STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
Nutrition and Physical Education
Key Features of the School’s Instructional Program, Larchmont Charter School implements Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard program, whereby we teach essential life skills and support academic learning through hands-on classes in a comprehensive organic gardening program on our urban public school grounds. The Edible Schoolyard provides a seasonal, delicious and nutritious hot lunch program to support our students’ health and wellness, teaching students how their choices about food affect their health, the environment, and their communities.
Our school lunch program shall meet or exceed established state and federal guidelines for all foods served by the program during the school day. Such guidelines shall be implemented with the objective of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity.
The executive director and Board believes that foods and beverages available to students at the school should support the health curriculum and promote optimal health. Larchmont Charter School shall encourage staff, students, and parents to use healthy food items or nonfood items as part of classroom parties and fundraising activities.
Foods and beverages provided through federally reimbursable school meal programs shall meet or exceed federal regulations. To maximize the school’s ability to provide nutritious meals and snacks, Larchmont Charter School shall participate in available federal school nutrition programs including the National School Lunch Program. The school shall promote participation in this program among students, and make applications as accessible as possible.
School will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. Shall comply with federal and state requirements for verification of qualification for free and reduced-price meals.
Staff training will include education on reimbursable meal components and strategies for ensuring that students take appropriate food items. As part of the Larchmont Charter’s responsibility to participate in the National School Lunch Program, we will provide continuing professional development and/or training programs to our food service staff, kitchen staff, and child nutrition director.
Larchmont Charter School has planned a sequential program of curricula and instruction that helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary for an active lifestyle. Physical activity refers to teacher-led and student-initiated physical activities throughout the day.
Encouraged integration of physical activity into the classroom setting is encouraged so students may receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity and students may learn to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior.
Classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television.
Classroom teachers will be encouraged to provide time for physical activity at the beginning of class or during breaks, or incorporated into other subject lessons (i.e. learning games that involve movement) as appropriate.
Temporary exemptions from physical education should be limited to students whose medical conditions do not allow for inclusion in the general, modified, or adapted physical education program, per Education Code 51241. Physical education and assessment will be designed to promote motor skills and physical fitness, and to help students understand, improve, and/or maintain their physical well-being.
Larchmont Charter School will review curriculum to ensure continuity and consistency of instruction across all content areas in which fitness, health and wellness are taught. The relevant California Content standards for Physical Education, Health and Science will be identified and brought to Curriculum Council for consideration as part of an effort to ensure students receive current and research-based information.
Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment, per Education Code 49001.
Decades of research illustrate the benefits of inquiry-based and cooperative learning to help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a rapidly changing world. (Barron and Darling-Hammond, 2008). Further, project-based learning has been demonstrated to be superior for supporting long-term retention, skill development and satisfaction among students and teachers, as measured by standardized exams (Strobel, J. & van Barnesveld, A., 2009). Larchmont’s interpretation of the theory of constructivism into opportunities for meaningful, engaged learning translates into increased mental and physical engagement in learning for students from TK-12.
Our physical education program addresses the relationship between exercise and health and our Healthy Lunch program incorporates the tenets of the Edible Schoolyard, focusing on including pesticide-free locally grown produce in the food service menu.
The school will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. School should encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages. The school will provide parents a list of foods that meet the school's snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities. In addition, the school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
The school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day; and support parents' efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. Such supports will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, or physical education homework.
An annual assessment shall include the extent to which the school is in compliance with the wellness policy, a description of the progress made in attaining wellness policy goals, and the extent to which this policy compares to model wellness policies available from the USDA, and will be posted on Larchmont Charter School website.