In 2004, Congress passed the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act. This act required by law that all school districts participating in any federally subsidized child nutrition programs (e.g., National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast, Program, Special Milk Program and After School Snack Program) establish a local school wellness policy (LWP) by the beginning of the 2006-07 school year. In 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and added new provisions for local school wellness policies related to implementation, evaluation, and publicly reporting on progress of local school wellness policies.
- 2004 – Wellness Policy Document
- 2010 – USDA Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Local School Wellness Policy Guidance
- 2011 – DPI-SNT Guidance Policy Memo
- 2013 – 5-year Technical Assistance Plan (Updated July 2013)
- 2014 – Proposed Rule: Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
- As of School Year 2006-2007, all schools/districts were required to establish a LWP
- For School Year 2013-2014, schools/districts are encouraged to continue reviewing and assessing their LWP’s and implementing the new requirements. Schools/districts will be held accountable for LWP implementation, assessment, and public updates.
Local Wellness Policy Minimum Requirements
- Include goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.
- Include nutrition guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity for all foods available in each school district.
- Permit parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the general public to participate in the development, implementation, and review and update of the local wellness policy.
- Inform and update the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of local wellness policies.
- Be measured periodically on the extent to which schools are in compliance with the local wellness policy, the extent to which the local education agency’s local wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the local wellness policy, and make this assessment available to the public.
For more information on policy requirements, basic steps, and sample policies, visit USDA’s Team Nutrition Wellness Policy webpage.
Resources – a number of resources to help schools strengthen, implement, and evaluate wellness policies have been created.
- Wisconsin Wellness: Putting Policy into Practice is an interactive, web-based resource is designed to assist school districts with developing comprehensive policies that incorporate new policy requirements while establishing a framework for accountability. The resource provides information on required policy components and provides sample goals and objectives for each content area.
- Local Wellness Policy Report Card Online Tool - Wisconsin Team Nutrition has created this tool for schools/districts to use as a method for evaluating their policy and communicating the results to the public. The Local Wellness Policy Report Card Online Tool allows schools/districts to enter policy-specific objectives and evaluate to what extent the objectives were achieved. Following completion of the tool, a report card is generated.
- USDA's Putting Local School Wellness Policies into Action: Stories from School Districts and Schools a compilation of 11 stories that provide examples of steps and strategies used to implement wellness policies including improving school meals and increasing physical activity opportunities for students.
- For additional resources, please visit the Resources for School Wellness webpage.
Celebrate School Wellness Success
- HealthierUS School Challenge – is a voluntary certification initiative that has recognized thousands of schools for their efforts in improving food and beverage offerings, teaching kids about nutritious food choices and being physically active, providing opportunities for physical activity, and having supportive school wellness policies.
- Wisconsin Health Award - award was created as a way to recognize and celebrate schools with policies, programs, and the infrastructure to support and promote healthy eating; physical activity; alcohol-, tobacco-, and drug-free lifestyles; and parental and community involvement.
- Healthy Schools Program National Recognition Award – award presented to schools who complete the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s benchmarks.