The Valley City Public School Board discussed six new school policies at a special meeting on Monday, including the school’s Wellness Policy which has been in the works for several months.
The policy was developed by school administrators and staff, including physical education instructors, school board member Sharon Buhr, who is the director of the Young People’s Healthy Heart program at Mercy Hospital, and the school’s food service director Sue Milender. Milender has been nationally recognized as one of the top school food directors in the country.
“There’s been a lot of involvement in this policy,” said schools superintendent Dean Koppelman, adding that the schools policy touches on a broader range of health issues than other schools.
“What’s nice with ours (Wellness Policy), is we’ve dealt (with) wellness, we’ve dealt with nutrition, we’ve dealt with physical activity and we added the evaluation component to the policy. So we’ve really done a lot with one policy and its attachments.”
Buhr said an epidemic of childhood obesity is affecting not only the health of the nation’s youth, but how well they perform in school too.
“We were being proactive initially on this, but by the time we got down to a lot of the things on this policy, we were not being proactive anymore, we were doing what the federal government told us to do.”
Buhr said several changes in a variety of different government programs is leading schools across the country to look at the health of their students and the food they provide for them.
“We’re a leader across the state, because we are ahead of the game compared to a lot of Class A schools,” said Buhr.
Other Policies the board discussed dealt with National Teacher Certification, Professional Learning Communities, Acceptable Internet Use, Public Participation in School Board Meetings, and a policy for the procedure of adopting policies.