Local Wellness Guidelines

  • IMAGE: Students stretching, biking, on the field and at the salad bar at lunch. Preamble

    The Marana Unified School District (hereto referred to as the District) is committed to the optimal development of every student. The District believes that a positive, safe, and health-promoting learning environment are essential for students to achieve personal, academic, developmental, and social success. 

    The Local Wellness Guidelines outline the District’s goals and approach to fostering a healthy environment and opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and active living. 

    Wellness Guidelines Goals 

    Goal for Nutrition Promotion:

    1. The District will continue to encourage participation in meal programs such as School Breakfast, Lunch, and After School Snack, as appropriate.
    2. The District will continue to inform parents and community members of foods served to students by posting menus on MyLunchTray and links to the menu on individual school sites, as well as, on District application. The menus will include information on nutrient content, ingredients, carbohydrate counts, and allergens.
    3. The District may promote participation in the meal programs by using email, social media and individual site webpages, as well as, promotional flyers during the “Back to School” timeframe.
    4. The District will encourage all schools to include positive messaging about the school meals program during morning announcements and school-wide events where parents and community members are present.
    5. The District will reinforce more schools to participate in the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement (SLM) and/or implement 1-2 of the SLM techniques to further promote healthy foods served in the cafeteria and assist in decreasing food waste. 

    Goal for Nutrition Education:

    1. The District aims to reinforce age and culturally appropriate nutrition education that may be provided across grade-levels by offering professional development opportunities to classroom teachers and/or connecting schools to external community partners/agencies with nutrition education resources.
      1. It is the goal of the District to encourage the offering of sequential nutrition education or at the very least, integration of nutrition education concepts in subjects like math, science, language arts, social sciences, and electives through grades K-6.
    2. The District will encourage the utilization of hands-on experiences and experiential learning as often as possible. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, food guidance from the MyPlate, beverage choices, balancing food intake, food safety, importance of water consumption, nutrition fact labels, etc. 

    Goal for Physical Activity:     

    Physical Activity:        

    1. The District will reinforce physical activity throughout the school day using the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) framework particularly before, during, and after school programming. The District will encourage its schools to have physical activity available for at least 30 minutes per day for all students.
    2. The District will provide schoolteachers and other staff with a list of alternative ways to discipline students; in turn, the District will ensure that physical activity during the day (including but not limited to recess, classroom physical activity breaks, or physical education) shall not be used or withheld as punishment for any reason.
    3. To the extent that is practical, the District will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe and that equipment is available for all students to be active.
    4. The District will offer opportunities for students to participate in physical activity after school.     

    Physical Education:

    1. The District will provide students with formal, age appropriate physical education, consistent with national and state standards for physical education.
      1. Students in grades K-6 will participate in physical education for 60 minutes per week.
      2. Students are moderately to vigorously active for at least 50% of class time during most of all physical education class sessions.
    2. The District will reinforce that all physical education teachers participate in professional development at least once per year.
    3. The District will ensure that licensed teachers who are certified or endorsed to teach physical education teach physical education classes. 


    1. The District will ensure that elementary schools provide at least 20 minutes of daily recess during the school year to its students. The District will also ensure that the following best practices are implemented:
      1. If recess if offered before lunch, proper hand washing measures are in place.
      2. Recess is held outdoor when weather is feasible.
      3. Recess is a compliment to, not substitute for physical education. 

    Active Transport:

    1. The District will support and/or encourage active transport to and from school such as walking or biking.
    2. The District will promote activities such as participation in International Walk to School Week to schools that are ready to integrate this type of practice.
    3. The District will ensure that crosswalks on the streets leading to school and crossing guards are used at all times.
    4. The District will ensure that secure storage facilities for bicycles and helmets are available on school grounds upon participation in a Walk or Bike to School program.
    5. The District will ensure that instruction on walking/bicycling safety is provided to student by working with school principals/leadership and/or other external community agencies. 

    Goal for Other School-Based Activities that Promote Student Wellness:

    1. The District will ensure that all school sponsored wellness events will include physical activity and healthy eating opportunities.
    2. The District will develop, enhance, and continue relationships with community partners as appropriate.
    3. The District will promote to parents/caregivers, families, and the general community the benefits of and approaches to healthy eating and physical activity throughout the school year.
    4. The District will encourage school-level leaders and administration to inform and invite families and community members to participate in school-sponsored activities and receive information about health promotion efforts. The District will use electronic and non-electronic mechanisms to ensure that all families are actively notified of opportunities to participate in school-sponsored activities and receive information about health promotional efforts.
    5. The District Wellness Committee (DWC) will have a staff wellness subcommittee that focuses on staff wellness issues, identifies and disseminates wellness resources, and performs other functions that support staff wellness in coordination with human resources. 

    Nutrition Standards

    School Meals:

    The school meal programs aim to improve the diet and health of schoolchildren, mitigate childhood obesity, model healthy eating to support the development of lifelong healthy eating patterns and support healthy choices while accommodating cultural food preferences and special dietary needs.

    1. All schools in the District will participate in the National School Lunch Program and Breakfast Program.
    2. All meals will, at a minimum, meet the New Meal Pattern requirements.
    3. Students will have access to free, potable water during meals and throughout the school day.
    4. Students will have sufficient amount of time (at least 15-20 minutes) to eat their meal after being seated.
    5. Through the implementation of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement techniques, schools will use methods for providing student and parent access to meal nutrition information; the District will encourage schools to post meal information and the menu at the school’s front office. The District will also encourage schools to include family access to information about qualifying for free or reduced price meals, and privacy protections for these students.
    6. The District will ensure that food service staff receive annual training.
    7. The District will encourage schools to ensure that meals are served in clean and pleasant settings and meals are served in a safe and presentable manner. 

    Competitive Foods and Beverages:

    Competitive foods and beverages are those foods that are sold outside of or in competition with federal reimbursable meal programs. 

    1. Federal regulation requires that all foods sold at school during the school day meet nutrition standards known as the USDA’s Smart Snack Standards. The standards apply to any food and beverage sold to students at schools during the school day, other than those foods provided as part of the school meal programs. Examples include à la carte items sold in the cafeteria and foods sold in school stores, snack bars, and vending machines. In addition, foods and beverages sold during fundraisers, unless these items are not intended for consumption at school.

    NOTE: The school day is defined as the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day. 

    Celebrations and Rewards:

    Arizona Law (ARS 15-242) referred to as Arizona Nutrition Standards states that all food and beverages supplied at school-sponsored events to students in K-8 must meet the USDAs Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines. These guidelines do not apply to foods brought to school in bagged lunches or for activities such as birthday parties, holidays, or other celebrations. 

    1. Nutrition standards for all foods and beverages provided, but not sold, at school-sponsored events must meet the USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines.
    2. The District will encourage Principals to promote non-food items or only items that meet Smart Snack guidelines for celebrations, rewards, and classroom parties. 


    In Arizona, all fundraisers are exempted from the Smart Snacks guidelines when an exemption request form is submitted, per HNS-04-2015. However, regulations state that no exempted fundraiser foods or beverages may be sold in competition with school meals in the food service area during the meal service. Additional, Local Educational Agencies have the authority to implement more restrictive fundraising food standards.

    1. The District will not allow any fundraisers that sell foods or beverages to students on school campus during the school day that do not meet USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines unless these items are not intended for consumption at school; for example, butter braids or cookie dough. 

    Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools:

    Food and beverage marketing is defined as advertising and other promotions in schools. Food and beverage marketing often includes an oral, written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of a food or beverage product made by the producer, manufacturer, seller or any other entity with a commercial interest in the product. All products marketed on the school campus must, at a minimum, meet the Smart Snacks guidelines.

    1. All foods and beverages advertised on the school campus during the school day meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition guidelines. These guidelines apply:
      1. To vending machine exteriors.
      2. School equipment such as marquees, message boards, scoreboards and busses.
      3. Cups used for beverage dispensing, menu boards, coolers, trach cans, and other food service equipment.
      4. Posters, book covers, school supplies displays etc.
      5. Advertisements in school publications or mailings.
      6. Free product samples, taste tests, or coupons of a product or free samples displaying advertising of a product.
    2. The District will encourage schoolteachers, staff to model healthy eating, and physical activity behaviors particularly through professional development opportunities geared towards nutrition education. 

    School Wellness Committee

    Committee Role and Membership:

    The District will convene a representative District Wellness Committee that meets to establish goals for and oversee school health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation and periodic review and update of this District-level Wellness Guidelines.  

    1. The District Wellness Committee will recruit representation from all school levels to include but not limited to physical education teachers, school health professionals, student services staff, parents/caregivers, administrators, and the local community.
    2. The public is notified of their ability to participate in the District wellness committee using  the following methods:
      1. Email
      2. Notices on District website
      3. District social media accounts
      4. School email newsletter
    3. District Wellness Committee meets at least quarterly.
    4. Each school within the District has an on-going School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) to review school level, health related issues in coordination with the DWC. 


    The District has designated one or more school official(s) who have the authority and responsibility to ensure each school complies with the local wellness guidelines.

    1. The designated official for oversight of implementation at each school is the site administrator.
    2. The Superintendent or designee will convene the District Wellness Committee to facilitate the development of and updates to the wellness guidelines, and will ensure each school’s compliance with the guidelines.
    3. Each school has a designated School Wellness Coordinator who will be part of the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) and will promote compliance with the District guidelines at the school level. Each coordinator is required to attend two District Wellness Council meetings. 

    Wellness Guidelines Implementation, Monitoring, Accountability and Community Engagement

    Implementation of the Wellness Guidelines:

    1. All schools conduct a school level assessment prior to developing an implementation plan using the ADE recommended activity and assessment tool.
    2. The District has a plan for implementation to manage and coordinate the execution of the wellness guidelines at each school.  The plan includes roles, responsibilities, actions, and timelines specific to each school and includes information about who will be responsible to make changes. This includes, but is not limited to, presentations of guidelines by wellness coordinators to individual school sites. Presentation to school governing board by superintendent, and presentations to administrative staff by PCHD Coordinated School Health personnel.
    3. The wellness guidelines and progress reports are posted online and the link for their online location is included in the guidelines. 

    Triennial Progress Assessments:

    At least once every three years, the LEA must conduct an assessment of their wellness guidelines. To accomplish this, the District will evaluate compliance with their wellness guidelines and assess progress toward meeting the goals of the District Wellness guidelines. Additionally, USDA requires that the District will compare their guidelines to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s model wellness guidelines.

    The District will assess compliance and progress of their local wellness guidelines at least once every 3 years.

    The evaluation includes:

    1. The extent to which schools under the jurisdiction of the District are in compliance with the wellness guidelines
    2. The extent to which the District’s guidelines compares to a model guidelines
    3. A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the District’s wellness guidelines.
    4. The District superintendent or designee is responsible for managing the triennial assessment 

    Revisions and Updating the Guidelines:

    The District will update or modify the wellness guidelines as appropriate.

    1. The District Wellness Council will update or modify the wellness guidelines based on the results of the annual school health index and triennial assessments.
    2. Guidelines will be updated when District priorities change, community needs change, wellness goals are met, new health science information emerges, or new state or federal guidance/standards are issued. 

    Notification of Wellness Guidelines, Guidelines Updates and Triennial Assessment:

    The District will inform families and the public each year of any updates to the wellness guidelines and every three years of their compliance with the written wellness guidelines.

    1. The District Wellness Guidelines will be available to the public via a link on the District website.
    2. The District informs families and the public each year of basic information about the guidelines, including its content, updates, and implementation status with documentation of latest revision date of LWP.  The notification may be made by e-mail, notices on the District website, and District social media accounts.
    3. The annual progress reports, updates, and triennial assessments will be made available to the public at the District Health Services office. 


    The District retains the following documents to demonstrate compliance with the wellness guidelines.

    1. Written wellness guidelines.
    2. Documentation demonstrating it has been made to the public.
    3. Documentation of efforts to review and update the guidelines, including indication of who is involved in the update and the methods the District uses to make stakeholders aware of their ability to participate.
    4. Documentation to demonstrate compliance with annual public notification requirements.
    5. The most recent assessment on implementation of the school wellness guidelines.
    6. Documentation demonstrating the most recent assessment on the implementation of the guidelines has been made available to the public. 

    Date Created: 10/28/18