Board members prepare for the upcoming monthly meeting during a work session. –

The Sampson County Schools Board of Education is set to approve a wellness policy to continue progress towards student health.

During a recent work session, April Jordan, director of school nutrition, presented the information to the board. The district is mandated by the North Carolina State Board of Education’s Healthy Active Children Policy to assess its wellness policies every three years. A Triennial Assessment must be shared with the board and the public.

Jordan said Sampson Schools is making progress towards meeting goals, which fits into the district’s motto of “Dedicated to Continuous Improvement.”

“The School Nutrition Department has met all stat and federal regulations for nutrition standards,” Jordan said. “All physical fitness goal have been met and students are physically active in learning nutrition and exercise to maintain healthy lifestyles.

The assessment measures matters if schools are in compliance, meeting state and federal requirements, and progress. Sampson’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) reviewed Policy 6140 dealing with wellness and an assessment was made in November 2019. It was compared to a model from the University of Connecticut Rudd Center’s Wellness School Assessment Tool, which assigns scores in different categories. Sampson received a comprehensive score of 78, with 100 being the highest.

Through research, SHAC was able to find strength and opportunities to improve the policy. Some of the requirements of the Sampson policy include promoting student health, providing a variety of nutritious meals, setting rules for outside foods and beverages for class events,and promoting lifelong physical activity. Opportunity improvements included integration of nutrition education into other subjects, and better promotion of the school breakfast program.

Board Chair Kim Schmidlin added that putting an emphasis on health education is important.

“We have the first generation of kids who are expected to live not as long as the previous generation and that’s a huge problem,” she said. “A lot of it is related to obesity and lack o activity, so we do have a role in encouraging and reinforcing positive behaviors in those areas.”

Policy 6140 is available for the public to review online at www.bit.ly/3aFMafW. The policy is scheduled to be approved monthly board meeting for Sampson Schools, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Sampson County Board of Education Auditorium, 406 County Complex Road, Clinton.

Along with the health policy, the board is also scheduled to approve a 2020-2021 calendar which ends classes in May, instead of June. The Innovative Year-Round includes 178 student days and teachers working throughout the year. The first day of school was listed for the second full week of August 2020, instead of the fourth week. An example of the calendar is available online at www.bit.ly/2RKvQ4R for public viewing.

The agenda for Monday’s meeting also include recognition of Board Member Sonya Powell for an Award of Distinction and Board Member Tracy Dunn for receiving a Certificate of Achievement. Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy is also scheduled to recognize board members for Board Appreciation Month.

Board members prepare for the upcoming monthly meeting during a work session.

Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

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