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Healthy Schools Act Legislation

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


To establish local nutritional standards for school meals, to establish healthy vending, fundraising, marketing, and prize requirements in public schools, to require public schools to participate in federal meal programs whenever possible, to solicit feedback about healthy meals, to require public disclosure of ingredients, origin of fruits and vegetables and the nutritional content of school meals, and to provide at least 30 minutes to eat lunch; to establish a farm to school program, to create a preference and a monetary incentive to serve locally-grown, unprocessed foods, to require teaching about the benefits of fresh, local foods, to establish programs such as a local flavor week and a harvest of the month, and to require an annual report and recommendations on farm-to-school initiatives; to establish minimum levels of physical education and activity for students, to provide for exemptions for students with disabilities, students with other diagnosed health problems, or schools that lack the facilities, to provide schools with equal access to recreation facilities, to prohibit physical education to be used as punishment, to require minimum amounts of health education, and to require an annual report about the compliance with these requirements; to establish an environmental programs office within the Office of the Public Education Facilities Modernization that would establish comprehensive recycling, energy reduction, and integrated pest management programs at District of Columbia Public Schools and develop a plan to use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, to require an annual report and recommendations on sustainability, to encourage schools to use more sustainable products in their meal service, to amend the Green Building Act of 2006 and Title 20 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations to encourage school construction to achieve LEED Gold certification, to create an environmental literacy plan, to establish a school gardens program, to issue grants to support the development of school gardens, to require a report and recommendations about school gardens, and to permit the sale and consumption of food grown in school gardens when safe; to require schools to collaborate to adopt local wellness policies and update them triennially, to require the inclusion of sustainability and farm-to-school initiatives in local wellness policies, to require local wellness policies to be promoted and shared, to empower the State Superintendent of Education with the authority to verify compliance with their local wellness policies, to require a plan to place a school wellness center at DCPS high schools by 2015, to amend the District of Columbia Public School Nurse Assignment Act of 1987 to give preference after October 1, 2010 in hiring school nurses certified as asthma educators, to require that schools develop allergy plans and appoint an allergy coordinator, to amend Titles 18 and 20 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations to prohibit vehicles from idling near schools, to implement the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program; and to establish a Healthy Youth and Schools Commission, to define its function, to require an annual report and recommendations, to set forth the composition and organization of the commission, to define its rules of procedure and powers, and to provide administrative and technical support.

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