Wellness Policy

Why are we here?
If we hold high academic expectations for our students, then we are responsible for providing the tools and establishing a supportive environment so that they can reach those high expectations, every day, all day. Students who eat nutritious, balanced meals and participate in regular physical activity feel better and learn better. Charter schools participating in the CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) have made a commitment to providing healthy foods and promoting healthy choices so that their students can perform at their full potential throughout the school day and into adulthood. Our goal is to give students the opportunity to make healthy choices every step of the day.

The Data
Excerpted from Health and Wellness Best Practices Guide for Colorado School Districts, 2009.

Even though the adults in Colorado are some of the fittest in the country, our children tell a different story.

  • Approximately one out of 10 Colorado high school students is overweight. Center of Disease Control and Prevention
  • Approximately 1.5 out of 10 Colorado high school students had not participated in any vigorous or moderate physical activity during the past seven days. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Twenty-nine percent of young people face an increased risk of chronic disease due to obesity. Action for Healthy Kids
  • Colorado is one of only four states that do not require schools to teach physical education. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • According to a 2009 poll commissioned by the Colorado Health Foundation, 80 percent of Colorado voters believe that as students become more physically fit, their test scores increase and discipline problems decrease. In addition, a growing body of research actually supports this belief. Recent student have shown that school-based physical activity and programs may result in short-term cognitive benefits and improved cognitive functioning among children (Basch, 2011)
  • Twenty-six percent of children and adolescents in Colorado have no health insurance. Colorado Health Foundation

CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) Advisory Committee

The CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) Advisory Committee is a group that represents the stakeholders in the SFA . The committee is comprised of key charter school leaders, faculty, students, parents and invested community members who have an interest in collaborating to improve school nutrition and implement wellness initiatives in their schools.

Their roles and responsibilities include:
– Setting SFA policy, such as the Wellness Policy that all schools must follow and be evaluated upon annually
– Setting SFA quality standards to which the vendor(s) must adhere
– Informing the strategic plan and identifying priorities of the CharterChoice Collaborative to effectively meet school needs
– Gathering feedback and data and conduct surveys from participating schools on how to improve the program and its offerings with regards to Nutrition Services and beyond
– Sharing best practices and effective initiatives that have improved the health and wellness of their school communities

 CharterChoice Collaborative School Food Authority Wellness Policy
Requirement of Participation in the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act

The Basics
In addition to meeting the goals of their own authorizer’s wellness policies addressing safe school climate, substance use prevention, health education and physical fitness, the CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) encourages schools to promote policies and practices at their sites that ensure every student has access to:


  1. Nutritious food choices throughout the day in appropriate portion sizes as dictated by the NSLP
  2. Information regarding the importance and benefits of choosing nutrient-rich, healthy foods
  3. Healthful meals with ample time to eat
  4. Healthful items in vending machines pursuant to Smart Snacks in School (See Competitive Foods Policy)
  5. Fresh produce from local growers, when practical and possible, access to fruits and vegetables, every day
  6. Adequate amount of drinking water throughout the day
  7. Age-appropriate physical activity
  8. Age-appropriate instruction designed to teach lifelong healthy eating habits and a healthy level of physical activity
  9. A school culture that promotes and supports healthy habits- board, administration, staff who model sound healthy habits and parents who pack healthy meals for students not participating in the NSLP

The goals of the CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) Wellness Policy are focused on the following:

Increase the return of Free and Reduced Applications & Participation in the NSLP

  1. School principals and staff will make participation and return of applications a high priority for their site. Schools may host on-site events to facilitate the accurate completion of forms, i.e., enrollment events, etc.
  2. CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) will implement practices that will streamline procedures for FRL application processing. Families with multiple students can submit on one application. Direct certification will be used for households receiving SNAP, TANF or FDPIR. Migrant, homeless, and runaway students will be categorically eligible for free meals. The SFA will comply with all requirements for verification of qualification for free and reduced price meals.

Nutrition Standards & Practices

CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) adopts nutrition guidelines that promote student health and reduce childhood obesity.
All lunches and breakfasts served by the schools as part of CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA)’s non-profit federally reimbursed food service program will be reimbursable and meals shall not be less restrictive than the regulations and guidance issued in the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. Reimbursable meals must meet program requirements and nutrition standards set forth under CFR Part 210 and Part 220. Schools will abide by the provisions outlined in the Competitive Food Services , the Colorado Healthy Beverages Policy standards and Smart Snacks requirements. Federal Regulation USDA Final Rule 7CFR Parts 210 and 220; Colorado Competitive Foodservice Policy 1 CCR 301-3 2202-R-203.00

  1. Schools will provide access to healthy meals with the goal of providing adequate time to eat them (at least 10 minutes to eat breakfast and 20 minutes to eat lunch- not including transit or waiting in line)
  2. Every student has access to a school facility with a sufficient number of functioning water fountains in accordance with local building codes or other means by which to provide students with sufficient water (access to fresh water)
  3.  The school offers:
    a variety of fruits and vegetables (at least two with every meal)
    whole grain or high fiber food option
    organic and locally produced ingredients whenever possible
    low in saturated fat or cholesterol food options
    non-fried food items
    food items that are low in sodium
    foods high in iron
    100% fruit juice, no sugar added juices
    foods high in calcium (milk, etc.)
    more fresh and less processed food options
    foods that are free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors and sweeteners
    foods that are free from hormones and antibiotics
    foods that are free from high fructose syrup
  4. Partner schools are encouraged to establish policies that encourage or require healthy snacks and celebrations for students.
  5. Partner school are asked to establish protocols /policies that limit the marketing and advertising of food and beverage that does not meet the Smart Snack and school meal nutrition standards.

Physical Activity
Every student will have access to age-appropriate daily physical activity. The frequency of physical activity will vary from school to school as dictated by their own district’s requirements. Keep in mind: Physical activity includes both physical education instruction and the opportunity to be physically active during recess and breaks.

Nutrition Education
In collaboration with their vendor, community partners, and consultants, schools in the CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) provide nutrition education opportunities and facilitate program promotion to increase participation in the food programs whenever possible. Nutrition education opportunities are offered both off and on site, to students and families. Healthy messages and updates are communicated in dining areas, through newsletters and other school communications.

Accountability & Measuring Implementation
The SFA will monitor adherence to the Wellness Policy through periodic visits and will facilitate the sharing of best practices among schools in the SFA. Through an annual on-site evaluation, schools will receive feedback relating to how well they’re implementing the key components of the Wellness Policy.

Parent, Student, School Leadership and SFA Involvement
All stakeholders are responsible for the success and results of the CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA). Involvement of household members (including parents and students), leadership (including principals, teachers and faculty) as well as the SFA leaders is a critical leverage point to improve participation rates and access to healthy foods and to extend healthy habits beyond school walls. Stakeholders are involved in variety of ways:

  1. Parents and students engage in tastings and focus groups and provide feedback which then informs the menu planning process and food preparation
  2. Wellness events, healthy school events and fundraisers are planned and involve community partners such as non-profits, farmers markets, health care professionals, etc.
  3. If working with a Food Service Management Company, company participates in or receives information from parent meetings, staff meetings, board, and committee meetings to listen to feedback and provide information regarding meals and nutrition and strategies on how to build a culture of wellness at schools
  4. CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) staff tour schools, gather best practices regarding increasing student participation, promoting healthy eating and physical fitness, and strengthening the overall wellness culture and share that information through communications, newsletters, group meetings, etc.
  5. Community/school improvement projects tie into wellness initiatives: green practices such as recycling, gardens where students grow, eat and learn about fruits and vegetables.
  6. Wellness committees/teams exist to assess school needs and set goals and policies addressing the eight components of coordinated school health
  7. Community partnerships have been built to provide supplementary services and resources and reach wellness goals
  8. Each school identifies a school staff member who has the authority and responsibility to ensure compliance with the wellness policy.

The CharterChoice Collaborative (SFA) Board of Directors is committed to continuously evaluating the effectiveness of the Wellness Policy and will conduct a needs assessment after one year of operation. Based upon needs articulated by our schools, the SFA will prioritize further development of the eight components of coordinated school health. This includes addressing Health Education, Physical Education, Health Services, Nutrition Services, Counseling, Psychological and Social Services, Healthy School Environment, Health Promotion for Staff, and Family/Community Involvement.

Assessment Results 2018

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