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Healthy Schools Act
Healthy Schools Act Legislation
In May of 2010, the DC City Council passed the Healthy Schools Act of 2010 (B18-0564). This legislation is a comprehensive law to ensure that schools are a healthy place for all students. The Healthy Schools Act covers topics including nutrition, health education, physical education and physical activity, Farm-to-School programs, school gardens and other wellness topics.
- Healthy Schools Act Legislation [PDF]
- Healthy Schools Act Report (SY 2011-2012)
- Healthy Schools Act Report "Letter from Superintendent" (SY 2010-2011)
- Healthy Schools Act Report (SY 2010-2011)
- School Garden and Farm to School Report (SY 2011-2012)
- Healthy Youth and Schools Commission Report (SY 2011-2012)
As amendments to the Healthy Schools Act of 2010 are approved and incorporated, updates will be added to this webpage. More information on the legislative process behind the Healthy Schools Act can be found on the DC City Council website.
To learn more about the Healthy Schools Act, you can visit www.DChealthyschools.org.
The DC City Council tasked the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE), Wellness and Nutrition Services Division (WNS) with implementing much of this important legislation. The HSA applies to all public and public charter schools in the District of Columbia. The focus of this legislation is to promote and provide more nutritious meals for DC students. Additional funding is provided to schools for breakfast and lunch meals served that meet certain nutritional and serving requirements as outlined in the Act. Additionally, the act requires that all students receive breakfast at no charge and meet certain requirements for competitive foods. All of these provisions and the claims reimbursement process are administered by the WNS School Programs team.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Healthy Schools Act School Programs [PDF]
Claims & Reimbursement Process
Menus must be submitted on a monthly basis for review. Schools submit their menus to the WNS Nutrition Program Manager once the month is complete for verification. The verification process consists of the Nutrition Program Manager and their team reviewing the menu(s) for compliance with the nutrition and serving requirements of the Healthy Schools Act. Once the Nutrition team has completed the review of a menu, a verification notice is sent back to the school and the Healthy Schools Act claim specialist. The verification notice provides the school with information that is to be used to prepare the Healthy Schools Act claim. This information includes what, if any, days are reimbursable and to what extent.
The school then prepares and submits the Healthy Schools Act claim for reimbursement. This claim should not exceed the claim submitted for the National School Lunch Programs for the same month. If there are days or meals that were not reimbursable under the Healthy Schools Act this would be reflected on the verification notice. Edit checks for the non-reimbursable days would need to be submitted with the claim form to verify the number of meals being reimbursed. All claims must be completed in their entirety, signed, dated and submitted by an individual authorized by the school food authority.
The Nutrition Program unit was established as a component of the implementation plan for the Healthy School Act of 2010. The implementation plan includes the oversight, training and technical assistance of Menu Verification at the gold level of the Healthier US School Challenge Menu Criteria, DC Local Wellness Policy Implementation, the DC Farm to School Program, and the DC School Garden program as detailed throughout the legislation. The Act requires that ongoing development and technical assistance will be available to public and public charter schools towards the delivery of these services to the school community.
The menu criteria of the Healthy School Act legislation requires that school lunch menus meet the gold level of the Healthier US School Challenge [PDF].
- Healthy School Act Menu Verification Notice FY 2011 [PDF]
- Healthy School Act Fiscal Year 2011 Implementation Overview [PDF]
Farm to School Program
Farm to School programs connect local farmers with schools to get more healthy, local foods into school cafeterias. Farm to School efforts improve child health; reconnect students with where food comes from; provides health, food and environmental education opportunities; and support the local food economy.
Physical Education and Health Education
Physical education and health education are important components of a healthy school environment. The Healthy Schools Act requires all schools to provide health education and physical education to their students.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Healthy Schools Act Physical Education and Health Education [PDF]
- Requirements of the Healthy Schools Act Physical Education and Health Education [PDF]
The Healthy Schools Act of 2010 provides grant funding through the DC Physical Activity for Youth (DC PAY) grant. This grant awards up to $200,000 per year to schools to increase their capacity to offer physical activity to students before, during, or after the school day. In 2012, 19 schools were awarded $185,000. The 2013 DC PAY Notice of Funding Alert can be found by using the following link: DCPAY Notice of Funding. The Request for Applications (RFA) can be found by using the following link: DCPAY Request for Applications.
School Gardens Program
Established under the Healthy Schools Act of 2010 (HSA) the purpose of the School Garden Program is to support DC public and charter schools in establishing and maintaining school gardens as an integral part of school curriculum, programs, and culture. This program will provide technical and financial support as well as training to participating schools in an effort to effectively utilize school gardens as a meaningful teaching resource. Click here to get more information on how to start a school garden.
Health and Wellness
The Healthy Schools Act of 2010 (HSA) was passed unanimously with a goal of improving health, wellness, and nutrition in the District of Columbia public schools and public charter schools. This important law established a requirement for schools to update and strengthen their local wellness policies every three years. OSSE-Wellness and Nutrition Service implements this mandate and provides technical assistance and training to assist schools with their health initiatives and the revision of their policies to maintain compliance with the HSA.
School Health Profile
Under Section 602 of the Healthy Schools Act of 2010 (B18-0564), each public school and public charter school within the District of Columbia is required to complete and submit the School Health Profile form to Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) on or before Februaryy 15th of each year. Schools are also required to make the information requested in the School Health Profile form available to parents for pick up at the main office and available online if the school has a website. The School Health Profile must be submitted online; however, a printable version of the school year 2012 - 2013 form can be found here.
Note: Public schools or public charter schools that fail to complete and submit the School Health Profile form to OSSE on or before February 15th of each year are out of compliance with Section 602 of the Healthy Schools Act of 2010.
- District of Columbia Public School Health Profiles (2010-2011)
- District of Columbia Public Charter School Health Profiles (2010-2011)
- District of Columbia Public School Health Profiles (2011-2012)
- District of Columbia Public Charter School Health Profiles (2011-2012)
- District of Columbia Public School Health Profiles (2012-2013)
- District of Columbia Public Charter School Health Profiles (2012-2013)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Healthy Schools Act School Health Profile Form [PDF]