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Local Wellness Policy

Local Wellness Policy 

In 2004, Congress passed the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act.  This act required by law that all school districts participating in any federally subsidized child nutrition programs (e.g., National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast, Program, Special Milk Program and After School Snack Program) establish a local school wellness policy (LWP) by the beginning of the 2006-07 school year.  In 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) and added new provisions related to implementation, evaluation, and publicly reporting on progress of local school wellness policies. On July 29, 2016 the USDA released the final rule on local school wellness policies. ​

Implementation Timeline

  • As of June 30, 2017 schools/districts must fully comply with the requirements of the final rule.
  • The first assessment should be completed within three years of the policy being updated, but no later than June 30, 2020 to be in compliance with the final rule. 

Wisconsin Resources 

  • Local Wellness Policy Checklist is a resource that will help schools determine if all content areas are included in their school wellness policy.
  • Wisconsin Wellness: Putting Policy into Practice is a resource designed to assist school districts with developing comprehensive policies that incorporate new policy requirements while establishing a framework for accountability. The resource provides information on required policy components and includes best practices that will assist schools with creating and maintaining a strong wellness policy.
  • Wisconsin Wellness: Moving into Action is a resource containing a collection of best practices implemented by Wisconsin schools.
  • Local Wellness Policy Builder is an online tool designed to assist schools/districts in creating comprehensive school wellness policies that meet the final rule established by the USDA in August 2016.
  • Local Wellness Policy Report Card Online Tool - School Food Authorities (SFAs) must develop a triennial assessment report. The School Nutrition Team encourages using this tool to assess the extent to which schools comply with the wellness policy and provide a description of progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness policy. In addition, SFAs are encouraged to complete the WellSAT to assess how your policy compares to a model policy. There is a section at the end of this tool to include your WellSAT results. Once the Local Wellness Policy Report Card form is submitted, a report will be generated and emailed to you. This report can be used to communicate the triennial assessment results to the public.

Additional Resources for School Wellness

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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resources to assist schools with creating supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments.  The School Health Index is an online self-assessment and planning tool that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. 
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  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation organizes their resources into wellness modules to create a workable framework that sets specific actions to help schools create healthy school environments. The Healthy Schools Program Framework of Criteria identifies specific best practices to create healthier school environments. Schools can use their six step process to assess, evaluate, and take action on local wellness policies. The Alliance has developed a Model School Wellness Policy. The policy was thoroughly reviewed by USDA Food and Nutrition Service and is compliant with school wellness policy requirements. 
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  • Action for Healthy Kids fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can live healthier lives by engaging diverse organizations, leaders and volunteers.
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  • Wellness School Assessment Tool was developed to assist schools with the evaluating the quality of their wellness policy. Based on the assessment, users will be able to assess the quality of their school district’s wellness policy, and will be provided with personalized guidance and resources for making improvements, .

Celebrate School Wellness Success

  • Wisconsin Health Award - is an award that recognizes and celebrates schools with policies, programs, and the infrastructure to support and promote healthy eating; physical activity; alcohol-, tobacco-, and drug-free lifestyles; and parental and community involvement.
  • Healthy Schools Program National Recognition Award – is an award presented to schools who complete the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s benchmarks.