State Wellness Policy

Alignment with the School District’s Mission and Strategic Plan

This policy is reflective of the School District of Pittsburgh’s mission statement as contained in is 2002-2007 strategic plan:

The mission of the Pittsburgh Public Schools is to improve academic and social achievement to state academic goal standards for all students, one child at a time, by providing outstanding staff, curriculum and instructional practices, and a wide range of productive opportunities for parent/community involvement. This will enable all students to be successful school and community citizens who can become contributing adults.

The school district’s strategic plan contains a broad goal area on safety nets for students, including a specific focus on health, safety, and wellness.

Responsiveness to Federal and State Legislative Requirements

The following policy has been created in support of the district’s mission and in response to state and federal requirements including Public Law 108-265—more commonly known as the Federal Child Nutrition and School Lunch Reauthorization Act of 2004. In its current reauthorization, Public Law 108-265 includes the following new requirements:

  • New Federal Requirement #1: inclusion of goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in a manner that the local educational agency determines is appropriate
  • New Federal Requirement #2: inclusion of nutrition guidelines selected by the local education agency for all foods available on each school campus under the local educational agency during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity
  • New Federal Requirement #3: provision of assurance that guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to established federal regulations
  • New Federal Requirement #4: establishment of a plan for measuring implementation of the local wellness policy, including designation of 1 or more persons within the local education agency or at each school as appropriate, charged with operational responsibility for ensuring that the school meets the local wellness policy.
  • New Federal Requirement #5: involvement of parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators, and the public in the development of the school wellness policy

Additional requirements at the state level that are anticipated include House Bills 185 and 191 regarding student health and nutrition issues. These bills, if adopted as law, may result in the following requirements:

  • Anticipated New State Requirement #1: regulation of contracts for the sale of food and beverages sold in competition to a school’s cafeteria • Anticipated New State Requirement #2: requirement for school districts to establish advisory health councils to assist with developing a health and wellness plan. Councils would address issues related to physical education, health education curriculum, the nutritional value of food and beverages sold in the district, and more
  • Anticipated New State Requirement #3: establishment of the executive team of Pennsylvania Advocates for Nutrition and Advocacy (PANA) as the Pennsylvania Child Health and Nutrition Advisory Committee, As such, the advisory committee would draft a state-wide child health and nutrition plan and advise state authorities on issues related to child obesity and related illnesses. Responsiveness to Local Requirements In addition, this policy is reflective of the School District of Pittsburgh’s commitment to incorporating all facets of wellness into its work in order to better the health of students and other key internal and external stakeholders who serve as role models to students—including staff, parents, and the community—as the school district recognizes that good health among all stakeholders is the basis of strong student success and lifelong —academic, social, and personal. In that spirit, the following two local requirements were added as the basis of the following policy:
  • New Local Requirement #1: inclusion of goals to support nutrition education, physical activity, and awareness of other health promoting behaviors among district staff, teachers, parents, and siblings. • New Local Requirement #2: development of a framework component to ensure policy is adopted and implemented widely across all partners—school-based, faith-based, and community-based—and embedded in the strategic plan of the district (Section F-2 Safety Nets: Health Services)