JTC Academy Wellness Policy
JTC Academy combines our 24/7 residential treatment program (Transitional Center Inc.) with our non-public, special education therapeutic day school, JTC Academy, to provide an integrated approach that addresses all aspects of our youth’s well-being including psychological, physical, relational and educational experiences. The JTC Academy serves male students from the ages of 12 to 21 who currently have an IEP citing an educational diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, LD, OHI, ID, and/or ED.
JTC Academy promotes a community-based, systematic approach that focuses on positive behavior interactions, interventions and supports within the parameters of a safe, secure and structured milieu environment. Within our milieu environment, at both our residential facility and our school, it is our goal to build self-esteem, teach individual accountability as well as appropriate coping, social and problem-solving skills so that our youth gain the tools necessary to interact appropriately with others in various social settings. We are committed to reach the needs of all of our students and to make sure that all students have the opportunity to achieve personal, academic, developmental and social success, we need to ensure positive, safe and health promoting learning environments at every level in all areas of the academic and living environment.
In accordance with 7 CFR 210.31(c), a Local Education Agency that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP) must establish a Local School Wellness Policy for all schools under its jurisdiction. As of June 30, 2017, Local Wellness Policies must meet the minimum requirements set forth in the Final Rule: Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Local Wellness Policies are a valuable tool in the promotion of student health and wellness through the NSLP and SBP. Residential facilities and schools play an essential role in preparing students for successful futures, and proper nutrition and physical activity are key to creating constructive learning environments. Local Wellness Policies provide guidance to further support schools efforts to provide students with a successful and healthy future. This policy applies to all students, staff, families and community members. Specific measurable goals and outcomes are identified within each section below.
St. Clair County has the highest obesity rate in the state of Illinois at 40% (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems, 2012). The county’s premature mortality rate for diabetes has consistently been 2-3 times higher than the state and national equivalents since 2004. Additionally, St. Clair County ranks 93 out of 102 Illinois counties in the National County Healthy Rankings for overall health. While these statistics are very important and relevant, youth come to our residential JUMP program from all over the state of Illinois, not just St. Clair County. Many of the youth that enter our JUMP Program have obesity issues, food allergies or malnutrition issues and concerns. Our residential meal program serves each meal throughout each day for all of our students and therefore serves as the fundamental source of sustenance and exposure to balanced meals. Through our meal program, physical education and wellness initiatives, the JTC Academy is a critical player in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behavior patterns.
Section 2. Wellness Policy Committee
JTC Academy will convene a representative wellness committee that meets two times per year to establish goals for and oversee school/residential health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation and periodic review and update of this wellness policy
2.1Wellness Policy Leadership
The Chief of Operations or designee(s) will convene the wellness policies committee meetings and facilitate development of and updates to the wellness policy, and will ensure each kitchen on each shift shows compliance with the policy.
The designated official for oversight is: Amy Polt, Chief of Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Polt is also responsible for coordinating the required annual assessments.
Each school will designate a school wellness policy coordinator, who will ensure compliance
with the policy.
2.2Wellness Policy Committee Members
Fred Macklin, Director of Buildings, Grounds, and Foods
Crystal Dill, RN
Araceli Laborin, Cook Manager
Hunter Hebron, Principal
Section 3. Wellness Policy Committee Responsibilities
The wellness committee delineates roles, responsibilities, actions and timelines as well as specific goals and objectives for nutrition standards for all foods and beverages available on the school campus, food and beverage marketing, nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, physical education and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.
The JTC Academy permits and encourages public involvement in Local Wellness Policy development, implementation, updates, and reviews. Therefore, we shall invite a variety of stakeholders within the general public to participate in Local Wellness Policy processes. The following methods of communication will be utilized to notify all of the JTC Academy stakeholders including parents/guardians, representatives of DCFS, ISBE, JTC JUMP staff and surrounding school districts of the opportunity to participate in these processes: The JTC Academy will use electronic mechanisms, such as email, social media, and the agency’s website, and online calendar, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of the content of, implementation of, and updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy.
Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, assessments of the Local Wellness Policy must occur no less than every three years. JTC Academy shall conduct assessments of the Local Wellness Policy every three years, beginning in 2017 and occurring every three years thereafter. These assessments will: a) Ensure the wellness policy is in compliance with USDA, State, and Local rules and regulations b) Compare the JTC Academy wellness policy to model wellness policies c) Measure the progress made in achieving the goals as outlined in this wellness policy. Fred Macklin, Director of Buildings, Grounds and Foods, will conduct our assessments and determine whether or not our policy remains in compliance. All JUMP stakeholders including staff, parents/guardians, sending school districts and DCFS.
The Wellness Policy Committee must update the Local Wellness Policy as appropriate in order to fit the needs and goals of the JTC Academy. The wellness policy will be assessed and updated as indicated at least every three years, following the triennial assessment. JTC Academy will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy and implementation status. The JTC Academy shall make the following available to the public:
The Local Wellness Policy, including any updates to the policy, on an annual basis and as needed
The triennial assessment, including progress toward meeting the goals outlined in the wellness policy
The District will use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on the Transitional Center website, JTC Academy website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parents, or sending information home to parents.
The JTC Academy shall maintain a record of the Local Wellness Policy. The JTC Academy will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy at the Chief of Operations Office at Transitional Center. Records will include keeping a copy of the current wellness policy on file and maintaining documentation of the following actions:
The most recent assessment of the policy
Availability of the wellness policy and assessments to the public
Reviews and revisions of the policy, including the individuals involved and the efforts made to notify stakeholders of their ability to participate in the process
Section 4. Nutrition
The JTC Academy recognizes the important role nutrition plays in physical and mental growth and development as well as overall quality of life. The National Education Association references numerous articles supporting the effects of nutrition on the classroom, for example, hunger often has a negative impact on students’ success, attendance, and behavior.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 18.5 percent of the nation’s youth was considered obese in 2015-16. This percentage increased 1.3 percent when compared to the previous year. Conversely, 15.7 percent of American families experienced food hardship in 2017. Through participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Nutrition Programs, the JTC Academy commits to serving nutritious meals to adolescents in order to prevent both overconsumption of nutrient-poor foods and food insecurity to give adolescents the best chance to succeed inside and outside the classroom and transitioning into adulthood.
JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West are schools that youth attend within the JTC Academy that participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program the School Breakfast Program. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West are committed to offering school meals through the NSLP and SBP programs, and other applicable Federal child nutrition programs. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West are also working to offer additional nutrition-related programs and activities as part of Breakfast after the Bell using a combination of Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab and Go.
4.2Staff Qualifications and Professional Development
All school nutrition directors, managers and staff will meet or exceed hiring and annual continuing education/training requirements in the USDA professional standards for child nutrition professionals. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West school nutrition personnel will attend the USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Standards training that meets staff members’ learning needs. Professional development will be given by JTC Academy’s admin team annually.
All reimbursable meals served for the purposes of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) must meet or exceed USDA nutrition standards and regulations. This includes meeting standards for each of the meal pattern components (i.e. Grains, Meat/Meat Alternates, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk) as well as meeting or exceeding the limitations set for calories, sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West both provide salad bars with fresh fruit and vegetables. Schools are also encouraged to permit all full-day students a daily lunch period. No exempt fundraiser foods or beverages may be sold in competition with school meals in the food service area during the meal service at JTC East or JTC West. JTC currently does not hold fundraisers. However, if fundraisers are considered at a later time, JTC Academy shall utilize non-food fundraisers to promote healthy habits and well-being.
All competitive foods and beverages sold must comply with the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards (7 CFR 210.31(c)(3)(iii)). Competitive foods and beverages refer to those that are sold to students outside the reimbursable meal on the school campus (i.e. locations on the school campus that are accessible to students) during the school day (i.e. the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day). This includes, but is not limited to, vending machine, school stores and à la carte items. A summary of the standards and information, as well as a Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools are available at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cn/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation provides a set of tools to assist with implementation of Smart Snacks available at www.foodplanner.healthiergeneration.org.
4.5Other Foods and Beverages
All foods offered on the school campus during the school day are encouraged to meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West policy discourages any food/beverage used as a reward and instead encourages staff to explore alternatives to food for celebrations and incentive programs. Providing alternatives to food as a reward promotes healthier habits by reducing exposure to less nutritious food items and, therefore, the amount of calorie-dense food items consumed (e.g. cakes, cookies, candy, etc.). This helps youth develop improved food preferences and hunger cues to carry them throughout life. For ideas on non-food alternatives, please review Constructive Classroom Rewards Bonus Tip Sheet from The Quick & Easy Guide to School Wellness from the Healthy Schools Campaign.
More than 25 percent of each youth’s daily calories may come from snacks, therefore, providing Smart Snacks allows for a more nutrient-dense calorie intake.
To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to all students
throughout the school day at both JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West both make drinking water available where school meals are served during mealtimes.
All grades 8 and below fundraisers promoting food and/or beverage items that are held on school campus (i.e. locations on the school campus that are accessible to students) during the school day (i.e. the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day) must meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards. For school year 2015-16 and after, the number of exempted fundraising days shall be:
Prohibited in participating schools with grades 8 and below;
Limited to no more than nine exempted fundraising days for participating schools with grades 9 through 12.
All School Staff must apply to the District by completing a Food Fundraiser Exemption Request Form at least 30 days prior to the anticipated date.
No exempt fundraiser foods or beverages may be sold in competition with school meals in the food service area during the meal service in any District school. The school shall also utilize non-food fundraisers to promote healthy habits and well-being. For ideas, please see the Action for Healthy Kids Tip Sheet on Healthy Fundraisers.
Section 5. Nutrition Education and Promotion
Nutrition promotion and education positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by using evidence-based techniques and nutrition messages, and by creating food environments that encourage healthy nutrition choices and encourage participation in school meal programs. Students and staff will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout schools, classrooms, gymnasiums, and cafeterias. Nutrition promotion also includes marketing and advertising nutritious foods and beverages to students and is most effective when implemented consistently through a comprehensive and multi-channel approach by school staff, teachers, parents, students and the community.
JTC Academy will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus, as well as encourage participation in school meal programs. This promotion will occur through at least:
Implementing evidence-based healthy food promotion techniques through the school meal programs using Smarter Lunchroom techniques; and Ensuring 100% of foods and beverages promoted to students meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. JTC Academy shall implement nutrition promotion techniques through multiple channels, including the cafeteria, classroom, and home. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West shall make cafeteria menus and nutrition information available through the following platforms: School website, posted in cafeteria, e-mailed to classroom teachers for posting.
The JTC Academy shall participate in the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement and implement the following Smarter Lunchrooms techniques:
Daily fruit options are displayed in a location in the line of sight and reach of students.
Fruit is offered in at least two locations on all service lines, one of which is right before the point of sale.
Sliced or cut fruit is offered.
White milk is placed in front of other beverages in all coolers.
Student artwork is displayed in the service and/or dining areas.
Implement a Share Table to reduce food waste
Daily announcements are used to promote and market menu options.
Alternative entrée options (e.g., salad bar, yogurt parfaits, etc.) are highlighted on posters or signs within all service and dining areas.
Students are offered a taste test of a new entrée at least once a year.
Students provide feedback (Informal to Fred and also in Youth Advocacy meetings) to inform menu development.
JTC Academy will teach, model, encourage and support healthy eating by all students. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health. All JUMP staff will teach, model, encourage and support healthy eating by all students. JTC Academy and Transitional Center Case Managers will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that: In accordance with the Illinois Learning Standards, JTC Academy shall meet all Illinois requirements and standards for Health Education. JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West shall include nutrition education within the health education curriculum and integrate nutrition education into other core subjects, as appropriate. Various grade levels and curriculums shall use nutrition education information, research, and materials from the following resources: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate, Team Nutrition, and OrganWise Guys
The JTC Academy prohibits the marketing and advertising of all foods and beverages that do not meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards on the school campus (i.e. locations on the school campus that are accessible to students) during the school day (i.e. the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day). The marketing standards described above apply, but are not limited to, oral, written, and graphic statements made for promotional purposes. Items subject to marketing requirements include, but are not limited to, posters, menu boards, vending machines, coolers, trash cans, scoreboards, and other equipment. This policy does not require schools to immediately replace equipment that does not meet this requirement, however, the agency shall implement these standards as equipment needs replaced in the future.
Section 6. Physical Activity
Physical activity is a key component of the health and well-being of all students. Physical activity lowers the risk for certain diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Physical activity also helps improve brain function, allowing students to perform better in school. The District is committed to quality physical education as the foundation; physical activity before, during and after school; staff involvement and family and community engagement opportunities. It is encouraged that physical activity during the school day (including but not limited to recess, classroom physical activity breaks or physical education) will not be withheld as punishment for any reason, [This does not include participation on sports teams that have specific academic requirements]. The agency will provide staff with a list of ideas for alternative ways to discipline students and discourage assigning physical activity as student punishment. To the extent practicable, the agency will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe, and that equipment is available to youth to be active. The agency will conduct necessary inspections and repairs.
In accordance with the Illinois Learning Standards, JTC Academy East and JTC Academy West shall meet all Illinois requirements and standards for Physical Education. Physical education will enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain physical fitness. All students will be provided equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes. JTC Academy will make appropriate accommodations to allow for equitable participation for all students and will adapt physical education classes and equipment as necessary.
6.2Other Opportunities for Physical Education
Physical activity is a key component of the health and well-being of all adolescents. Physical activity lowers the risk for certain diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The organization recognizes this connection and commits to promoting and providing opportunities for physical activity to the extent practicable. The residential component of the JUMP Program holds tournaments on weekends and daily access to the gym with supervised and structured planned activities.
The organization shall include the following physical activity opportunities each day: Daily access to gym and weekend sports tournaments agency-wide.
The following opportunities for participation in community-based physical activity opportunities shall be offered to students each year:
Community Rec Center
Weekend outings at physical activity related trips to places such as Sky Zone or Top Golf
Group sports for youth on levels A and B
Staff members shall promote and encourage students and/or residents to participate in physical activity opportunities and the organization shall provide safe facilities and equipment to support physical activity efforts. In addition to providing various opportunities for physical activity on both a daily and annual basis, the organization will not withhold participation in physical activity opportunities as punishment.
6.3Other Wellness-Based Activities
In order to further establish positive behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity, and health, the agency commits to making additional wellness-based activities available to all youth beyond the cafeteria and gymnasium. The Agency will work to offer other activities to support student health and wellness, including coordinated events and clubs. The residential agency will continue and develop additional relationships with community partners (e.g., hospitals, universities/colleges, local businesses, SNAP-Ed providers and coordinators, etc.) in support of this wellness policy’s implementation.
6.3Other Activities that Promote Wellness
The JUMP Program’s wellness approach is a comprehensive in its intent to provide adolescents with the tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle. In order to further establish positive behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity, and health, the organization commits to making additional wellness-based activities available to all students and/or residents.
The organization shall offer coordinated events that promote wellness in order to support overall health. The following events shall be organized and promoted each year:
[List all wellness-based events or practices implemented by the organization. Examples include health fairs, staff wellness activities, guest speakers, TV turnoff week, new food “try days,” and 5K runs or walks.]
Section 7. Staff Wellness and Health Promotion
Transitional Center and JTC Academy both promote staff participation in school health promotion programs and activities. The executive leadership team understand the importance of promoting strategies that support staff in modeling healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. When feasible, annual professional learning opportunities and resources for staff to increase knowledge and skills about promoting healthy behaviors in the youth residential facility and JTC Academy.
Board Approved and Adopted: June 20, 2017
Wellness Committee Updated: September 10, 2018
Wellness Committee Updated: September 10, 2019
Wellness Committee Updated: May 12, 2022
Wellness Committee Updated: June 23, 2022