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Standards for USDA Child Nutrition Programs and School Meals

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Offer breakfast and lunch programs at all schools with menus that meet or exceed the current nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-school-meals and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/nutrition/. In addition, school breakfast and lunch items must meet the following division guidelines:
    • Enable students to make healthier choices by:
      • Limiting total calories from sugars to no more than 35% or 15 grams per serving.
        Exceptions to the standard are:
        - 100% fruits and fruit juices in all forms without added sugars.
        - 100% vegetables and vegetable juices without added sugars.
        - Nonfat and low-fat milk options containing no more than 12g of total sugars per 8oz portion and yogurt options containing no more than 10g of total sugars per 8oz portion.
      • Limiting total calories from fats to no more than 35% and 10% from saturated fat, with no added trans fats
      • Limiting total sodium content of meals as follows:
        - K-5 breakfast: <= 485mg
        - 6-8 breakfast: <= 535 mG
        - 9-12 breakfast: <= 570 mg
        - K-5 lunch: <= 935 mg
        - 6-8 lunch: <= 1035 mg
        - 9-12 lunch: <= 1080 mg
  • Offer salad as an option every day at lunch
  • Strategically place nutritious whole, local, or cooked-from-scratch foods
  • Maintain a marketing-free lunch environment
  • Expand menus to include more culturally diverse meals
  • Continue to fund and operate an annual summer food program.
  • Encourage families to participate in school meal programs by:
    • Having a formal marketing campaign that includes, but is not limited to, “cafeteria” sections in school newsletters, e‐mail and backpack stuffer updates to teachers and parents, and a monthly Nutrition Services “News” page on the MPCS website.
    • Encouraging families to determine eligibility for reduced or free meals by handing out forms at registration, during open houses, and at parent nights. Forms are also available in the main office of each school.
    • Providing non-traditional food service options, such as grab-and-go breakfast and breakfast in the classroom.
    • Holding periodic food promotions to encourage taste testing of healthy new additions to school menus.
    • Working collaboratively with classroom teachers to maximize the impact of ongoing food programs such as Harvest of the Month and Farm to School Week.
    • Maintaining a “closed campus” policy for K-12 students that does not allow them to leave school grounds during lunch.
  • Schedule lunch between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM per Department of Education Policy #CFR210.10 (F)
  • Not scheduling tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.
  • Provide adequate time for students to eat and enjoy school meals (a minimum of 10minutes at breakfast and 15 minutes at lunch after being seated).
  • Provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks, and take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
  • Operate all Child Nutrition Programs under the supervision of professionally trained school food service staff.
    • All food service managers must have a food handler’s permit. The division will hold monthly manager meetings and annual full staff trainings.
    • Will support staff professional development in best practices relating to nutrition, culinary skills, management and customer service.
  • Maintain a cafeteria environment conducive to a positive dining experience:
    • With socializing among students and between students and adults.
    • With supervision of eating areas by adults who model proper conduct and voice level.
    • With adults who model healthy habits by eating with the students without using digital devices for entertainment personal use.

Nutrition Standards for Competitive and Other Foods and Beverages

All foods and beverages sold and served at school will, at a minimum, comply with state and federal law and follow the current USDA guidelines for “Smart Snacks” https://healthymeals.fns.usda.gov/smartsnacks. These guidelines include limits on fat, sugar, sodium, and calories. This applies to foods and beverages served during after-school programs, or sold a la carte in the cafeteria, vending machines, school stores, and for school fundraisers. It also includes classroom snacks and celebrations with the exception of birthday celebrations.

  • Vending machines will only be available to secondary school students 30 minutes afterschool hours and will only contain water.
  • Birthday celebrations shall be limited to one per month and the offering of nutritiousfoods will be encouraged for parents who choose to provide food. Non-food celebrations will be encouraged and promoted. https://healthymeals.fns.usda.gov/local-wellness- policy-resources/wellness-policy-elements/healthy-celebrations
  • Food shall not be used as a reward, incentive, or treat, or withheld as a punishment, on school grounds, at school outings or in vehicles licensed to transport students.
  • Non-food fundraising is encouraged, especially fundraising activities that promote physical activity. When school-sponsored fundraising involves food, items must meet the “Smart Snacks” guidelines, and cannot be sold during breakfast or lunch times or for immediate consumption. When PTO, club, or sports team fundraising involves food, items cannot be sold during breakfast or lunch times or for immediate consumption.
  • Students and staff members will have easy access to free and safe drinking water at all times throughout the school day, including during meal times.
  • Students will be allowed to bring drinking water from home into the classroom.
  • Water will be promoted as a substitute for sugary drinks, and school staff will be encouraged to model water consumption.
  • Students and staff will have access to free, safe and fresh drinking water throughout the day and, specifically, in the dining facilities during meals.

School-Sponsored Fundraisers

Fundraising during and outside school hours will sell only non-food items or foods and beverages that meet or exceed the USDA-FNS Smart Snack rule. Schools are encouraged to promoted physical activity fundraisers such as walk-a-thons, jump rope for heart, and fun runs. Manassas Park City schools will make available to parents and teachers a list of healthy fundraising ideas, such as these alternative ideas from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Any fundraiser that sells food or beverages may not be conducted during meal service times. This includes from 6:00 a.m. to the end of the breakfast period and from the beginning of the first lunch period to the end of the last lunch period. The income from any food or beverage sold to students during these times shall accrue to the non-profit school nutrition program account.

The fundraiser designee approves, tracks, and monitors fundraisers to ensure compliance with the nutrition standards for school-sponsored fundraisers. The fundraiser designee for each school in the district of Manassas Park City Schools is the school’s principal and a fundraiser-tracking document is kept on file in the main office of each school.


School-based food and beverage marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools will restrict marketing, during school hours, to the promotion of only those foods and beverages that meet the USDA “Smart Snacks” guidelines.

  • Examples of marketing techniques include the following:
    • Brand names, trademarks, logos, or tags, except when placed on a physically present food or beverage product or on its container;
    • Displays, such as on vending machine exteriors;
    • Corporate brand, logo, name, or trademark on cups, posters, book covers, school supplies, or educational materials;
    • Corporate brand, logo, name, or trademark on school equipment, message boards, scoreboards, or uniforms;
    • Advertisements in school publications or school mailings;
    • Sponsorship of school activities, or sports teams;
    • Broadcasts on school radio stations or in-school television;
    • Educational incentive programs such as contests, or programs that provide schools with supplies or funds when families purchase specific food products;
    • Free samples or coupons displaying advertising of a product.

Nutrition Education Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

Use a consistent, sequential and evidence-based K-10 nutrition curriculum and engage in nutrition promotion by:

  • Integrating school gardens with academic curricula and wellness initiatives and
  • Link with school meal programs, other school foods, after-school programs, and nutrition-related community services. Training staff in nutrition education, with an emphasis on division wellness policies and regulations.
  • Integrating nutrition education into classroom instruction in subjects such as English/language arts, math, science, social sciences, and elective subjects.
  • Coordinating nutrition education between food service staff and teachers, and including education for parents and families
  • Teaching skills that are behavior-focused, interactive, developmentally appropriate and/or participatory that may include:
    • Activities involving contests, promotions, taste-testing, farm visits, and school garden projects that promote whole foods and cooking from scratch.
    • Lessons that teach media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing and reading nutrition labels.
    • Lessons that address the harmful health effects of sugar, excessive salt, trans fats, saturated fats and the importance of portion control and exercise healthy eating and physical activity.
  • Ensuring that nutrition-related content will be taught at all grade levels, K-10 twice a year during physical education or health class.
  • Staffs are strongly encouraged to model healthful eating habits, and discouraged from eating in front of children during regular class time.

Physical Education and Physical Activity Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Provide a minimum of 200 minutes per week of physical activity for all students in grades K-10.•Not reduce or eliminate time for recess, physical education or physical activity as a punishment.
  • Not use physical activity as a punishment.
  • Provide a minimum of 30 minutes daily recess for students in grades K-4 and a minimum of 25 minutes daily recess for students in grades 5-6. Recess will be scheduled before lunch when possible. If recess must be held indoors due to weather, teachers are encouraged to promote physical activity during indoor recess. https://www.gonoodle.com/
  • Provide physical education for all students in K-10.
  • Provide students in K-4 with physical education each week, for a minimum of 60 minutes with a goal of 90 minutes or more per week.
  • Provide students in 5-6 with physical education each week, for a minimum of 125 minutes on average.
  • Provide students in 7-8 with physical education each week, for a minimum of 200 minutes.
  • Provide students in 9-10 with a minimum of 180 minutes of physical education weekly for one semester each year. The division standard for graduation from high school requires 2 credits for health/physical education.
  • Not allow students to receive a waiver or exemption for physical education class. The only authorized substitution for physical education is virtual PE for students in 9-10.
  • Use a written curriculum for physical education that is based on national or state-developed standards, such as the Five 4 Life curriculum. https://www.focusedfitness.org/curriculum/five- for-life
  • Offer a planned, sequential program of physical education instruction incorporating individual and group activities which are taught in a positive environment by certified teachers endorsed in health and physical education.
  • Conduct quality physical education instruction for K-10 that promotes lifelong physical activity and provides instruction in the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong participation based on standards set by VDOE http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/physical_education/ and SHAPE America Standards http://www.shapeamerica.org/standards/pe/ .
  • Maintain a teacher-student ratio for physical education classes of no more than 2 students per teacher, with a goal of 20 students.
  • Provide safe and adequate equipment, facilities and resources necessary to meet VDOE and SHAPE America standards.
  • Participate in bi-yearly fitness assessment for students in grades 3-8 and yearly for students in 9-10.
  • Collect BMI (height and weight) data for students in grades 3-10 yearly, however, parents and students will have the option of opting out. Information on HT/WT will not be shared with the students as it is for data purposes only. If students or families would like the information they may contact the school nurse.

An opt-out form will be provided to all parents prior to the start of the BMI assessment. BMI assessment will be taken without using students’ names and will be done in a private area. PE teachers will be trained and provided with an additional adult to assist with the PE class while assessments are being taken.https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/BMI/BMI_measurement_schools.htmFile:

  • Students in grades K-2 will practice the fitness assessment components.
  • Provide students with 50% of physical education class time for moderate to vigorous activity, with accommodations for students with medical conditions or disabilities.
  • Provide for appropriate professional development for physical education teachers.
  • Support additional physical activity for all students through reduced fees for after school recreation, intramural activities, and sports; tool kits for recess and core classrooms; and education for parents.
  • Provide a physical activity component for after school programs such as CATCH(Coordinated Approach to Child Health), Action-Based Learning Lab, and sports clubs and teams.
  • Offer electives at the high school in addition to the required physical education courses.
  • Promote active transportation to school through programs like Safe Routes to School, Walk to School days, walking school buses, and including pedestrian and bike safety education in physical education classes.
  • Encourage family and community engagement in physical activity opportunities at schools through programs like fun runs, walk-a-thons, and field days.
  • Share use of physical activity facilities through partnerships with Manassas Parks and Recreation Department. Additionally, outdoor playgrounds and fields are available for community use after school hours and on weekends.

Health Education Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Maintain a division standard for graduation from high school of 2 credits for health/physical education.
  • Provide comprehensive health education based on the Health Education Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/health/complete/stds_healthk-10.pdf which, additionally, addresses the division-wide nutrition guidelines relating to sugars, salt, hydrogenated oil, saturated fats and the importance of exercise, healthy eating and physical activity.
  • Provide appropriate professional development for teachers implementing the health curriculum.
  • Provide current resources for use in teaching the standards for health education.
  • Provide accommodations for students with differing religious values through written application from parents to the proper authorities on the grounds that health education is inconsistent with the tenets and practices of the known religious organization with which they are affiliated. With written permission, students shall not be required to participate in the specified health units.

Health Services Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Employ one Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses at each school and two at the high school.
  • Provide at least 10 hours of professional development to the health care professionals that directly relate to Health Education Regulations their responsibilities which may include attending the annual VA School Nurse’s Association Conference.
  • Provide strict adherence to immunizations mandated by VA Dept Virginia Department of Health for school enrollment and attendance unless doctor/parent/student claims medical or religious exemption as allowed by the State of Virginia.
  • Perform preventative health care services for students including mass screening for vision and hearing for all students.
  • Provide staff education about universal precautions for the handling of blood and body fluids.
  • Provide classroom health education for students in grades 7-10 and incorporate health education in the physical education class for students in grades K-6.•Provide flu prevention information for students, staff, and parents on an annual basis.
  • Send referrals to primary healthcare providers for those students in need of immediate attention.
  • Maintain collaboration with community resources and services including Department of Health, Mental Health, Department of Human Services and Youth Court to ensure effective response to health care needs of our students.
  • Provide parents with health information that is designed to engage families as active participants in their children’s health-related needs. (i.e. newsletters, website updates, PTO meetings and special events).
  • Report to Department of Human Services and Youth Court any suspected child abuse/ neglect.

Staff Wellness Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Support, encourage and allow staff to use their lunch to be physically active.
  • Establish and enhance physical activity and mindfullness opportunities for staff, such as the Hike/Bike program that offers a financial incentive for staff to walk or bike 30 minutes a week
  • Continue to support the Employee Assistance Program for staff.
  • Continue to support access to fitness clubs recreation and well-being centers through discounts.
  • Provide flu shots and other inoculations for employees and at minimal cost for their families.
  • Support enhancement of medical coverage to include nutrition counseling and smoking cessation

Counseling and Mental Health Services Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Provide access to a comprehensive counseling program for students and staff to address a range of mental health and psychological issues (i.e., emotional concerns, substance abuse, school adjustment, disordered eating, attendance problems, and physical and sexual violence).
  • Provide access to quality and ongoing mindfulness, counseling and crisis intervention for all students and staff to promote positive social and emotional development.
  • Provide access to prevention and early intervention services and referrals for treatment programs for mental health.
  • Provide support groups for students from diverse social and economic backgrounds as needed.
  • Employ appropriately credentialed and qualified therapists/counselors based on individual school needs.

Healthy School Environment Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Foster relationships within the greater Manassas community.
  • Provide school resource officers responsible for security issues at each school.
  • Provide curriculum as a part of a school-wide sustainable effort to increase staff and student awareness about violence prevention and bystander behavior.
  • Have a school safety audit conducted periodically as mandated by the Virginia Department of Education and include representatives from the school's administration, teaching staff, custodial staff and student body.
  • Establish a school safety committee to implement and update the Division Safety Plan.
  • Employ a maintenance staff to ensure the school buildings and surrounding areas are maintained in good condition with respect to structure, temperature, noise, and lighting.
  • Prioritize student and staff physical, emotional and social wellness when planning any renovation or new construction, with a specific focus on design elements that directly affect nutrition and physical activity.
    • Kitchen facilities for cooking-from-scratch
    • Optimized lunch-line design
    • Sustainability (e.g., composting, reusable dishes, recycling)
    • Dining facilities that enhance the eating experience and take developmental stage into consideration
    • Space for school gardens
    • Varied and well-maintained playground structures
    • Field space for physical activity

Communication, Promotion, and Implementation Regulations

The Manassas Park City School Division will:

  • Continue to involve parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, the School Board, school administrators, the Student Health and Wellness Committee (SHAWC) and the public in the development of the school wellness policy; and, will increase outreach to the public. The wellness policy and the triennial assessment will be made available to the public.
  • Offer staff health and wellness classes, workshops, educational materials and an online forum for sharing information, successes and challenges. Ensure that all staff is familiar with and understands the division wellness policies and regulations.
  • Ensure that the school environment, including cafeterias and classrooms, provides clear and consistent messages that reinforce healthy eating.
  • Encourage staff to model healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.
  • Specify the Superintendent or designee as responsible for health and wellness communications beyond required policy implementation reporting.
    • Nutrition Services will provide families with opportunities for input and, to the extent possible, provide monitoring of their children’s food purchases at the K-8 level.
  • Enable schools to link nutrition education activities with the coordinated school health program, such as the joint ASCD/CDC Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model.
  • Encourage feedback from parents and community through stakeholder meetings, surveys,and on-line access to background materials.
  • Provide nutrition education to parents in forms that may include:
    • Handouts
    • School website
    • Articles and information provided in division and school newsletters
    • Presentations that focus on nutrition and healthy lifestyles
  • Provide parents and students with science-based information regarding the damaging health effects of sugar, excessive salt, trans fats, saturated fats and the importance of healthy eating and physical activity, as well as a list of healthy snack ideas and ways to be physically active as families.
  • Publicize individual school successes and division-wide successes resulting from the implementation of the Wellness Policy and Regulations, annually to the school community and general public.


  • A division-wide Wellness Committee (the Asst. Superintendents, Director of Student Services, Principals, SHAWC representatives, Nutrition Services, Head Nurse and H.S. Head Counselor) shall be established for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the division’s Wellness Policy and Regulations; reporting to the Superintendent, and, providing guidance for the school wellness teams.
  • School principals shall ensure that each school has a school wellness team (consisting of the principal, teachers, parents, nurses, counselors and students in middle and high school) responsible for implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting annually on progress towards meeting the division wellness policy goals and regulations.
  • The division Wellness Committee shall, at least every 3 years:
    • Conduct a division-wide review of the wellness policy to determine compliance with the wellness policy, how the wellness policy compares to model wellness policies, and progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness policy.
  • Prepare and submit a report to the School Board and School Health Advisory Board regarding the progress toward implementation of the school wellness policy and recommendations for any revisions to the policy as necessary. This report will also include a copy of the current wellness policy, documentation on how the policy and assessments are made available to the public, the most recent assessment of implementation of the policy, and documentation of efforts to review and update the policy.
  • In addition to the funding currently allocated to each school for wellness activities for staff, a priority will be placed on locating additional funds that support both student and staff wellness initiatives. These will be incremental and evolve over time and will focus on more creative use of existing funds from local, state, and federal sources.

Amended: October 6, 2021

Legal Reference: Section 204 of the Reauthorization Act (Public Law 108-265)