Washington Academy administration recognizes the well-documented link between individual wellness (nutrition, physical activity) and learning. Washington Academy understands that an important factor in high school children reaching their potential is the coordination of school programs that develop personal responsibility for one’s health. This policy is adopted to assure that all Washington Academy students receive the knowledge, encouragement, and opportunity to achieve lifelong wellness.
Nutrition Education: Washington Academy understands that a curriculum that enhances an understanding of the connection between nutrition and the health of the body will help students make choices in eating and physical activity that improves wellness.
Nutrition Standards: Washington Academy will offer school meal programs with menus meeting the meal patterns and nutrition standards established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Washington Academy encourages students to make food choices based on the most current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Washington Academy believes that school meals are times when students should enjoy eating healthy foods with friends. These times may also be used for instruction in nutrition and eating habits. School meal planning and preparation will continue to seek opportunities to increase the healthfulness of food served in the Washington Academy school cafeteria.
Physical Education Program: Washington Academy believes that a physical education program stressing physical fitness and skill development will encourage healthy, active lifestyles. An effective physical education program is appropriately staffed and equipped to enable active participation of students of all abilities in physical activities of sufficient intensity and duration to provide a significant health benefit.
Physical Activity: Washington Academy understands the value of providing organized opportunities for students to be physically active at school. To this end, Washington Academy encourages schools to design after-school programs that engage many students in regular physical activity.
Staff Wellness: Recognizing that modeling wellness benefits both the school staff and students, Washington Academy encourages employees to engage in daily physical activity. Washington Academy’s Wellness Program provides a variety of wellness benefits to employees including reduced cost gym memberships and other wellness related activities and events throughout each school year.
Promotion and Assessing Wellness:
Communication: Understanding that parents play the primary role in the wellness of their children, Washington Academy recognizes the value of regular communication with parents and students to help promote wellness. This communication can be achieved both through the curriculum and through other means that convey an understanding of wellness, including:
• Making the nutritional value of food served in school cafeterias available if requested
• Posting useful information about healthful nutrition and physical activity in the school buildings and in home / school communications such as newsletters
• Offering parents the choice of a confidential Body Mass Index (B.M.I.) assessment of their children as part of yearly screening
Community Involvement: Washington Academy is fortunate to be part of a community rich in resources that promote wellness through education, physical activity opportunities, and other related services. Washington Academy will continue to work with a variety of community groups and agencies to facilitate and encourage student and family involvement in activities or programs that promote wellness.
School-Based Wellness: Washington Academy considers in their annual planning the relationship between wellness and student achievement. Such consideration may include school-based goals related to student wellness or action steps that seek to assess, improve, or better understand student wellness and its connection to achievement. Washington Academy also encourages school-wide efforts that engage students and staff in discussions and activities that promote and increase student and staff wellness.
Wellness Policy Committee: Washington Academy has a long-standing commitment to monitoring the implementation of its programs and assessing their efficacy. Washington Academy shall establish a Wellness Policy Committee that will contribute to an assessment of the school’s wellness efforts through an annual report to the Head of School. The Wellness Policy Committee, in cooperation with the Head of School, will devise indicators of implementation success annually to determine the degree to which programs or administrative guidelines associated with this policy have changed wellness behaviors.