P.S. 116 is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.
Therefore, P.S. 116 will:
- Ensure that food and beverages sold or served at school meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Ensure that school meals provide students with access to a variety of nutritious, and appealing foods that meet their health and nutritional needs.
- Establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and related community service agencies.
School Wellness Policies are a set of guidelines created by members of the school wellness council.
P.S. 116’s mission is to improve the social, physical, and mental health of our students, families, staff, and community in order to promote the movement towards a healthy lifestyle.
P.S. 116 believes that fostering a healthy environment through wellness policies will create an environment conducive to learning and success.
P.S. 116 believes that healthy young people are more likely to become healthy adults. Therefore, P.S. 116 aims to not only affect students’ present lives, but to provide them with the information and support that they need to continue to lead healthy, physically active lifestyles.
According to 2015 NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene data, 28% of Bushwick residents are obese compared to the 24% of New Yorkers; 13% of Bushwick residents are diagnosed with diabetes compared to 10% of New Yorkers.
Overweight and obese children are more likely to develop chronic health problems like diabetes. The nutritional environment plays a significant role in these health conditions, with the large number of bodegas selling unhealthy food and little to no fresh fruits and vegetables.
Other health concerns in the neighborhood and for the school include the higher rates of obesity and diabetes compared to the rest of New York City.
As a school, we believe that it is our mission to foster a healthy learning environment, and on the broader scale, to inspire our students, families, staff, and our community to make conscious choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle.
P.S.116 recognizes that a healthy, well balanced diet is linked to students’ success and longterm well-being. Eating healthy foods fuels students’ bodies and minds so they can remain focused in the classroom and helps them establish healthy eating habits. P.S. 116 is committed to fostering a healthy school environment by:
- Ensuring that all school meals meet basic nutritional requirements established by the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards.
- Offering students a variety of vegetables and fruits.
- Serving school meals that are attractive and appealing to students.
- Providing a clean space where students can enjoy meals.
- Continuing to serve regular or low-fat milk only (chocolate milk is not served at this school).
- Providing all students with a nutritional breakfast, either at home or at school.
- Providing nutrition education and physical education to foster life-long habits of healthy eating.
- Not serving chocolate milk to students because of the added sugar content. Instead, we offer students plain (unflavored) 1% milk and skim milk.
II. Classroom Physical Activity
P.S. 116 believes that physical activity promotes academic achievement, improves attention span, classroom behavior, and attendance. In addition, physical activity helps students remain alert and fuels them to stay active and learn. P.S. 116 is committed to ensuring that all students have the ability to take part in physical activity outside of Physical Education class by:
- Training all teachers in Move-to-Improve, a classroom-based program that helps teachers enhance their lessons with activities that get students moving.
- Ensuring that Move-to-Improve is implemented in all classes for 8 minutes a day.
III. Active Recess
Daily physical activity promotes academic achievement. It also provides attention span, classroom behavior and attendance. We incorporate physical activity into the school day. Our school will maintain outdoor play periods on the vast majority of winter days. Our school offers at least 20 minutes of active recess for all students, and supervising adults encourage students to be active. Recess should not be used for meal time, as school schedules lunch periods so that students have at least 20 minutes to eat their lunch. Recess is scheduled before lunch, when applicable, but is always offered to every student. Recess is never withheld as a form of punishment.
IV. Physical and Health Education
Physical Education (PE) is an important academic subject that teaches students to be physically active and create habits that can last a lifetime. P.S. 116 will ensure that all students receive PE as part of their education and will do so by:
- Ensuring that all students receive 120 minutes a week for PE.
- Providing daily instruction of PE from a certified physical education teacher.
- Incorporating side by side health and physical activity lessons to further engage students to live a healthy physical, social, and mental lifestyle.
- Ensuring that PE is not taken away as a form of punishment.
Monitoring & Policy Review
P.S. 116’s Wellness Council will review this policy and its success annually. During the review period, the Wellness Council may suggest revisions to the policy based on the school’s needs.
School Wellness Council
The P.S. 116 Wellness Council – consisting of school administrators, teachers, and representatives of the Healthy Schools Healthy Children Program will monitor school nutrition policies and practices. The Council's role is advisory; final responsibility for implementation rests with the principal. P.S.116’s School Wellness Council will meet at least once a month throughout the school year.
Communication of Policy
To implement our policy and make it sustainable, we communicate the policy to the whole school and community by including it in the handbook, in addition to making school announcements about the policy and conducting educational workshops with students revolving around nutrition and physical activity.
Inquiries and Questions
If you have any suggestions for this policy, have any questions about this snack policy, or are interested in being a member of P.S. 116’s Wellness Council, please reach out to Ms. Nunez and Mr. Hanning.