434R-A - Student Wellness, School Meals and Snacks

  • The County School Board of Frederick County recognizes the link between student health and learning and desires to provide a comprehensive program promoting healthy eating and physical activity in division students.

    1. Student Wellness Goals

      Based on review and consideration of evidence-based strategies and techniques, the County School Board of Frederick County has established the following goals to promote student wellness.

      1. Nutrition Promotion and Education

        1. Division health education curriculum standards and guidelines address both nutrition and physical education.

        2. Nutrition is integrated into other content areas, such as human biology courses.

      2. Physical activity

        1. Students are given opportunities for physical activity during the school day through physical education classes and daily recess periods for elementary school students.

        2. Students are given opportunities for physical activity through a range of in- school, before-school, and/or after-school programs including, but not limited to, intramurals, interscholastic athletics, and physical activity clubs.

        3. Schools encourage parents and guardians to support their children's participation in physical activity, to be physically active role models, and to include physical activity in family events.

        4. Schools and staff promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity among students.

      3. Other school-based activities

        1. An adequate amount of time is allowed for students to eat meals in adequate lunchroom facilities.

        2. All children who participate in subsidized food programs are able to obtain food in a non-stigmatizing manner.

        3. The availability of subsidized food programs is adequately publicized in ways designed to reach families eligible to participate in the programs.

        4. Physical activities and/or nutrition services or programs designed to benefit staff health will be considered and, to the extent practical, implemented.

        5. The nutritional content of foods and beverages for fundraisers, incentives, instructional activities, class parties or other school events include healthy choices. Principals are granted the authority to determine what foods and beverages are offered at such events.

    2. Nutritional Guidelines

      Meals and snacks offered as part of the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program meet, at a minimum, the requirements established by state and federal law and regulation.

      Competitive foods, as described herein, comply with state and federal requirements. Schools make potable water available and accessible without restriction to children at no charge in the place(s) where lunches are served during the meal service.

    3. Competitive Foods


      “Competitive food” means all food and beverages other than meals reimbursed under programs authorized by the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 available for sale to students on the school campus during the school day. Competitive foods meet the nutrient guidelines established by the Board of Education, including the guidelines for calories, fat, sugar and sodium.

      "Excess food" means any remaining unexpired, unopened, and unconsumed food intended to be served as part of a reimbursable meal that was unable to be utilized for a current or future meal provision after a school has served breakfast and lunch to students during a school day.

      "Fundraiser" means a school-sponsored activity where food or non-food items are sold on the school campus during regular school hours by a school-sponsored organization to raise money for a school-related program or activity. One fundraiser is defined as one or more fundraising activities by one or more school-sponsored organizations that last one school day. If multiple school-sponsored organizations conduct fundraisers on the same day, the combined activities are counted as one fundraiser. If a fundraising activity lasts more than one school day, each subsequent day’s activity is considered as one fundraiser and counts toward the total number of permitted fundraisers.

      “School campus” means all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day.

      “School day” means the period from the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.

      Each school may conduct 30 school-sponsored fundraisers per school year during which food that does not meet the nutrition guidelines for competitive foods may be available for sale to students. Fundraisers are not conducted during school meal service times.

    4. Vending Machines

      Vending machines will not be available for use by elementary students.

      Snack machines will not be available for use by middle and high school students during the school day.

      Drink machines will not be available for middle and high school students during the school day.

      Use of vending machines at Dowell J. Howard Center (DJHC) will be recommended by the DJHC program director for approval by the assistant superintendent for administration.

    5. Nutrition Guidelines – Fundraisers

      1. To create a school environment that supports the promotion of healthy food and beverage choices for children and adults, it is important to consider all venues where food and beverages are sold. Whenever food and beverages are sold that raise funds for the school, items sold should provide choices that promote wellness and conform to the definition of a healthy food and that have been approved by the school principal or designee.

    6. Nutrition Guidelines – Use of Food Items or Beverages for Instructional Activities or Rewards

      1. To create a school environment that supports the promotion of healthy food and beverage choices for children and adults, it is important to consider all venues where food and beverages are utilized. Whenever food and beverages are used for instructional activities or for rewards, staff are encouraged to make choices of items that support the goal of proper nutrition and healthy foods for students and that consider issues related to possible food allergies.

    7. Nutrition Guidelines – School Nutrition Operations:

      1. Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

        1. Be appealing and attractive to children;

        2. Be served in clean and pleasant settings;

        3. Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal regulations;

        4. Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;

        5. Offer low-fat and fat-free milks;

        6. Offer a choice of grains.

      2. Schools will, to the extent possible, participate in the School Breakfast Program.

      3. The school nutrition program will ensure that all students have affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods needed to stay healthy and learn well.

      4. The schools will strive to increase participation in the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program.

      5. Students are encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast.

      6. Students shall be provided adequate time to eat, at least 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch.

      7. Lunch periods are scheduled as near the middle of the school day as possible.

      8. Dining areas are attractive and have enough space for seating all students.

      9. Drinking water is available for students at meals.

      10. Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school nutrition programs. Continuing professional development will be provided for all nutrition professionals in schools. Staff development programs should include appropriate certification and/or training programs for school nutrition directors, food service managers, and food service staff, according to their levels of responsibility.

    8. Advertising and Marketing

      Frederick County Public Schools permits the marketing and advertising of only foods that meet the nutrition guidelines for competitive foods, serve to promote student health, prevent childhood obesity, and combat problems associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity.

    9. Unpaid Meal Charges

      Students who do not have money on account or in hand to cover the cost of a meal at the time of service are permitted to charge a reimbursable meal, but may not charge a la carte items. A la carte items shall not be charged by a student carrying a negative balance. Notices of low or negative balances in a student’s meal account are sent to the parents/guardians and the school principal. Once a student is carrying a negative balance of $15 or more, they may continue to charge reimbursable meals, but the supervisor of school nutritional services or his/her designee will coordinate efforts, including possible legal action, to recover any unpaid meal charges. Efforts to recover any unpaid meal charges shall include weekly phone calls to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students who have negative account balances in excess of $9. In addition, letters shall be mailed monthly to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students who have a negative account balance of $20 or more.  The School Board does not file lawsuits against a student or the student's parent/guardian because the student cannot pay for a meal at school or owes a school debt.

      If a parent/guardian regularly fails to provide meal money or send food to school with the student and the student does not qualify for the free or reduced meal program, the school nutrition services manager shall inform the principal who will determine the next course of action in consultation with the Director of Student Support Services or the Assistant Superintendent for Administration.

      Bad debt in the School Nutrition Fund shall be addressed according to Frederick County Public Schools’ Finance Department procedures and funded by the School Operating Fund.

      Students who cannot pay for a meal at school or who owe a school meal debt are not required to throw away or discard a meal after it has been served, do chores or other work to pay for such meal or wear a wristband or hand stamp.

      The School Board may solicit and receive any donation or other funds for the purpose of eliminating or offsetting any school meal debt at any time and will use any such funds solely for such purpose.

    10. Implementation

      The School Board encourages parents, students, representatives of the school nutrition services department, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, school administrators, and the general public to participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of this regulation.

      The Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this regulation and developing procedures for evaluating it, including indicators that will be used to measure its success. Implementation procedures include measuring and making available to the public, at least once every three years, an assessment of the implementation of the policy, including the extent to which schools are in compliance with the policy, the extent to which this policy compares to model school wellness policies, and a description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the regulation. The results of the triennial assessment are considered in updating this regulation.

      The School Board retains the following records to document compliance with 7 C.F.R. § 210.31:

      • the policy;

      • documents demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements, including requirements to make the policy and triennial assessments available to the public; and

      • documentation of the triennial assessment of the policy.

      The Superintendent is responsible for establishing procedures by which excess food may be distributed to enrolled students eligible for the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, saving excess food for later consumption, or donating food. The Superintendent’s procedures identify which students are eligible to receive excess food.

    11. Recordkeeping

      The School Board is responsible for maintaining records that document compliance with this policy. Those records include documentation used to assess the nutritional profile of food items and determine whether a food item is an allowable competitive food, such as recipes, nutrition labels and/or product specifications for the competitive food available for sale to students.

      The School Board is also responsible for

      • maintaining records documenting compliance with the competitive food nutrition standards for food available for sale in areas that are outside of the control of the school nutrition programs operations

      • ensuring any organization or school activity designated as responsible for food service at the various venues in the school, other than the school nutrition programs, maintains records documenting compliance with the competitive food nutrition standards

      • maintaining records each school year documenting the number of exempt fundraisers, if any, conducted at each school within the division

      • designating an individual at the division or school level to monitor and ensure compliance with this policy in all areas that are outside the control of the school nutrition programs operation. The designee may not be a school nutrition personnel.


    Legal Reference(s):
    42 U.S.C. Section(s) 1758, 1772, 1773

    7 CFR Sections 210.3, 210.9, 210.11, 220.20, 245.5. 245.8

    Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, Section(s) 22.1-78, 22.1-79.7, 22.1-207.2:2, 22.1-207.3, 22.1-207.4

    8 VAC 20-740-10

    8 VAC 20-740-30

    8 VAC 20-740-35

    8 VAC 20-740-40

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, SP 46-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies, July 8, 2016.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, SP 47-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments, July 8, 2016.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, SP 23-2017 Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&A, March 23, 2017.


    Approved: June 5, 2006
    Amended: July 19, 2010
    Amended: April 19, 2013
    Amended: March 16, 2015
    Amended: March 18, 2016
    Amended: April 23, 2017
    Amended: April 18, 2018
    Amended: August 15, 2018
    Amended: April 16, 2020
    Amended: June 9, 2020
    Amended: June 1, 2021