School Wellness Policy Requirements and Sample Policies

  • Overview and Update:

    Recognizing that schools play a critical role in promoting student health, the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 required all school districts that participate in any federally funded child nutrition program to establish a locally developed school wellness policy by the beginning of the 2006-07 school year.

    At a minimum, the local school wellness policies were required to include:

    • Goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness
    • Nutrition guidelines for all food available on each school campus during the school day.
    • Assurance that guidelines for reimbursable meals will not be less restrictive than federal regulations and guidance issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
    • A plan for measuring the implementation of the local wellness policy and designation of one or more persons in the district or at each school to oversee the implementation of the adopted wellness policy.
    • Involvement of parents, students, representatives of school food service, the school board, school administrators, and the community in the development of the school wellness policy. 
    The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), has new provisions to strengthen local school wellness policies (LSWP). Districts must update their LSWPs to meet these additional requirements:


    • Designate one or more school officials as appropriate to ensure that each school complies with the LSWP policy.
    • Set goals for nutrition promotion.
    • Expand partners to include, at minimum, physical education teachers and school health professionals. 
    • Engage partners in the implementation of the LSWP and provide periodic review    and updates.
    • Inform and update the public about the content and implementation of the LSWPs.

     Local School Wellness Policy Requirements


    Sample Local School Wellness Policies

    Note: the above links were compiled by California Department of Education (CDE) in partnership with the California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative and were presented at the January 2013 CDE School Wellness Training at the Marin County Office of Education. These resources provide important guidance to ensure that local wellness policies are effective and up-to-date.