• Policy Code: 4540/6140 Student Wellness

    The Lee County Board of Education recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to a student’s physical well-being, growth, development and readiness to learn. The Board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition,

    Nutrition education and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience. The School district’s School health Advisory Council will help plan and monitor this policy, along with other health and nutrition issues within the school district. As part of that commitment, the board directs the superintendent to oversee the development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of this policy and other school system efforts to encourage students to be healthy and active, including compliance with the State Board of Education’s healthy Active Children Policy, SHLT-000, as further described in Section F, Below. The superintendent may designate a school system official to carry out this responsibility (“Lead wellness official”).

    The superintendent or designee shall make the most current version of this policy available to members of the school community and the public by posting it on the school system website and/or by distributing it annually through other means reasonably intended to reach the school community and public. In addition, the superintendent or designee shall provide a copy of this policy to the North Carolina department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) when requested to do so.


    The Council will be composed of school district personnel, local health department and community representatives, and will assist in developing the student wellness policy and may make other policy recommendations to promote student health and wellness issues. The council may examine related research and laws assess student needs and the current school environment, review existing board policies and administrative regulations, collaborate with appropriate community agencies and organizations, and help raise awareness about student health issues.

    The board will maintain a school health advisory council to help plan, update, implement, promote, and monitor this policy as well as to address other health and nutrition issues within the school system, the council serves as an advisory committee regarding student health issues and works in conjunction with the lead wellness official charged with oversight of this policy and the school system’s efforts to promote student and employee health and wellness in compliance with state and federal requirements. The council is authorized to examine related research and laws, assess student needs and the current school environment, review existing board policies and administrative regulations, collaborate with appropriate community agencies and organizations, and help raise awareness about student health issues.

    The council also may make policy recommendations to the board related to this policy and other policies concerning student wellness and in conjunction with the lead wellness official, shall periodically-review and suggest revisions to this policy. In addition, the council may assist in the developing methods to inform and update the public about the content and implementation of this policy as described in Sections F and G, below.

    The council will be composed for representatives from the school system, the local health department, and the community. The council must include members of each of the following groups: the school board, school system administrators, school system food service representatives, physical education teachers, school health professionals, students, parents or guardians, and the public. The council will provide quarterly reports to the superintendent and information to the board about the following areas or concerns: (1) physical activity, (2) health education, (3) employee wellness, (4)  health services, (5) social and emotional  climate, (6) nutrition environment and  services, (7) counseling, psychological, and social services, (8) physical environment, (9) family engagement, and community involvement.

    The council shall provide periodic reports to the board and public regarding the status of its work. In addition, the council shall assist the lead wellness official in creating an annual report that includes the minutes of physical activity and the minutes of physical education and/or healthful living education received by students in the system each school year, as well as any other information required by the State Board of Education or NCDPI.


    The board believes that promoting student health and nutrition enhances readiness for learning and increases student achievement. The general goals of nutrition education are (1) to provide appropriate instruction for the acquisition of behaviors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle for students and (2) to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students.

    The school cafeteria serves as a “learning laboratory” that allows students to apply critical thinking skills taught in the classroom. Nutrition education will provide all students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lives. Students should learn to address nutrition-related health concerns through age-appropriate nutrition education lessons and activities. School district personnel are to integrate consistent nutrition messages throughout classrooms,  and within curricula such as math, science, language arts and social studies.

    Nutrition education should extend beyond the school environment by engaging and involving families and communities. School district personnel may coordinate with agencies and community organizations to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition. Nutrition messages will extend beyond cafeterias and classrooms, school dining areas, into homes, the community and media as defined in the North Carolina Healthful living Standard Course of Study.

    In conjunction with the school health advisory council, the board establishes the following additional specific evidence-based goals and strategies for nutrition promotion and education. The board will periodically measure and report progress toward meeting these goals.


    The goal of the physical education program is to provide instruction in the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong participation in physical activity. To address issues such as overweight, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grades must have the opportunity to participate in physical activity as part of the district’s physical education curriculum. Elementary schools should consider the benefits of and move toward having 150 minutes per week with a certified physical education teacher throughout the 180 day school year. Middle schools should consider the benefits of and move toward having 225 minutes per week of Healthful Living Education with certified health and physical education teachers throughout the 180 day school year. The physical education course will foster support and guidance for being physically active, will help students know and understand the value of being physically fit, and will teach students the types of activities that contribute to total fitness. The course will be taught in an environment where students can learn, practice and receive assessment on age appropriate skills as defined in the North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study.

    Schools will strive to provide opportunities for age- and developmentally-appropriate physical activity during the day for all students so that students can learn how to maintain a physically active lifestyle. A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity will be provided daily by schools for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. such activity may be achieved through a regular physical education class, recess, dance, supervised Physical Education Pupil Instruction (PEPI), classroom energizers and/or other curriculum-based physical activity programs. The principal will work with teachers to ensure that students meet the minimum physical activity requirement. To ensure that students have ongoing opportunities for physical activity and maintain a positive attitude towards physical activity, structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity shall not be taken away from students as a form of punishment. In addition, severe and inappropriate exercise may not be used as a form of punishment for students.

    Schools will encourage families and community members to institute programs that support physical activity, such as a walk-a-thon, parent-teacher-student weight loss competitions, Jump Rope for Heat, Relay for Life, Special Olympics, etc.  Consistent with board policy 5030, Community Use of School Facilities, schools will provide access to the district’s facilities outside the normal school day.


    Consistent with policy 6200, Goals of School Nutrition Services, all foods available in the district’s schools during the school day that are offered to students should help promote student health, reduce childhood obesity, provide a variety of nutritional meals and promote lifelong healthy eating habits. All foods and beverages sold at school must meet the nutrition standards established in policy 6230, School meal and Competitive Foods Standards, including the following:

    1. School Lunch, Breakfast and Snack Programs

    Foods provided through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs must comply with federal nutrition standards. In addition, Food selections must also be consistent with the state nutrition standards established by the State Board of Education and with policy 6230, Nutritional Standards for Food Selection.

    2. Competitive Foods

    All foods sold on school campuses during the school day (defined as the period from midnight through 30 minutes after the dismissal bell ring s) in competition with the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs (“competitive foods”) must comply with the meet federal Smart Snacks Standards. Competitive foods food, snacks and beverages from a la carte menus, vending machines and outside suppliers, as well as foods or beverages sold in school stores and at fund-raisers. Vending machine sales also must comply with the requirement of G.S. 115C-264.2 and Eat Smart: North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods In Schools.

    3. Other Foods Available on the School Campus During the School Day and After the School Day.

    School principals shall establish rules for foods and beverages brought from home for classroom events or parties during the school day or for extracurricular activities after the school day. The board encourages principals to establish rules that are consistent with the Smart Snacks in Schools standards.

    1. School Meals

    The Child Nutrition program will comply with all federal, state and local requirements including the following:

    • 7 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations)

    Part 210: National School Lunch Program

    Part 220: School Breakfast program

    Part 245: Free and Reduced price Eligibility

    Part 210 and 220: Competitive Foods Regulations

    2.  Food as a Punishment

    Withholding or delaying food as punishment is not permitted.

    3.  Vending Machines

    North Carolina General Statute 115C-264.2 prevents any school from selling, soft drinks during breakfast or lunch hours to students. Elementary schools cannot sell soft drinks, and middle schools can only sell diet soft drinks or bottled water to students. Public high schools may, with board approval sell beverages in vending machines if:

    • No more than 50% of the offerings for sale to students in high schools are sugared  carbonated soft drinks. 
    • Diet carbonated soft drinks are not considered in the same category as sugared carbonated soft drinks; and bottled water products are available in every school that has beverage vending. 
    • Snack vending in middle and high schools must meet the Proficient Level of the The North Carolina Eat Smart Nutrition Standards- meaning that 75% of snack  vending products have no more than 200 calories per portion or snack vending package.

    4.  Food and Beverage Marketing

    Food and beverage marketing on school campuses during the school day must meet federal and state standards. In accordance with these standards, only foods and beverages that meet the Smart Snack standards (as described in subsection C.2, above) may be marketed or advertised on school campuses during the school day. To comply with this requirement, existing supplies, materials, or equipment that depict noncompliant products or logos will be replaced or removed in accordance with normal lifecycles or as otherwise would occur in the normal course of business.


    The National Association of State Boards of Education recommends that students be provided adequate time to eat meals—at least 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch, from the time the student is seated. Schools are encouraged to comply with this recommendation.

    Lunch periods shall be scheduled as near the middle of the school day as possible.

    Exercise immediately after a meal is discouraged. It is recommended that exercise be scheduled at least 30 minutes after a meal. Schools should make water accessible to students and staff at breaks and meals. 

    Support for the health of all students is demonstrated by hosting health clinics, health screenings, and helping to enroll eligible children in Medicaid and other state children’s health insurance programs.

    Local wellness policy goals will be considered in planning all school-based activities (such as school events, field trips, dances, assemblies, and classroom parties.)


    The director of child nutrition will ensure that school district guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law.


    The superintendent or designee will oversee the implementation of this policy and monitor district schools, programs and curricula to ensure compliance with this policy, related policies and established guidelines or administrative regulations. Each principal will report to the superintendent or designee regarding compliance in his or her school. Staff members responsible for programs related to student wellness also will report to the superintendent or designee regarding the status of such programs.

    The superintendent will annually report to the board on the district’s compliance with laws and policies related to student wellness. The report may include the following items:

    • an assessment of the school environment regarding student wellness issues;
    • an evaluation of food services programs;
    • a review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines; 
    • a list of all activities and programs conducted to promote nutrition and physical activity;
    • information provided in the report from the Safe and Healthy Students Advisory Council, as provided in section A, above; and
    • suggestions for improvement to policies or programs.

    Legal References: Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, 42 U.S.C. 1751 note (Local Wellness Policy); National School Lunch Act of 2004, 42 U.S.C. 1751 note (Local Wellness Policy); National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1751et seq; G.S. 115C-264.2-264.3; State Board of Education Policies GCS-S-000TCS-S-002Eat Smart; North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools, N.C. Division of Public Health, (2004)

    Cross References: Goals of Student Health Services (policy 6100), Goals of Student Food Services (policy 6200), Nutritional Standards for Food Selection (policy 6230)

    Issued: June 12, 2006

    Revised: April 3, 2007; January 12, 2010; December 9, 2014; October 10, 2017 

    Several of our Lee County Schools participated in the WellSAT.  This is a school health assessment tool which allows the SHAC to evaluate how well we are meeting the nutritional and physical education needs of our students and staff.  The data from the WellSAT will be utilized by SHAC to review Student Wellness Policy 4540.  Please see the graph below for the district's initial score card.

    Lee County Score Card