional Goals and Objectives

JL-RA - REGULATION - STUDENT WELLNESS

An annual report shall be made to the Board on the District's compliance with law and policies related to student wellness. The report may include but not be limited to:

A. Evaluation of the food services program.

B. Recommendations for policy and/or program revisions.

C. Review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines.

D. Assessment of school environment regarding student wellness issues.

E. Listing activities and programs conducted to promote nutrition and physical activity.

F. Providing feedback received from District staff, students, parents/ guardians, and community members.

In accordance with the National School Lunch Act (42 U. S. C. 1751 et seq.) and the Child Nutrition Act (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.), as amended, an assurance that District guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law shall be provided annually. The Superintendent shall receive assurances from all appropriate administrators and supervisors prior to making the annual Board report.

Nutrition Education

Nutrition education shall focus on students' eating behaviors, be based on theories and methods proven effective by research and be consistent with state and local District health education standards. Nutrition education at all levels of the curriculum shall include, but not be limited to, the following essential components designed to help students learn:

A. All nutrition education (Grades K-8) shall focus on students' eating behaviors, and provide the basic foundation for students to acquire the critical skills needed to adopt, practice, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

B. Nutrition education will be provided through many outlets, including but not limited to: 

  1. healthy tips and facts on the District/department social media posts, cooking demos, taste tests, Top Chef Student Cooking Competition, school gardens and cafeteria nutrition promotion activities, which all link back to encourage participation in school meal programs.
  2. Kindergarten through grade eight (K-8) students may also receive additional nutrition education in their subjects like math, science, language arts, social studies, and their physical education classes. Physical education (PE) curriculum standards will follow the Arizona Standards for K-12 Physical Education: httP-s://www.azed.gov/standards­P-ractices/k-12standards/standards-P-hY.sical-education/. Furthermore, there will be additional learning objectives made for all Madison students grades kindergarten through eight (K-8) set by the Madison PE department annually that cover various topics of nutrition education.
    1. Topics may include but not be limited to: relationship between healthy eating and personal health and disease prevention, food guidance from MyPlate, reading and using the Food and Drug Administration (FDA's) nutrition fact labels, eating a variety of foods every day, balancing food intake and physical activity, eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grain products, choosing foods with little added sugar, preparing healthy meals and snacks, the importance of water consumption, the importance of eating breakfast, social influences on healthy eating, including media, family, press, and peers, and how to develop a plan and track progress towards achieving a personal goal to eat healthfully.
    2. More goals for nutrition education topics that are recommended to include in a local wellness policy assessment can be found at https://cms.azed.gov/home/GetDocumentFile?id=5900d4191130c00aac66127b
  3. Madison schools may receive additional nutrition education by participating in the creation and or maintenance of a school garden or from various farm to school activities in the cafeterias and/or in the classrooms. School cafeterias may utilize promotions or special events to highlight the usage of local or regional products in their menus.
  4. Nutrition education may also be taught in collaboration with community partners, but is not limited to: SNAP-E and the Arizona Dairy Council.

Nutrition Guidelines and Food:

A. Nutrition and Wellness Department:

1. All foods and beverages made available on campus during the school day will meet nutrition standards mandated by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as the Arizona Nutrition Standards:

a. Arizona School Meal Nutrition Standards

b. USDA Competitive Food Standards

B. Reimbursable Meal:

1. All guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulation and guidance issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). All schools in the District will follow these regulations, guidance, and will participate in the USDA School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). 

2. The purpose of the National School Lunch Program is to serve school meals of optimum nutritional value at a minimum cost to the child. This is accomplished by providing a daily meal that meets one-third (1/3) of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA).

3. Steps that the District will take to protect the privacy of student who qualify for free and reduced price meals and how families may qualify or free and reduced meals are highlighted in policies documents EFG, EFC-R, EFC-E and EFDA.

4. Trainings will be provided for food service staff to meet all of USDA's professional standards for the year, which is highlighted in Regulation EF-R.

5. Menus will be created by a nutrition professional and/or a registered dietitian.

C. All Foods and Beverages Sold in Schools:

1. All foods exempt from reimbursable meals must meet The Arizona Nutrition Standards for snack foods.

2. Smart Snacks only applies to the following foods sold/served throughout the District:

a. A la carte items:

i. Food for fundraisers.

ii. Food for vending or snack bars.

iii. Foods sold at school stores.

3. Check the Alliance Smart Snacks Product Calculator to see if your food item is allowed under the Smart Snack guidelines. These standards are to be upheld before school and starting thirty (30) minutes after the end of the official school day per USDA regulations, with the exception of classroom parties.

D. Celebrations/Classroom Parties:

1. The District encourages a healthy environment at celebrations. The child nutrition department can supply food and beverages for celebrations as well as a list of healthy classroom snacks.

2. Food and beverages provided for parties, celebrations, and meetings must comply with the local food safety and sanitations guidelines. Parents, teachers, and community members will be directed to contact the school nutrition department for guidance.

3. Arizona Department of Education Food Safety Code

4. Maricopa County Environmental Health Code

E. Fundraising:

1. School organizations are encouraged to raise funds through the sale of non-food items as part of the school sponsored fundraising activities.

2. All food items served/offered to students during the school day (from midnight before, to thirty [30] minutes after the end of the official school day) will meet federal, state and local standards.

3. USDA Fundraiser Standards

4. There are no exemptions for school fundraisers. All foods must meet USDA Smart Snack standards.

Other School Based Wellness Activities:

A. Eating Environment:

1. The eating environment is safe, comfortable and allows ample time and space for eating meals.

a. Students will be allowed at least ten (10) minutes to eat breakfast.
b. Students will be allowed at least fifteen (15) minutes to eat lunch.
c. Students will be served lunch at a reasonable and appropriate time of the day.

2. Food and/or beverages will not be used as a reward or punishment

a. Alternative potential rewards that are not food and/or beverages include Action for Healthy Kids.org's Healthy Rewards

b. This list needs to be communicated by school principals to their teachers at a minimum annually.

3. Students and staff will have access to free, safe water at all times throughout the school day.

a.  Students will be allowed to bring and carry approved water bottles with only water in them throughout the day.

b. Water sources will be maintained on a regular basis to ensure good hygiene and health safety standards.

4. Meals will be accessible to all students and will be appealing and attractive to students.

B. Food providers will be sensitive to the school environment and only market and advertise foods and beverages that meet Smart Snack standards.

1. Arizona School Meal Nutrition Standards

2. 2. Any food or beverages advertised on the school campus during the school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in school nutrition guidelines including brand names, trademarks, displays, advertising, equipment/school property, educational materials, where food is purchased, and in school publications/media.

C. Nutrition and Physical Activities Promotion:

A. Nutrition Displays: 

1. Schools will display nutrition posters and/or banners throughout the school to promote health and wellness.

2. The District will share nutrition information with students, staff and parents via menus available on the District website and menu board displays at each school. 

B. Nutrition Communication: 

1. The District will encourage families and students to participate in school meal programs and may be communicated but not limited to the following ways: notification of meal programs in the student handbook, District/department social media, press releases, school newsletters, and District website; through school menu promotions, school nutrition events, school nutrition activities, and word of mouth. 

2. The District will promote to families and the general community the benefits of and approaches to healthy eating and physical activity throughout the school year.

3. School menus are available in an electronic format that include the nutrition content and can be found on the District website at www.madisonaz.org/foodandnutrition.

C. Cafeteria Strategies:

1. Short physical activity breaks will be encouraged in the classroom. Social and emotional wellness curriculum will also be implemented in the classroom.

2. Family and community engagement will be promoted in physical activities at schools via sports teams, Madison Dash to the Bash 5K, and other school related physical activities. They will be invited to participate and receive info about these events through electronic and non-electronic mechanisms.

3. All school-sponsored wellness events will include physical activity and/or healthy eating components.

4. The District supports active transport to and from school, such as walking or biking.

E. Additional Strategies:

1. The District will develop, enhance, or continue relationships with community partners involving wellness including hospitals, other schools in the community, state universities/colleges, local businesses, and health educators.

Implementation and Monitoring:

A. Implementation:

1. The District wellness coordinator shall appoint a District Wellness Committee (DWC) to assess, plan, implement, and improve the nutrition and physical activity environment.

2. DWC members will include community and school representatives but are not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, students, nutrition staff, physical education teachers, school nurses, school psychologists, school social workers, school counselors, community education employees, other classified staff, community partners, and members of the general community. To the best extent possible, there should be a representative from each school.

a. The DWC will also have a focus on staff wellness that will include collaboration with the benefits department.

i. Staff wellness will be encouraged and will not be limited to: wellness challenges, health promotions, school and/or community events like Dash to the Bash 5K, and other preventative health screening opportunities.

ii. When feasible, staff will also be provided with learning opportunities and resources to increase their own personal knowledge of healthful behaviors.

iii. Healthier food options will be marked on the school district's catering menu for those who would like to order healthier options for meetings and trainings.

b. The DWC will plan to meet at a minimum of four (4) times per year and may be recruited by the following methods but not limited to: e-mail, flyers, District/department social media, District website, parent and teacher organizations, and other methods as feasible.

c. The DWC will develop annual goals that align with the wellness policy and will focus on but is not limited to: physical health (nutrition and physical exercise), social/emotional health (parents, friends and other community ties), and mental health (coping with academic rigor, stress, and other peer pressures).

d. The public is notified by their ability to participate in the DWC on the District website as well as all recruitment materials.

3. The DWC will read, review, and revise relevant sections of the District local wellness guidelines.

B. Monitoring:

1. Principals will monitor and ensure adherence to the wellness policy in their school and will report rates of compliance to the Superintendent or District Wellness Coordinator.

2. The food service director will monitor and ensure that the school nutrition program complies with federal and state nutrition and meal pattern guidelines and report such compliance to the Superintendent or designee.

3. The Superintendent is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that all schools in the District comply with Policy JL and this regulation. 

Evaluation and Assessments:

A. Evaluation:

1. The DWC shall evaluate policy implementation; identify areas for improvement; submit results/findings to the food and nutrition department.

2. The Superintendent will review results/findings; provide annual reports on the progress and status of compliance of each school and keep a copy of the findings.

B. Assessments:

1. On a triennial basis, the DWC will conduct an assessment and develop a summary report on District-wide compliance with this policy based on input from schools within the District. The assessment and report will include the extent to which schools are in compliance with this policy, the extent to which this District's school wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the measurable goals of Policy JL and regulation.

2. The report will be made available to the public at the District office and posted on the District's website, as well as provided to the School Board, the DWC, parent/teacher organizations, school administrators, and school health services personnel in the District.

3. The District will make updates available to the public.

C. Public Notice:

1. The District will have the school wellness policy on the District website.

2. Yearly reports documenting progress of the wellness policy will be available on the District website.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 

JL-RB - REGULATION - STUDENT WELLNESS

Physical Activity Goals

The primary goal for the District's physical activity component is to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, maintain physical fitness, regularly participate in physical activity, and understand the short- and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle.

A comprehensive physical activity program encompasses a variety of opportunities for students to be physically active, including physical education, recess, walk-to-school programs, after-school physical activity programs, health education that includes physical activity as a main component, and physical activity breaks within regular classrooms.

To the best extent practicable, the District will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe and that equipment is available for all students to be active.

Students will have opportunities to participate in physical activity before and after school.

Through an agreement, indoor and outdoor physical activity facilities and spaces are open to rent to students, families, and the community outside of school hours by completing a school request form upon approval.

Physical Activity:

A. Physical Education:

1. Physical education (PE) classes shall be based on the Arizona Department of Education Physical Activity Standards.

2. It is our goal that PE teachers will ensure students are moderately to vigorously active at least fifty percent (50%) of the time while participating in physical education class.

3. More information specific to Arizona physical education standards: http://www.azed.gov/standards-practices/physical-educationstandards/

4. All elementary students in each grade will receive physical education for at least sixty (60) minutes/week.

5. Physical activity opportunities are available for all kindergarten through grade eight (K-8) students in the district for at least thirty (30) minutes per day.

6. Physical education classes are all taught by licensed teachers who are certified or endorse to teach physical education. These teachers will have opportunities for professional development and training at least annually. These teachers are encouraged to work with the food and nutrition services department to also incorporate elements of healthful eating in their lessons.

7.Physical education programs are encouraged and may participate in individualized fitness and activity assessments such as the Presidential Youth Fitness program, or other similar assessments.

B. Recess:

1. All students shall receive a minimum of twenty (20) minutes of recess, as this provides an outlet to promote continued physical activity.

2. In addition to the twenty (20) minute daily recess, students in kindergarten programs and grades one through five will receive an additional fifteen (15) minute daily recess. This does not apply to middle schools in which the lowest grade of instruction offered is grade 5.

3. At teacher discretion, additional recess time may be provided as needed.

4. The District discourages the withholding of participation in recess to complete class assignments or for disciplinary consequences.

5. Severe and inappropriate exercise may not be used as a form of punishment.

Alternative potential rewards that are not severe and inappropriate exercise include Action for Healthy Kids.org's Healthy Rewards 

6.Recess is offered outdoors when weather is feasible.

7. Recess is a complement not a substitute for physical education class.

8. Recess monitors encourage students to be active during recess.

C. Special Programs and Afterschool Activities:

Additional physical activity programs are available in the afterschool sports programs and clubs to meet the needs and interests of students, including those who are not athletically involved or those with special health care needs.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Download the District Wellness Policy


This institution is an equal-opportunity provider.

Free language assistance, auxiliary aids, and/or accommodations are available upon request.