Marion County Wellness Policy

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As required by law, the Board of Education establishes the following Wellness Policy for the Marion County School District.
The Board further addresses a comprehensive wellness program through the following county goal established in 2004:   
All students and school personnel shall develop and promote responsibility, citizenship, strong character and healthful living.
The Board recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well being of all students.  Furthermore, research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a student’s health and well being and his/her ability to learn.  Schools can increase the important role in the developmental process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks, supporting the development of good eating habits, and promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.
The Board believes this effort to support the students’ development of healthy behaviors and habits with regard to eating and exercise cannot be accomplished by schools alone.  It will be necessary for not only the staff, but also parents and the public at large to be involved in a community-wide effort to promote, support, and model such healthy behaviors and habits

Table of Contents
Section 1 - Nutrition Education & Promotion
Section 2 - USDA Child Nutrition Programs and School Meals
Section 3 - Nutrition Standards for Other Foods and Beverages
Section 4 - Physical Education
Section 5 - Physical Activity
Section 6 - Communication and Promotion
Section 7 - Evaluation

Section 1 - Nutrition Education & Promotion
With regard to nutrition education, 
the District shall:

  1. Include nutrition education in the sequential, comprehensive Health Curriculum in accordance with the curriculum standards, benchmarks, and provide students with the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to lead healthy lives.

  2. Integrate nutrition education in health education in K-12 curriculum to enhance student health, well being and reduce childhood obesity; but not replace the standards and benchmarks for health education.    Marion County Schools vary in the number of contact hours for physical education and health.  Elementary schools, on average, have 56 contact hours for physical education/health; middle schools average 72 hours for physical education and 72 hours for health; and, high schools provide one year of physical education (18 weeks) or 150 contact hours and one year of health (18 weeks) or 150 contact hours.

  3. Include opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition, involving, when possible, the school’s food service staff, community agencies and organizations including the WVU Extension Agency.

  4. Reinforce lifelong energy balance by emphasizing the link between caloric intake (eating) and exercise in ways that are age-appropriate. 

  5. Supports the teaching of healthy choices of quality foods that (promote the benefits of a balanced diet that) includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains products, and low fat and fat-free dairy products.

  6. Encourage participation by the staff responsible for providing instruction in nutrition education in the professional development activities designed to better enable them to teach benchmarks and standards.

  7. Prohibit selling soft drinks during the school day for students.

  8. Address Nutrition Education with the adoption of each new health text series.  Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs) updated by the West Virginia Department of Education is the basis upon which textbooks are approved and ultimately selected by individual counties.  Generally, nutrition is a subject area that is contained within a unit within the text.  Elementary schools devote more instructional hours to nutrition as the subject is introduced and explained in lower grades.  Middle and high schools build on content knowledge to match the growing relationship between individuality and independence increases.  Professional development is required and provided by county boards to all physical education and health teachers upon the adoption of new texts.  Cafeteria staff is updated annually on meal patterns as well as nutritional analysis of all menu items.  Additional education for cafeteria staff is made available through the WVSNA.

Section 2 - USDA Child Nutrition Programs and School Meals

  1. As set forth in Policy 8531, entitled Free and Reduced Price Meals, the guidelines for reimbursable school meals meet or exceed the regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in all Marion County schools.

  2. All Marion County schools participate in the National School Breakfast Program.   All Title I elementary schools provide breakfast as an integral part of the summer school enrichment program.

  3. Marion County promotes and advertises the availability of meals to all students during the summer through the National School Lunch Program that is available at participating sights. (i.e. Math Academy, Reading Academy, and Girls & Boys Clubs).

  4. Marion County participates in the After School Supper Program as well as the After School Snack program.

  5. In accordance with Policy 4321.1 participating schools in each attendance area coordinate food service with the Marion County Office of Child Nutrition, (MCOCN).   Marion County is a member of Mountaineer Highlands Co-Operative, which enables the selection of healthier foods and affords professional development pertaining to healthier food items and wellness trends.   Cafeteria managers adhere to menus approved by MCOCN based on low sodium, low fat, reducing or eliminating processed foods.

  6. Marion County strives to enhance the quality of foods made available to students on school premises by reviewing the products and food services on an annual basis to revise the product selection.  Changes in food and/or beverages selections to promote healthier consumption are communicated to the appropriate parties at the beginning of each school year.

  7. Marion County strives in increase program participation in School Breakfast and School Lunch Programs by offering new as well as healthier menu items.  In addition, “Breakfast After First” is available at select high schools to increase student participation. “Grab and Go” breakfast is offered in all Marion County Schools.

  8. All foods available to students on campus during the school day shall comply with the current Policy 4321.1 and USDA Smart Snacks, including food available to students as classroom snacks, from vending machines, for fundraisers conducted during the instructional day, for classroom parties, or at holiday celebrations.

  9. All Marion County schools shall provide at least ten (10) minutes for students to eat breakfast and twenty (20) minutes for students to eat lunch.

  10. Activities such as tutoring or club meetings shall not be scheduled during meal times unless students have the opportunity to participate in the Child Nutrition programs.

  11. All Marion County Schools shall schedule mealtimes so there is a minimum disruption by bus schedules, recess, and other special programs or events.

  12. All Marion County schools encourage proper hand washing hygiene through poster displays.  Elementary schools are strongly encouraged to set aside adequate time to engage in hand washing procedures. Upon request, MCOCN provides hand sanitizer dispensers that may be placed in the cafeteria and used prior to the food service.

  13. All food service personnel shall receive pre-service training in food service.  Professional Standards Training related to areas of responsibility shall be provided for all staff of the food service program.

  14. All Marion County schools shall provide clean attractive, well-lighted environment for students to eat.  Meal areas are cleaned daily and all tables sanitized prior to/and following meal consumption.

  15. Nutrition information for school meals pertaining to calories, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, saturated fat, etc. listed as a link to the current month menus on the Marion County BOE website and with the Nutrislice app available to all students free of charge.

Section 3 - Nutrition Standards for Other Foods and Beverages

  1. All foods available to students on campus during the school day shall comply with the current Policy 4321.1 and USDA Smart Snacks including school stores, vending machines, fund-raisers consumed during the school day, food served for celebrations and parties.  Information pertaining to nutrition guidelines are communicated to parents on an annual basis in student handbooks and on the MCOCN website In addition, the West Virginia Department of Education website ( contains additional information concerning other foods and beverages along with Smart Snacks. Parents may access the Nutrition Calculator ( to determine if other foods meet the requirements listed below

  2. Other foods and beverages served/sold outside of the National School Breakfast  and National School Lunch Program on school premises during the school day must meet WV Standards for School Nutrition Policy 4321.1 as well as USDA Smart Snacks.  Guidelines are as follows:
    a. No more than 200 total calories per product/package;
    b. No More than 35% of calories from fat per product/package, excluding nuts, seeds or cheese,
    c. Less than 10% of total calories from saturated fat;
    d. Less than or equal to 0 grams of trans fat per product/package,
    e. Reduction of sugar content of food items to no more than 35% of calories per product, excluding fruits,
    f. No more than 200 milligrams sodium per product/package,
    g. At all grade levels, only water, 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice and non-fat(flavored and unflavored) and/or 1% low-fat milk (unflavored) be sold, served or distributed during the school day,
    h. No more than 8 oz. fruit/vegetable juice portions for elementary students and no more than 12 oz. for middle/high school students per product/package.
    Marion County further prohibits:
    a. The withholding of foods and or beverages as a punishment,
    b. Sale, service or distribution of coffee and coffee based products during the school day,
    c. Beverages containing caffeine with the exception of those containing trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances,
    d.The sale, service or distribution of any foods containing non-nutritive/artificial sweeteners.

  3. Marion County schools refrain from using food and/or food products as rewards or in conjunction with a reward system.

  4. All Marion County students have access to free drinking water and cups during meal service.

  5. Prohibit schools from purchasing items from school funds not meeting the above nutritional standards.

  6. Marion County will allow classroom celebrations for the following holidays:  Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter.  Treats purchased must be individually wrapped, remain in an unopened container with ingredients listed on the container to determine exposure to allergens to protect students with special dietary needs and health concerns.  Homemade treats may only be consumed by the student bringing that item. Schools may prohibit/exclude any item brought to the school, school function or school sponsored events, from any source, that may be detrimental to the health or well-being of children, faculty or visitors.

  7. Educational activities being conducted in the classroom should take into consideration any health concerns of students with special dietary needs or allergies.

  8. Prior to any activity, where food is involved parents/guardians should be notified in the event that they have a health or safety concern.

Section 4 - Physical Education
The Marion County Board of Education supports physical education through goal:
“All students and school personnel shall develop and promote responsibility, citizenship, strong character and healthful living.”  In addition, Marion County prepares and delivers to each student a Curriculum Guide that provides a sequential and comprehensive description of course offerings in physical education for all students K-12, including those with disabilities, special health care needs and in alternative educational settings (to the extent consistent with the students’ IEPs), in accordance with the standards and benchmarks established by the state, as well as being sensitive to multi-cultural diversity.

  1. The Physical Education curriculum for each grade level is as follows:
    a. Grades K & 1 – Students begin to develop motor skills and movement concepts that will enable the student to learn to enjoy physical activity and enhance the future participation in recreational lifetime activities.
    b. Grades 2 & 3 – Students build on the development of motor skills and movement concepts from previous grades to further enhance enjoyment and proficiency.
    c. Grade 4 – Students incorporate vigorous activity to enhance physical development social skills, and participation in enjoyable physical activity outside the classroom.  FITNESSGRAM is given to meet fitness standards
    d. Grade 5 – The goal for physical education is to continue a vigorous program to enhance physical development and foster participation in enjoyable physical activity outside the classroom Wellness, social skills, motor skill development and rhythmic development is emphasized. FITNESSGRAM is given to meet fitness standards.  
    e. Grade 6-8 – The goal of the physical education program is to improve pre-Adolescent understanding of the connections between physical activity and lifetime wellness.  New opportunities to explore recreational activities, lifetime fitness, and social skills that were previously introduced are reinforced. Movement challenges are adjusted to meet individual maturational growth and skill.   Emphasis on rhythmic movement and motor skills allow for student creativity and talent to be showcased in non-competitive manner.  FITNESSGRAM is given to meet fitness standards.

    Physical education at grades 9-12 focus on fitness, offer diverse movement forms, and emphasize lifetime physical activity.  The FITNESSGRAM is required by the West Virginia Department of Education and administered to all students.
    f. Fitness/Conditioning I – Grades 9-12; prerequisite is successful completion of the required physical education class.  These courses involve extensive strength training.  Plyometric exercise, cardiovascular activities and flexibility.
    g. Fitness/Conditioning II – Grades 9-12; prerequisite is successful completion of the required physical education class.  These courses involve extensive strength training.  Plyometric exercise, cardiovascular activities, and flexibility.
    h. Advanced Physical Education/Team Sports – Grades 10-12; prerequisite is successful completion of the required physical education class.  Program study focuses on advanced skills in individual, team, and lifetime sports, cardiovascular training and conditioning.

  2. All Marion County Schools adhere to WV Code 18-2-7a for adequate time per week of physical education for each grade level configuration:
    a. Elementary school grades – Not less than thirty minutes of physical education, including physical exercise and age-appropriate physical activities, for   not less than three days a week.
    b. Mid
    dle school grades. -- Not less than one full period of physical education, including physical exercise and age-appropriate physical activities, each school day of one semester of the school year.
    High school grades. -- Not less than one full course credit of physical education, including physical exercise and age-appropriate physical activities, which shall be required for graduation and the opportunity to enroll in an elective lifetime physical education course.

  3. All Marion County Schools maintain proper equipment that is appropriate to the grade level to deliver physical education.

  4. All Marion County classes taught in physical education provide proper pupil-teacher ratio; K, 1-20; 1-3, 1-25; 4-8, no more than 1-28.  High school physical education classes do not exceed 1-40.

  5. All Marion County physical education classes are taught by Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT), certified in Health and Physical Education.

  6. Adaptive physical education classes are offered to students with disabilities as appropriate or required.

  7. All Marion County Physical Education teachers are provided opportunities for professional development on an annual basis.

Section 5 - Physical Activity

  1. Marion County Board of Education supports physical activities that promote student wellness.

  2. Excessive forms of physical activity shall not be employed as a form of discipline or punishment, during the school day.

  3. Physical activity shall be integrated, when possible, across the curricula and throughout the day.

  4. Marion County strongly encourages all elementary schools to utilize recess time with outdoor activity as weather permits or with appropriate indoor physical activity.
    Marion County Policy 5360
    Each principal is to establish the criteria (weather conditions) for determining, on a day-by-day basis, when recess will be held. The decision may vary from grade to grade.

  5. Marion County schools adhere to WV Code 18-2-7a with formal physical education or through a board approved alternative method that used planned physical activities.

  6. Marion County schools shall encourage students in all grades to pursue physical activity outside the regular school day as well as provide the opportunities to participate in appropriate extra/co-curricular activities at all grades levels; encourage formal intramural programs at all grade levels and emphasize interscholastic activities at the high school level.

  7. All Marion County schools encourage the use of school facilities outside and beyond the regular school day.

  8. Marion County encourages lifelong physical activity through the use of Community sponsored activities such as rails-to-trails, Relay for Life and walk-a-thons to support charitable organizations and agencies.

  9. Some Marion County schools provide a designated area (walking path) for staff to use at their discretion to promote physical activity and wellness.

Section 6 - Communication and Promotion

  1. Marion County Board of Education maintains a Wellness Policy Committee through the Office of Child Nutrition.  Members included two teachers, principal, board member, nurse, dietician, two parents, food service director, Marion County Extension agent and nutrition educator.  The Wellness Policy committee meets on a quarterly basis to track implementation and efficacy of the policy at each school.

  2. Marion County Board of Education offers nutrition communication through its Office of Child Nutrition that is available at the county website: to provide information to parents, students, staff and community concerning programs, policies, professional development and events hosted by the county.  Nutrislice is an app that can be obtained to view menus and all nutritional data for foods served and also available on the MCBOE website.

  3. Marion County encourages all educators to model behaviors that communicate healthful habits and positive actions during the school day and beyond.

  4. Marion County uses Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) model to promote wellness of all K-12 students. Collaborating with United Summit Center, United Way Agency, The Family Resource Network, The Connecting Link and 30 on 30.

  5. Marion County promotes the county wellness goals through action steps that support health curriculum, content standards in physical education, annual health and screening clinics, Title I, Kindergarten screenings through Special Education services as well as encouraging parents to enroll their eligible children in available programs such as Medicaid, CHIPs, or other children’s health insurance program for which they may qualify.

  6. Marion County Schools encourages staff to utilize outside sources for nutritional education activities and grant opportunities.

  7. Marion County prohibits specific brand advertisements on vending machines for any items not meeting the federal nutrition standards.

Section 7 - Evaluation
Marion County Board of Education designates the Superintendent as the individual charged with the operational responsibility for measuring and evaluating the District’s implementation and progress under this policy.  The Superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines necessary to implement this policy. 
The Superintendent shall report on the District’s compliance with this policy and the progress toward achieving the goals set forth herein when requested to do so by the Board.

  1. Marion County utilized the CDC Worksite Score Card to determine efficacy of the county Wellness Policy, goal attainment and steps necessary to revise the same.

  2. Each school in Marion County shall designate a Wellness Contact who will provide feedback to MCOCN concerning the progress toward and outcomes of the goals as set forth in the Wellness Policy.

  3. Throughout each school year, the Wellness Contact for each school shall submit all health and wellness activities performed by students, staff and community to the Wellness Coordinator. Wellness activities for each school are published on the MCBOE website.

  4. The Marion County Wellness policy is available to the public on the MCBOE website and is evaluated and updated every two years.