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Wellness Policy

Health & Wellness

Policy Overview

As a standard of care, Fall River Deaconess Home recognizes that children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive.

Good health fosters student attendance and educational progress. In designing Fall River Deaconess Home’s Wellness Policies on Physical Activity and Nutrition, the following is taken into consideration: obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity; heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States. The major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity often are established in childhood and adolescence.

Fall River Deaconess Home is committed to providing a school and residential environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of Fall River Deaconess Home that:

All students will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.

Foods and beverages served will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dinners will also follow the nutrition and portion guidelines of myplate.gov.

The Food Services Department / Cook / Health and Nutrition Services Coordinator will provide students with access to a variety of nutritious and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.

The Health Services, Residential, and Education staff will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and the meal program.

To achieve these policy goals:

I.  Nutritional quality of foods and beverages served at Fall River Deaconess Home

Meals served will:

Be appealing and attractive to students;

Be served in clean and pleasant settings;

Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;

Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;

Offer alternatives to students with specific medically based nutritional restrictions or needs

Include only low-fat (1%) milk and skim milk; and, if required, nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA) will be made available.

Ensure that most of the served grains are whole grain.

The Health and Nutrition Services Coordinator will be responsible for the program which includes but is not limited to:

  • At least three meals and two snacks will be provided daily constituting a nutritionally adequate diet.
  • Meals shall be prepared and served in a manner, amount and at times appropriate to the nutritional needs of the students.
  • Individualized diets will be maintained for students with medical conditions that require specific nutrition adjustment.

Fall River Deaconess Home will share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents, guardians and students upon request.   The wellness policy will be posted on the F.R. Deaconess Home website.

Meal Times and Scheduling

Meals are scheduled for 30 minute periods at appropriate times, (breakfast between 6 a.m. and 8:45 a.m.; lunch between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.; supper between 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)

Residents in the redirection process during the first lunch period (12:00 to 12:30 p.m.) will be offered lunch at the second lunch period (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m).

Meals should not be schedule during tutoring, groups, student organizational meetings or activities.

Residents will be provided access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks.

Qualifications of School Food Service Staff

The Cook will be Serve Safe certified. As part of Fall River Deaconess Home’s responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals.  Staff in-service programs will include training programs for staff involved in the preparation and serving of food.

Sharing of Foods and Beverages

Fall River Deaconess Home prohibits students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some resident’s diets.

Foods/Beverages Sold Individually

Fall River Deaconess Home does not provide Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte [snack] lines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.).  Students, at times, are allowed to purchase food/beverage items while off grounds for store walks or allowed to have these items purchased for them by their advocate or parent(s). Residents are permitted to keep single serve store package sealed snacks in their cubbies. During the 3:00 pm snack break, residents are allowed to have one of these single serving items. During such times, staff will make every effort to encourage healthy food choices or quantity of items purchased.

Fundraising Activities

Fall River Deaconess Home does not participate in fundraising activities that involve food.

II.  Nutrition Education 

Nutrition education and promotion

Fall River Deaconess Home aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students.  Fall River Deaconess Home provides nutrition education and engages in nutrition promotion that:

  • Is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential and comprehensive program designed to provide residents with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health. This is presented as a component during health education classes, and during the Preparing Youth for Adulthood (PAYA) after school Department of Children and Families program.
  • Is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences
  • Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices
  • Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise)

III.  Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

 All students will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis. Additionally, physical education is included as a curriculum requirement for all students in school at Fall River Deaconess Home.

Physical Education:

Physical education classes offer opportunities for students to learn, develop and practice various social skills and foster personal growth.  These objectives are accomplished through cooperative activities, active games and fitness exercises.

Students learn the major sport skill areas of throwing, kicking, catching and striking, though focus is on the broad sense of the skill, rather than sport-specific skill.  Participation of all residents is encouraged and expected, as is appropriate, and active participation of staff.

Physical Activity/Recreational Activity:

Extracurricular school activities, physical education and the use of selected community cultural and recreational resources are encouraged. Recreation and physical exercise are recognized as an essential ingredient of good emotional and physical well being. Both childcare staff and residents have input into the activity program.

There are typically 28 hours of planned activities scheduled each week out side of school time.  Physical activities routinely within this schedule include out door activities such as kick ball, volley ball and softball skill development and indoor activities such as dance karaoke, yoga, and bowling.

Annual seasonal extracurricular recreational/physical activities will usually include a one day ski trip, bike trail ride, hiking events, participation in local softball leagues, and an overnight camping trip.

Physical Activity and Punishment:

Fall River Deaconess Home does not use physical activity (i.e. running, pushups, etc.) or withhold opportunities to participate in Physical Education or other structured recreation activities as a means of punishment.

Residents participate in activities and physical education according to their current level of function and treatment plan.

IV.   Parent and Related Community Liaisons Participation in Wellness Policy

The Wellness Policy will be provided to parents/guardians within the Parent Policy manual at the time of admission of the student to the

Fall River Deaconess Home. When revised, the revised policy will be provided to parents/guardians in a timely manner; and, the Parent

Manual updated.

Nutrition and healthy eating are discussed at intake during the admission health assessment with the adolescent, guardians and placing agency liaison(s).

Wellness and nutrition are planned for at the 30 day Initial Treatment Plan Meeting which includes the above individuals and the referring school representative. Wellness and nutrition are reviewed at each quarterly progress review thereafter.

IIV.  Wellness Committee, Monitoring and Policy Review

Wellness Committee

The Fall River Deaconess Home Wellness Committee members include the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, Admissions Director, Director of Professional Services, Educational Coordinator, Health Services Coordinator and parents.

The Wellness Committee will meet routinely at the beginning of the regular school year in September. A parent invitation letter will be sent to provide advance notification.

A Wellness Committee meeting during the school year will be scheduled after school during the school year to encourage parent participation (usually a Friday after school).

The Wellness Committee will meet additionally as needed during each calendar year.


The Health and Nutrition Services Coordinator or designee along with the Wellness Committee will monitor compliance with Fall River Deaconess Home’s established wellness policies and will ensure that such policies remain current with national, as well as local standards.

Policy Review

To assist in the initial development of the wellness policies, the Fall River Deaconess Home Wellness Committee reviewed the existing nutrition, food service and physical activity/education environments and policies and established the Wellness Policy.

Review of the Wellness Policy shall be repeated at least once every three years to help ensure policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.  As part of that review, nutrition and physical activity policies, provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity, and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements will be assessed.  Fall River Deaconess Home, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.

Wellness Policy Goal/Objective 2014-2015

Deaconess Home works with the student and family to provide healthy nutrition, nutrition education and an increase in exercise to maintain or improve wellness parameters – vital signs, BMI.

Adolescents with health issues such as elevated cholesterol, diabetes Type II or blood pressure elevation related to being overweight or obese have health treatment plans and goals to improve and, or resolve these health issues.

Deaconess Home nursing staff monitor vital signs, height, weight and body mass index of students at routine periods of time throughout each students’ admission. These health parameters are reviewed at initial treatment meetings, quarterly progress reviews and as needed.

The effectiveness of our wellness policy will be assessed by the

ongoing measurement of body mass index within the residential population during the regular school year. A measurable reduction in body mass index toward the norm for height, age, and sex will indicate that our goal is being met.