Monday, November 29, 2010

District of Columbia's Recent Wellness Policy

Many states are adopting policies in hopes of improving student wellness, via physical activity mandates, higher nutrition standards for school meals and vending machines in school buildings, etc. This past summer, the District of Columbia adopted a comprehensive student wellness policy that includes the usual approaches, as well as more unusual but promising ones. Among the atypical but intriguing elements of D.C.'s policy:

--Requiring schools to collaborate with parents, students, food service providers, and community organizations in the development of wellness policies. (Involving those impacted by the policy to make sure the "customers" are happy while ensuring goals are realistic and attainable.)

--A growing number of states require the adoption of wellness policies that include physical activity and healthful school foods--D.C. will also require local wellness policies to include goals for (1) improving the environmental sustainability of schools; and (2) increasing the use of locally grown, locally processed, and unprocessed foods from growers engaged in sustainable agriculture practices.

More on the less-common but promising components of D.C.'s wellness policy in future posts.

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