Wellness Policy

 Mission Statement

(Updated April 25, 2016; Amended March 1, 2019)

Maine Central Institute is committed to the health and wellbeing of the faculty and staff, student body and surrounding community. MCI recognizes that it has a unique opportunity to provide education, experiential opportunities and guidance concerning health and wellness. MCI will develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive, collaborative and integrative wellness policy and programming that addresses the following domains of health and wellness: 

• Physical Wellness

  ‐ Nutrition

  ‐ Physical Activity

• Mental Wellness

  ‐ Emotional Wellness

  ‐ Psychological Wellness

• Behavioral Wellness   

• Spiritual Wellness

• Social Wellness 

Maine Central Institute’s administration will support and maintain a Wellness Committee to oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of the Wellness Policy and programming.

Appointment of Wellness Committee  

Administration will appoint a Wellness Committee comprised of at least one of each of the following:

  • Board member
  • School administrator
  • Food Services Director/designee
  • Student representative
  • Parent representative
  • Community representative

Additionally the Wellness Committee may also include:

  • School nurse
  • Athletic trainer
  • School-based counselors and mental health professionals
  • Social worker
  • Community organization or agency representative
  • Community health care providers
  •  Teacher
  • Boarding Advisor
  • Any other persons as designated by overseeing administration

 

Role of Wellness Committee 

The Wellness Committee shall serve as an advisory committee in regard to student wellness issues. Additionally, the Wellness Committee will be responsible for recommendations pertaining to the Wellness Policy, wellness goals, administrative or school regulation and practices. Further, the Wellness Committee will be responsible for raising the awareness of student health issues to the overseeing administration and school board.

The committee will submit an annual report to the overseeing administration.

Domains of Wellness

Physical Wellness and Nutrition

Maine Central Institute will ensure that the meals provided by its Food Service Program meet the nutrition standards established by federal regulations. Sales of food items and beverages competing with the school lunch program will be subject to the established federal and state regulations. The specific guidelines for competitive food sales can be located in Appendix A.

Maine Central Institute’s School Food Administrators (SFA) will be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the nutritional standards set forth by state and federal regulations and this policy.

Assurance

This policy serves as assurance that the schools unit guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act.

Nutrition Education

Maine Central Institute will integrate nutritional education through it’s health education program. The nutrition education program will aim to expand students content knowledge regarding proper nutrition and will encourage students to adopt and maintain healthy eating behaviors.

Physical Activity

Maine Central Institute will provide students with developmentally appropriate opportunities for physical activity through physical education classes and co‐curricular activities. Students, through the school’s curriculum and through co‐curricular programs, will be educated about the benefits of physical fitness and living an active and healthy lifestyle. 

Mental Wellness 

Maine Central Institute will provide education that aims to increase the awareness of mental health issues. Further, MCI will provide internal and external resources to students, faculty, staff and families aimed at achieving and maintaining psychological wellness. 

Maine Central Institute will provide resources aimed to educate students on the appropriate expression, processing and communication of emotions.

Behavioral Wellness 

Maine Central Institute will educate and promote the adoption of healthy behaviors and avoidance of unhealthy behaviors through both the health education program and co‐curricular offerings.

Spiritual Wellness 

Maine Central Institute will welcome and support spiritual exploration and spiritual acceptance amongst its faculty, staff and student body. 

Social Wellness 

Maine Central Institute will educate students on social behavior. MCI will encourage students to engage in positive social behaviors and positive risk taking. MCI will provide developmentally appropriate social opportunities that encourage positive social behavior and to assist in the development of social skills.    

Wellness Goals 

Goals for Nutrition Education

Maine Central Institute will provide nutrition education that focuses on the skills students need to adopt and maintain healthy eating behaviors.

Maine Central Institute will integrate nutrition education into other areas of school life as appropriate to complement the health education program.

Maine Central Institute will provide foods that meet or exceed the federal nutrition standards, provide adequate time for students to obtain food and eat, provide adequate space to eat, and provide a clean and safe meal environment.

Maine Central Institutes administration, faculty and staff will be encouraged to model nutritious food choices and eating habits.  

Goals for Physical Activity

Maine Central Institute’s physical education program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to be physically fit and take part in healthful physical activity on a regular basis.

Maine Central Institute’s administration, faculty, staff, students and parents will be encouraged to demonstrate responsible personal and social behaviors in physical activity settings.

Maine Central Institute’s physical education classes will keep all students involved in purposeful activity.

Maine Central Institute’s physical education classes will provide learning opportunities for students of all abilities. 

Maine Central Institute will provide a safe environment that promotes the development of a positive attitude toward health and fitness. 

Maine Central Institute will educate students on the benefits of participating in physical activity.

Maine Central Institute will provide students with developmentally appropriate opportunities for physical activity through physical education classes and co‐curricular activities.

Goals for Mental Wellness

Maine Central Institute will provide education to staff, students and families that will increase the awareness of mental health issues, emotional regulation, and the knowledge of the resources available within our community.

Maine Central Institute administration, faculty and staff will be encouraged to model positive mental health behaviors, including all classrooms, events and athletic arenas.

Maine Central Institute will staff and keep current a holistic wellness center where students, staff and families can access qualified personnel and resources that support emotional health and well-being.

Goals for Behavioral Wellness

Maine Central Institute will provide health education and/or resources to address behavioral health issues on campus.

Maine Central Institute’s students will have access to resources and services to assist them with behavioral health issues. 

Maine Central Institute’s administration, faculty and staff will be encouraged to be positive behavioral role models.

Goals for Spiritual Wellness

Maine Central Institute will support an environment that allows individuals can openly express and communicate their faith and/or spirituality without the fear of judgement or repercussion.

Maine Central Institute will support students with opportunities to explore the purpose and meaning of the human existence and the concept of inner harmony. 

Goals for Social Wellness

Maine Central Institute will provide opportunities for students to learn and demonstrate positive social behaviors through events, as well as through naturally occurring interactions.

Maine Central Institute will incorporate social skill education into academic classroom expectations as well as co‐curricular environments.

Maine Central Institute’s administration, faculty and staff will be encouraged to model positive social behaviors and healthy risk taking both on and off campus.

Maine Central Institute will promote an environment where diversity is not only accepted, but embraced.

Appendix A: Guidelines for Competitive Food Sales FAQs

FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONCERNING THE WELLNESS POLICY

What guidelines regulates competitive food sales? Where can I find information on the Smart Snacks Rule?

 Currently, the Smart Snacks Rule regulates the sale of competitive food items (fundraisers, boosters, closed events, etc…). You can find information on the Smart Snacks Rule at the web address below.

 http://www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks

 Can food be used as a reward?

 No.

 Can students bring foods of minimal nutritional value from home?

 Yes, the Policy does not apply to foods and beverages brought to school by students. The school will provide information to parents encouraging them to use their discretion and judgment when sending foods to school with their children that nurture a healthy mind-body connection.

Can foods of minimal nutritional value such as cupcakes or cookies be provided to students for celebrations/parties?

 Yes, as long as there are also healthy choices available and nothing is being sold.

 What distinguishes between functions that are open to the public and those that are not? What is the difference?

 A closed or non-public function is one that involves only our students (i.e. a school dance). A public function is one in which the public is welcome to attend (i.e. a sporting event).

Can foods of minimal nutritional value be sold?

Foods of minimal nutritional value can never be sold to students during the school day. Foods of minimal nutritional value can be sold to students at public events after school.

Can bake sale items such as donuts, whoopie pies or cupcakes be sold?

In most cases, donuts, whoopie pies and cupcakes do not met federal requirements unless they are specially prepared. If these foods do not meet requirements, then they cannot be sold unless it is after school hours or at a public event.

Can students, parents, and other organizations keep the funds received from the sale of acceptable foods and beverages?

 Yes.

 Can fundraisers such as Girl Scout cookies and Boy Scout popcorn be sold outside of the school day?

 Yes, but only if the sale is after school hours to the public and during an open event.

 Can we take ORDERS for foods of minimal nutritional value (such as candy bars, cakes, coffee, etc.) during the school day?

 No, this is still considered the sale of foods of minimal nutritional value and is in direct conflict with the intent of the Wellness Policy.

 Can a student organization sell foods of minimal nutritional value to the public at a community event?

 Yes, as long as it is not during the school day (the school day is considered to start ½ hour before the first bell and end 1/2 hour after the last bell), and there are healthy choices in addition to the foods of minimal nutritional value.

 Can a PTO sell acceptable foods and beverages such as apples to students, and who benefits from the sale?

 Yes, apples are an acceptable and encouraged food. The MCI Policy permits the sponsor to benefit from the sale of acceptable food items after school hours.

 If there is a school dance that is open to MCI students only and food is sold, who would benefit from the sales and what foods can be sold?

MCI Policy permits organizations to benefit from food sales before and after the school day. The food items sold during events outside of the school day (the school day is considered to start 1/2 hour before the first bell and end 1/2 hour after the last bell) are not subject to the Smart Snack nutritional standards, however, healthy options must be made available in addition to the foods of minimal nutritional value.

 During the school day can groups or organizations sell food items?

 Yes. Student organizations may sell food items during the school day so long as the items meet the Smart Snack nutritional standards.

 Can a student organization sell candy as a fundraiser?

Yes, however, any items that do not meet the Smart Snack Standards can only be sold ½ hour after the last bell of the school day through midnight. It should also be noted the MCI Policy does not encourage the sale of candy for fund raising and encourages organizations to sell healthy foods or non-food items.

 Can student organizations sell non-food items for fundraising purposes?

 Yes, the MCI Policy applies to the sale of foods and/or beverages; however, the sale of non-food items is preferred and encouraged.

 Are cough drops and chewing gum defined as foods?

 Yes, Federal Regulations consider cough drops and chewing gum foods of Minimal Nutritional Value. These foods cannot be sold during the school day, and the practice of giving them as a reward is strongly discouraged.

 Can school staff collect money from students to support a classroom function involving food?

 No, collecting money to pay for student participation in any kind of food party is considered a food sale and cannot occur during the school day since it is in competition with the National School Lunch Program. Classrooms and student organizations can work through the School Nutrition Program which will provide this service for them.

Can outside groups (i.e. Lions Club, fire department) that sell foods and beverages keep their profits for their own use?

Yes, as long as the sale occurs after school hours and it is a public event. All organizations are encouraged to always have healthy food and beverages available as a choice.

 How can I make time for daily physical activity?

 Everyone – students and faculty – needs energizing motor breaks for their minds and bodies to work effectively together. It is a simple matter of getting red blood cells and oxygen to the brain. Taking time for a little motor break may seem like you are losing time, but you will actually gain in terms of the speed with which your students will process information. Motor breaks can also be integrated into your teaching strategies with more action-based learning techniques in which students are standing up and moving their bodies while you are teaching.   

Appendix B: Committee Membership    

  • Thomas Bertrand, Administrator, Dean of Student Life
  • Shandrea Caldwell, Parent member
  • William Carr, Director of Food Service 
  • Rebecca Geagan, RN, School Nurse
  • Dena Hall, Chief Accountant, HR Specialist, Safety Coordinator
  • James Leonard, Administrator, Athletic Director
  • Roberta McGuire, International Students Program Coordinator
  • Macie Batchelder, Director of Counseling
  • Kirsten Pomeroy, Academic Counselor