School Nutrition Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Synergy Academies announced an amendment to its policy for serving meals to students under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs for the 1819 school year. All students will be served meals at no charge at the following sites:
Synergy Quantum Academy: 300 E. 53rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90011 –Lunch
Synergy Kinetic Academy: 1420 E. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90011 – Lunch
Synergy Charter Academy: 900 E. 33rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90011 – Breakfast and Lunch
For additional information please contact: Synergy Academies Attention: Christina Vogel, COO/Food Services Director, 900 E. 33rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90011
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of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
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(1) correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
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Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.
Synergy Academies is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of Synergy Academies that:
- The schools will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing Synergy Academies-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.
- All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
- Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Qualified child nutrition professionals associated with the National School Lunch Program will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; the organization will take into consideration the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
- To the maximum extent practicable, all schools in Synergy Academies will participate in the National School Lunch Program.
- Schools will provide physical activity and will work with a National School Lunch Program vendor to provide nutrition education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity. The schools will establish linkages between health education, school meal programs, and related community services.
TO ACHIEVE THESE POLICY GOALS
I. Creation of Wellness Committee
Synergy Academies will organize a Wellness Committee to monitor and advise on policies that impact school nutrition and physical activity. The committee will serve as a resource to Synergy Academies for implementing those policies.
Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
- be appealing and attractive to children;
- 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;
- no more than 30% of total calories from fat, averaged over a week;
- no more the 10% of total calories from saturated fat, averaged over a week;
- serve only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA); and
- ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
Schools should engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. In addition, schools should share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. Such information could be made
available on menus, a website, on cafeteria menu boards, placards, or other point-of-purchase materials.
To ensure that all children have breakfast, Schools will encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.
Free and Reduced-priced Meals
Schools 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. Toward this end, schools may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income based on the Provision 2 Program; promote the availability of school meals to all students.
Summer Food Service Program
Synergy Academies will advertise neighborhood locations sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program. This program offers free lunches to anyone visiting the meal program location during service hours.
Meal Times and Scheduling
- will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for each meal;
- Should schedule meal periods at appropriate times and in coordination with the co-located schools on campus;
- should not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
- will schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools);
- will provide students access to hand washing in student restrooms before they eat meals;
- should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff
Synergy Academies is a designated Food Service Authority or FSA for operating the meal programs. Qualified professionals will administer the school meal programs. We will provide continuing professional development for all food service staff, including appropriate certification and/or training programs.
Nutritional Guidelines for all Food Served at Schools
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) in Section 9(a)(4), 42 U.S.C. 1758(a)(4), requires that school meals reflect the latest ‘‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans’’ (Dietary Guidelines). On January 13, 2011, USDA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (76 FR 2494) to update the meal patterns and nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to align them with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines:
- Offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components;
- Offer fruit daily at breakfast and lunch;
- Offer vegetables daily at lunch, including specific vegetable subgroups weekly (dark green, orange, legumes, and other as defined in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines) and a limited quantity of starchy vegetables throughout the week;
- Offer whole grains: half of the grains would be whole grain-rich upon implementation of the rule and all grains would be whole-grain rich two years post implementation;
- Offer a daily meat/meat alternate at breakfast;
- Offer fluid milk that is fat-free (unflavored and flavored) and low-fat (unflavored only);
- Offer meals that meet specific calorie ranges for each age/grade group;
- Reduce the sodium content of meals gradually over a 10-year period through two intermediate sodium targets at two and four years post implementation;
- Prepare meals using food products or ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fat per serving;
- Require students to select a fruit or a vegetable as part of the reimbursable meal;
- Use a single food-based menu planning approach; and
- Use narrower age/grade groups for menu planning.
Snacks or suppers served in the after-school care program at Synergy Charter Academy and Synergy Kinetic Academy will make a positive contribution to children's diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and milk as the primary beverage. Our schools are served the supper by LAUSD since our schools are co-located on LAUSD campuses. The supper also meets required federal nutrition standards as they are served through the Child and Adult Care Supper Program.
Competitive Foods and Beverages
Competitive foods and beverages are items that are sold to students on school campus, during the school day, outside of and in competition with the federally reimbursable meal programs. Examples of competitive foods and beverages include those sold during the school day in vending machines (that are not reimbursable meals), student stores, á la carte items. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Smart Snacks in School (SSIS) rule regulates what is allowable as a competitive food or beverage.
Synergy Academies does not offer competitive foods and beverages. All food and beverage is offered to all three schools through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program (at Synergy Charter Academy and Synergy Quantum Academy). Synergy schools will comply with all state and federal regulations for charter schools governing competitive foods as outlined by the California Department of Education (Attachment A).
The Smart Snacks in School (SSIS) rule allows state agencies to consider “special exemptions for school-sponsored fundraisers during the school day if the fundraisers are approved by the school and are infrequent within the school. The California Department of Education has set zero as the number of exempt school day fundraisers.
Food and beverage items sold for fundraising activities outside of the school are not required to comply with the nutrition standards if the foods will not be consumed on school property (Attachment A). The schools will make an effort to develop fundraising activities that will not involve food. Schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity.
Schools should not use foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.
Schools should limit celebrations that involve food during the school day. Celebrations should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above).
III. Nutrition Education and Promotion
Synergy Academies aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools shall consider nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
- provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
- includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities such as taste testing with the food services vendor, farm visits, and school gardens;
- 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);
- links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
- teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; and
- includes training for school staff.
Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting
For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:
- When appropriate, discussions in classrooms relating to health 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;
- Staff will look for opportunities to incorporate physical activity and/or movement into other subject lessons and will do so when able; and
Communications with Parents
Synergy Academies/school will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. Synergy Academies will work with the food services vendor to offer taste tests and healthy eating information for parents, send home nutrition information, and provide nutrient analyses of school menus upon request. Schools 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.
Synergy Academies will support parents' efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. Synergy Academies will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activities before, during, and after the school day when those opportunities arise.
Food Marketing in Schools
Synergy Academies does not participate in school-based marketing but if it decides to in the future, it will be consistent with nutrition education, health promotion and nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
Synergy Academies highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and supports activities and policies that encourage staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Physical Activity During the School Day
Synergy Academies offers organized play and physical activities to students in K-12 throughout the school year.
Physical Activity Opportunities After School
- The high school will offer interscholastic sports programs. Schools will offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special health-care needs.
- After-school and enrichment programs at the elementary and middle school will provide and encourage daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.
Physical Activity and Punishment
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.
The Wellness Committee will ensure compliance with established Synergy Academies-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. In each school, the principal will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school's compliance to the Wellness Committee.
School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the Wellness Committee (or if done at the school level, to the school principal).
The Wellness Committee will develop a summary report every three years on Synergy Academies-wide compliance with Synergy Academies established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within Synergy Academies. That report will be provided to the school board and also distributed to the school principals and the school community of Synergy Academies.
To help with the initial development of the Synergy Academies wellness policies, each school in the Synergy Academies will conduct a baseline assessment of the school's existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies. The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled to identify and prioritize needs.
Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. Synergy Academies will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.
Each school shall post the district’s Wellness Policy in public view within all school cafeterias or in other central eating areas. (Education Code 49432).
Board Revised and Approved: 11/19/16