Rules Governing Nutrition/Physical Activity
The standards established to set the requirements and procedures for governing nutrition and physical standards and body mass index for age assessment protocols in Arkansas Public Schools were developed as a result of the Arkansas General Assembly's passage of Act 1220 of 2003. Since that time, the rules established in 2003 were amended in 2005 and most recently in February 2012. The current version of the rules can be found through the following link.
The nutritional and physical activity guidelines followed by Fort Smith Public Schools are updated every year depending upon changes in federal and state regulations.
Act 1220 of 2003 acknowledges concerns for the health of all Arkansas children. Following recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Medical Society, one facet of Act 1220's intervention approach was the annual assessment and confidential reporting to parents of each public school student’s Body Mass Index (BMI), a screening tool for obesity. The BMI assessment's primary purpose is to alert parents to the problems of obesity by giving them a health marker. Secondarily, this information is collected and used as a surveillance tool regarding the spread of the obesity epidemic and as a method to monitor weight trends among children throughout the state. Analysis of the2018-2019 BMI assessment was published in NOVEMBER 2019: ASSESSMENT OF CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENT OBESITY IN ARKANSAS: YEAR SIXTEEN
The BMI screening of height and weight applies to students in kindergarten and grades two (2), four (4), six (6), eight (8), and ten (10). The assessment begins in January of each academic school year. Parents/guardians are informed prior to the screening and given an opportunity to opt-out in writing.
Nutritional Guidelines adopted by the Fort Smith Public Schools are located in the Student Handbook. A provision impacting both student nutrition and student health can be found in the Student Health section of the Student Handbook: Due to the possibility of choking, no hard candy will be allowed in school.
Questions, concerns, or inquiries regarding Fort Smith School's Wellness Policy can be addressed to Leigh Christian, Director of Child Nutrition.