04/29/15 New Wellness Policy Calls for Adults to Model Wellness, Phase Out “Benched Recess” and Chocolate Milk

New Wellness Policy Calls for Adults to Model Wellness, Phase Out “Benched Recess” and Chocolate Milk

Press release

San Francisco (April 29, 2015) – The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has updated its wellness policy, which includes recommendations related to nutrition, nutrition education, food and beverage marketing, physical education, physical activity, and staff wellness.

“We cannot talk about equity for our students if we aren’t paying attention to what they’re eating and providing them with opportunities for physical activity. Too many children in the U.S. are getting diseases that could be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise. We have the ability to say this will not happen to our students here in San Francisco,” said Superintendent Richard A. Carranza.

The policy provides a framework to help school administrators promote student health and wellness. Highlights of the updated policy include:

District officials expect some of these changes to take several years to complete.

“In keeping with the Board’s longstanding commitment to comprehensive student wellness, the updated wellness policy is ambitious because of the powerful connections it draws between health and academic achievement and its commitment to help students establish lifelong healthy behavior patterns,” said Board President Emily Murase.

National Leader in School Wellness

SFUSD’s first wellness policy was adopted in 2003, a year before school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program were mandated to adopt one. Since then, the requirements established by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 has been further updated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).

Over the course of the last two years, the SFUSD Food and Fitness Advisory Committee, which is comprised of families, staff, students, city agencies, and nonprofit organizations, developed recommendations for a revised wellness policy.

The updated wellness policy incorporates the Board of Education’s policy guidelines from the resolution Feeding Every Hungry Child in the SFUSD and supports developing a policy that allows all students to eat breakfast during their first class of the school day, a practice already in place at many schools.


Page updated on 04/29/15

  • School parties will be scheduled only after lunchtime.
  • A reiteration of the existing policy that no student shall be denied a school meal because of an inability to pay.
  • Withholding recess is not an option for dealing with behavioral issues. SFUSD will explore ways to phase out chocolate milk.
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages will not be sold or served to SFUSD students, staff or families at any time on any district property.
  • Schools will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus.
  • All vending machines on district property, including schools and central offices, shall adhere to SFUSD’s nutrition guidelines. Adult vending machines may contain unsweetened coffee or tea beverages.

This page was last updated on June 29, 2021