Hebrew Academy Wellness Policy

Mission Statement
The Hebrew Academy wellness mission is to improve the health and wellness of its students, staff and community.

Vision Statement
Our vision is that Hebrew Academy staff, students, and community are leaders of change through enhancing the well-being of the school community by creating a lifelong culture of healthy lifestyles.

The school recognizes the link between student health and learning and desires to provide a comprehensive program promoting healthy eating and physical activity for students. Children and youth that begin each day as healthy individuals are more receptive to the learning experience and more likely to succeed now and in the future. The administration will utilize the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model to support and reinforce a healthy school environment through health education, physical education and physical activity, health services, nutrition environment and services, counseling, psychological and social services, social emotional climate, physical environment, employee wellness, family engagement, and community involvement.

Health and Nutrition Education Goals
The school believes that health education is essential to student performance and academic success. The school’s nutrition education and physical education programs will be based on research consistent with the expectations established in its curriculum frameworks, and designed to build the skills and knowledge that all students need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The nutrition education program will include, but is not limited to, information about the benefits of healthy eating for learning, disease prevention, weight management, and oral health. The School intends for health education to be part of a comprehensive approach that promotes the health and well-being of students and staff. Instruction in health-related content areas will be supported by physical education, health services, nutrition services, psychological services, and within a safe and healthy school environment. 

Physical Education and Physical Activity Goals
All students in grades K-12 will be provided opportunities to be physically active on a regular basis. Opportunities for moderate to vigorous physical activity will be provided through physical education, recess, school athletic programs, extracurricular programs and other organized and unstructured activities. Physical activity breaks help students to achieve the recommended target of 60 minutes a day of physical activity to promote health and help prevent obesity. The Physical Education program will be an essential element of each school’s instructional program. The program will provide the opportunity for all students, regardless of ability, to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to participate in a lifetime of healthy physical activity.

Nutrition Guidelines for Foods Available at School
The School will adopt nutrition guidelines for all foods available during the school day, with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity. In order to maximize the School’s ability to provide nutritious meals and snacks, the school will participate in available federal school nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and after-school snack programs, to the extent possible. The school will strive to strengthen its outreach to students and their families to ensure that all eligible students are enrolled in National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and National School Breakfast Program (NSBP). The school will ensure that all students have access to nutritious school lunch throughout the school year. In addition, no foods and beverages with non-nutritive sweeteners or caffeine will be served or sold. The school will provide access to free, portable, cool water during meal times in the food service area and will encourage students’ consumption of water by educating them about the health benefits of water and serving water in an appealing manner.

Healthy & Safe School Environment
The school recognizes that a safe, positive school environment is also conducive to students’ physical and mental health. In recognition that social, emotional, and physical health are fundamental to being community ready, the school desires to provide a comprehensive program promoting health and well-being for all students. Every student has a right and responsibility to be educated in a safe and welcoming environment and to be treated in a manner that respects their human dignity and provided with social-emotional support and curriculum to reach their full potential. The school shall provide a learning environment for students, teachers and staff that is safe, orderly, caring, respectful, and equitable and will incorporate social and emotional learning into the curriculum for each grade level.
Understanding the direct correlation between positive social-emotional and mental health well-being, the school will maintain a system to address student needs and provide necessary interventions.

Social-Emotional Wellness Goals
Maintain school environments that promote students social-emotional wellbeing. Promote school policies that emphasize the importance of socio-emotional learning as the process to acquire necessary skills for school success. Enhance the knowledge of social and emotional learning competencies such as Self-awareness, Self-Management, Responsible Decision-Making, Relationship Skills, and Social Awareness. Include strategies and support to screen, early identify and provide support to students with behavior and mental health concerns.  Assess students’ social and emotional wellness and provide resources, tools and strategies as needed to address concerns while identifying the strengths of students and families.

Mental Health and Wellness
The school will provide students in grades Pre-K-12 with access to mental health services. Professional staff will be available to provide early detection and appropriate referral for mental health assessments and treatments for students when indicated. Professional staff development will be provided regarding early detection and referral for mental health supports. Mental health services are provided to improve students mental, emotional and social health. These services may include individual and group assessments that may drive interventions and referrals. Professionals such as credentialed school social workers, school counselors, psychologists will strive to provide assessment and consultation that contribute to the health of students and to the overall health of the school environment.

Staff Wellness
The School recognizes the powerful influences that staff and other adults have on the health and well-being of students. To that end, the school encourages staff to take every opportunity to model health and wellness for students. Further, the school also encourages the participation of parents and other community members in promoting the health and wellness of students. The school will promote work- site wellness programs and may provide opportunities for regular physical activities among employees.

Through this Wellness Policy:  All students will have the opportunity to consume healthy food and beverages and receive quality physical education in schools.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.