New Health Policy for CPS Students

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is setting new guidelines and requirements for students in nutrition, nutrition education and physical activity with updates to the District’s Local School Wellness policy. The new guidelines were approved by the Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday.

School districts must revisit their wellness policies every three years under requirements of the Federal School Nutrition Program. With approval by the Board, CPS joins other large urban school districts such as New York, Houston and Los Angeles in passing and implementing policies that impact healthy school environments.
“A child who is hungry or whose diet is lacking in proper nutrition will have a hard time concentrating in class, and that will directly impact his or her ability to learn,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “Instituting this policy will provide a framework for how we can better serve our school communities in ways that encourage student growth and achievement.”

The policy update comes on the heels of the recent announcement that the District will receive $4.4 million over two years from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support implementation of Healthy CPS, a component of the Mayor’s Healthy Chicago initiative, the city’s first multi-agency public health agenda. Community partners, parents, school administrators, teachers and students provided input into the policy’s development.

Wellness “Champions” at schools will be responsible for assisting the principal and Local School Councils in ensuring compliance with components of the policy. CPS has already implemented mandatory daily recess for elementary schools as part of its new Full School Day.

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