Wellness Policy - BP 5040

  • Healthy Students, Ready to Learn

    Promoting Healthy Behaviors


    Anchorage School District launched the Wellness Policy program to encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity in schools.

  • Two Trailside Elementary students play a game during recess. Two Trailside Elementary students play a game during recess. (Robert DeBerry/ASD)


    “Schools are an ideal setting for teaching young people how to adopt and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.”
    - Alaska DHSS



    The Anchorage School District is providing learning opportunities to support positive behaviors by implementing wellness practices and using effective physical and health education curriculums.


    There is evidence to support the fact that healthy students perform better in school. For example, student participation in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Breakfast Program (SBP) is associated with increased academic grades and standardized test scores, reduced absenteeism, and improved cognitive performance (e.g., memory).1 Similarly, students who are physically active in school tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviors (e.g., on-task behavior).1


    Although there are many aspects of a healthy school environment, the Wellness Policy focuses on the school nutrition environment, physical education and physical activity. These three areas are particularly important because of the effect they have on the health of students now and throughout their lives. The ASD has outlined clear actions that can be taken in schools that will help students make healthy choices.


    Wellness Policy - BP 5040

    • Maintain overall integrity of K-5 ELA/Reading intent
    • 10 minutes seating time to eat breakfast
    • 20 minutes seated time to eat lunch
    • 54 minutes of physical activity (90% of the CDC recommendation) are provided every day, which includes 30 minutes of recess and a combination of physical education, school-wide activities and in-classroom activities.


    Schools participate in an evaluation process that engages various stakeholders (parents, students, staff, etc.).


    Pilot Project Director: Dr. Mark J. Stock, Deputy Superintendent  (2017-2022) 
    Project Implementation Lead: Melanie Sutton, Coordinator, Health and Physical Education


    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health and Academic Achievement. Atlanta, GA: US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2014.