One of the most frequent questions from users is, "Which states have exemplary policies on a given topic?" To provide some guidance, the NASBE Center for Safe and Healthy Schools has highlighted selected policies that other states might want to consider using as models. "Staff Picks" offer policy concepts, strategies, and phrases that policy developers might consider adapting, but always keep in mind that each state's education governance structure, needs, circumstances, and policy traditions are different. Some states have few state-level policies; others have many. Some policies are general; others are very detailed. Effective policymaking is not accomplished through a "one type fits all" approach. Every policy needs to be custom tailored to fit its unique context.

Curriculum and Instruction
Health Education
     Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Mandates: California has several specific requirements for health education. Education Code 51210 (1976/2001) requires instruction in grades 1 through 6 in "health, including instruction in the principles and practices of individual, family, and community health." Education Code 51934 (2003) requires HIV/AIDS prevention instruction to all pupils in grades 7 to 12 at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school. Education Code 51220.5 (1992/1993) requires parenting education to be included in either grade 7 or grade 8. Education Code 51262 (1986/1994) encourages a lesson on the effects of anabolic steroids in grades 7 to 12. Education Code 51202 (1976/1992) requires instruction on personal and public safety and accident prevention; the effects of the use of tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, dangerous drugs, and other dangerous substances; venereal disease; and prenatal care at the appropriate elementary and secondary grade levels." A number of other provisions to support effective substance abuse and gang prevention are contained in Education Codes 51260 to 51269 (1986/90).

     Last Updated: 1/11/2010

Mandate: Delaware State Board of Education Administrative Code 14:851 (2009) requires schools to provide instruction to students in grades K-12 in health education and to follow the Delaware Health Education Standards (2008). Students in grades K-4 must receive a minimum of 30 hours of comprehensive health education and family life education" in each grade. The health education requirement increases to 35 hours in grade 5 and grade 6, and a total 60 hours within grades 7 and 8. Administrative Code 14:505 (2004) requires high school students to complete 1/2 credit in health education coursework in order to graduate.

District of Columbia
     Last Updated: 4/22/2013

Mandate: Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires all schools to provide health instruction within a planned, sequential, pre-K-12 comprehensive school health education curriculum that includes the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health and well-being. The Rule defines comprehensive school health education and specifies eleven required content areas (specified under Curriculum content).

Section 402 § 38-824.02 requires public schools and public charter schools to provide health education to students in Grades Kindergarten through 8 as follows: (1) School years 2010-2011 to 2013-2014: an average of at least 15 minutes per week or the same level of health education as provided in school year 2009-2010, whichever is greater; and (2) School year 2014-2015 and after: an average of at least 75 minutes per week.

Section 602 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires that on or before January 15 of each year, each public school and public charter school must submit information about the average amount of weekly health education that students receive in each grade to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. This information must be posted online if the school has a website and make the form available to parents in its office. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education is required to post the information on its website within 14 days of receipt.

Curriculum Content:  Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires instruction in the following content areas of health education: HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; Human sexuality and family; Prevention and control of disease; Nutrition and dietary patterns that contribute to disease; Tobacco, alcohol, and other drug education; Physical education; Parenting; Coping with life situations; CPR, first aid, safety; injury and violence prevention; Consumer health; and Environmental health.

Section 402 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 states that the health education required by this section shall meet the curricular standards adopted by the State Board of Education. DC State Board of Education adopted Health Education Standards in 2007.

New Jersey
     Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Mandate:   N.J.S.A.  18A:35-7 (1967) requires every pupil, except those in kindergarten, attending public schools to take courses in health education. N.J.S.A. 18A:35-8 (1967) require that all students in grades one through twelve participate in 150 minutes of instruction in health, safety, and physical education in each school week.  State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1 (2002) clarifies this to mean that high school students must earn at least 3.75 credits in health, safety, and physical education during each year of enrollment (a total of 110 credits are required to graduate).

New Jersey has also legislated a number of content-specific mandates, including instruction on breast self examination in grades 7-12 (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.4, 1999); Lyme disease prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5.1, 1991); accident and fire prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-2, 1967); suicide prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-112 (2005); domestic violence prevention (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.23 (2003), and cancer awareness (N.J.S.A. 18A:40-32 and 18A:40-33, 1993). N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-4.3 (2008) also requires secondary schools to provide curriculum regarding the donation of lifesaving and life enhancing organs and tissues, as well as dispelling myths, providing accurate information about donation, and emphasizing indivudal responsibility.   

Other: State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.7 provides that “portions of classes which deal exclusively with human sexuality may be conducted in separate developmentally appropriate sessions for male and female students, provided that the course content for such separately conducted sessions is the same.”

North Carolina
     Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Mandate: Statute §115C-81 (2003) requires North Carolina schools to provide comprehensive health education in Kindergarten through grade 9, though the law does not specify amounts of instructional time. State Board of Education Policy GCS-N-004 16 NCAC 6D.0503 (2002) requires high school students to complete 1 credit (out of 20) in health and physical education in order to graduate. (Details are also provided in NC Course of Study Graduation Requirements table.

Curriculum Content: North Carolina's Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) includes standards and a recommended curriculum which districts are expected to follow.



State Assessment Requirement: None specified.

South Carolina
     Last Updated: 6/3/2012

Mandate: The Comprehensive Health Education Act Code of Laws 59-32-30 (2002) requires students in grades Kindergarten through 8 to receive instruction in health each year, and for students in grades 9 through 12 to receive instruction at least once.  Time requirements are 75 minutes weekly for elementary school, and 250 minutes per week for nine weeks for middle school. For grades 9-12, at least at least one time during the four years each student must receive instruction in comprehensive health education, including at least 750 minutes of reproductive health education and pregnancy prevention education. State Board of Education Regulation R 43-238 (1992) provides various options for the delivery of instruction in grades 9-12, although students are not explicitly required to take health in order to graduate.

     Last Updated: 11/6/2012

Mandate: Education Code §28.002 (2001) requires instruction in health education as part of the “enrichment curriculum” for Kindergarten through grade 12, subject to additional rules by the Texas State Board of Education. State Board of Education Administrative Code §74.1 (1998) specifies that each “district must ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and for students to learn… health [and] physical education” in grades K-8, but at the high school level school districts only need to offer a health course and maintain evidence that students have the opportunity to take the course. Per State Board of Education Administrative Code §74.41 (2010), high school students must earn at least ½ credits in health education or health science in order to graduate.



Physical Education
     Last Updated: 6/16/2011

MandateStatute 1003.455 (2007) requires each school district board to provide 150 minutes of physical education each week for students in grades K-5. This was expanded in 2008 to include the requirement for students in grade 6 who are enrolled in a school that contains one or more elementary grades. It requires instruction to be at least 30 consecutive minutes on any day physical education instruction is given. Beginning with the 2009-10 school year, students in grades 6-8 are required to complete the equivalent of one class period per day of physical education for one semester of each school year.

     Last Updated: 12/26/2012

Mandate: 105 ILCS 5/27-5 (1996) mandates all school boards to provide for instruction and training in physical education of students in their schools. 105 ILCS 5/27-6 (1996) also states that students enrolled in public schools must engage in a course of physical education daily during the school day. A school board may, however, authorize an exemption for students in grades 11 and 12 for reasons specified in the Statute. Public 105 ILCS 5/27-7 (2005) requires the physical education course of study to include the development of movement skills, enhancing health-related fitness, increasing student knowledge, encouraging healthy habits and attitudes, and offering opportunities to learn how to work in cooperative group settings. The course of study must also provide students with an appropriate amount of daily physical activity as part of the regular curriculum.

Public Act 097-1102 creates a task force to promote and recommend enhanced physical education programs that can be integrated with a broader wellness strategy and health curriculum in elementary and secondary schools in this state. Some strategies that the task force is to look at include: educating and promoting leadership on enhanced physical education among school district and school officials; developing and utilizing metrics to assess the impact of enhanced physical education; promoting training and professional development in enhanced physical education for teachers and other school and community stakeholders;  and identifying and seeking local, State, and national resources to support enhanced physical education. The task force must make recommendations, based on neuroscience research on physical activity and learning, to the Governor and the General Assembly on the Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health. The task force is co-chaired by the state superintendent of schools and state health director. The new task force builds on the work of a voluntary task force, which produced the Illinois Enhanced Physical Education Strategic Plan (2012), which provides a roadmap for implementing the vision that all Illinois K-12 students participate in daily, high-quality physical education.

     Last Updated: 9/9/2009

Mandate: Code 37-13-134 (2007) requires the following for physical education: 150 minutes weekly of activity based instruction as defined by the State Board of Education instruction for K-8 and half of a Carnegie unit of physical activity or physical education for graduation (grades 9-12). State Board of Education Policy 4012 (2008) defines physical education, physical activity and activity based instruction further stipulates that of the required 150 minutes of activity based instruction, the total number of minutes of physical education may not be under 50 minutes per week for grades K-8.

     Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Mandate: Statute 70-11-103.9 (2007) requires school districts provide all students with physical education programs, which may include athletics. It specifically requires that all public elementary schools, grades K-5, provide instruction in physical education or exercise program for a minimum of an average of 60 minutes per week.  Recess time may not be counted toward the physical education requirement.  The statute strongly encourages, but does not require, districts to provide physical education instruction to students in grades 6-12.  Statute 70-11-103.6 (2005) strongly recommends, but does not require, high schools encourage students to complete two units of health and physical education.

     Last Updated: 9/18/2013

Mandate: OAR 581-022-1210  (2005) requires school districts to provide a K-12 instructional program that includes physical education.  OAR OAR 581-022-1130 OAR (2002) requires high school students to complete 1 unit of coursework in physical education in order to graduate. ORS 329.496 (2007) requires that every public school student in grades K-8 will participate in physical education for the entire school year.  Students in grades K-5 are required to participate in physical education for at least 150 minutes each week.  Students in grades 6-8 are required to participate in physical education for at least 225 minutes each week.  School districts are required to devote at least 50 percent of physical education class time to actual physical activity.  Full compliance is required by the 2017-2018 school year.

     Last Updated: 9/24/2009

Mandate: Education Code 28.002 (2007) requires students in grades K-5 to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year. This may be accomplished through the physical education curriculum or daily recess. Students in grades 6-8 are required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity (as a part of the physical education curriculum) for at least 30 minutes for at least four semesters.  If this is impractical due to scheduling or other factors, the district may require a student to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for 135 minutes per week or 225 minutes per two weeks on a block schedule.

Health Promoting Environment
Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Additional Accountability Requirements Act 1220 of 2003 (codified as Codes 6-7-117 through 6-7-119) pre-dates Section 204 and is generally stronger than the federal requirements. The Act, with the  State Board of Education’s Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards  and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012),includes the following accountability requirements for each school district: establish a Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee to advise the school board; administer CDC's School Health Index: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide; measure, on an annual basis, each student's body-mass index (BMI) and send parents/guardians a Confidential Child Health Report that contains results and guidance; develop a district Wellness Priority Plan that includes goal statements, benchmarks, interventions, and planned actions based on data collected from the School Health Index and BMI assessments; and incorporate goals and objectives for nutrition and physical activity into the annual Consolidated School Improvement Plans submitted to the state.

Additional Content Requirements: Additional Content Requirements: Act 1220 prohibits vending machines in elementary schools and requires school districts to implement the Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards  and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) adopted by the State Board of Education. Among this document's many detailed provisions are minimum specifications for foods sold and served at school; a requirements in grades K-6 for 90 minutes of physical activity and a minimum student/teacher ratio of 30:1 in physical education classes; a requirement in grades K-8 for 60 minutes of physical education; and a requirement in grades 9-12 for completion of a ½ unit course in physical education for high school graduation.

Guidance Materials
: The Department of Education provides the ACSIP Wellness Priority Protocol (2006), a guidance document that explains how to incorporate wellness topics into the Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (ACSIP) that each school district is required to submit to the state. The guidance places an emphasis on data collection and setting priorities based on student health data. At the same website is a policy checklist that categorizes the Arkansas Nutrition and Physical Activity Rules for Public Schools into each component required by Section 204.


Rhode Island
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Additional Accountability Requirements: Statute 16-2-9(a)(25) (2005), Statute 16-21-28 (2005) and Statute 16-7.1-2(h) (2005) require the school committee of each district to establish a district-wide coordinated school health and wellness subcommittee, chaired by a member of the full school committee, to implement policies and plans to meet Section 204 requirements. In addition, the law requires that all [district] strategic plans include strategies to decrease obesity and improve the health and wellness of students and employees through nutrition, physical activity, health education, and physical education.

Additional Content Requirements: None

Guidance Materials: Rhode Islands' Coordinated School Health Program, THRIVE, has produced a comprehensive District Health & Wellness Subcommittee Toolkit to aid subcommittees in creating and implementing wellness policies as required by state and federal law.

The Board of Regents and Department of Health officially endorsed the Rhode Island Nutrition and Physical Activity Model Policy Language and Rhode Island Nutrition Guidelines for School Vending and a La Carte Foods in 2006, which was initially developed by the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition.

Other: None

South Carolina
     Last Updated: 9/29/2010

Additional Accountability Requirements: Code 59-10-330 (2005) requires each school district to establish and maintain a Coordinated School Health Advisory Council (CSHAC). The CSHAC is required to assess, plan, implement, and monitor district and school health policies and programs, including the development of a district wellness policy. Also, districts must collaborate with the CSHAC to develop a school health improvement plan that addresses strategies for improving student nutrition, health, and physical activity. This plan must in turn be included in the five-year strategic improvement plan required of every district.

Additional Content Requirements: None

Guidance Materials: The Department of Education Recommendations for Improving Student Nutrition and Physical Activity, Report of the SDE Task Force on Student Nutrition and Physical Activity provides recommendations for policy and information that address Section 204 requirements (though the report was created just prior to the passage of Section 204).

Other: None

School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 2/9/2010

Food Services: Education Code 49431 (2005) stipulates that the only food that may be sold to a pupil during the school day at elementary school are full meals and individually sold portions of nuts, nut butters,
seeds, eggs, cheese packaged for individual sale, fruit, vegetables that have not been deep fried, and legumes. An individually sold dairy or whole grain food item may be sold to pupils at an elementary school, except food sold as part of a USDA meal program, if it meets all of the following standards: (1)  Not more than 35% of its total calories from fat, (2) Not more than 10% of its total calories from saturated fat, (3) Not more than 35% of its total weight shall be composed of sugar, including naturally occurring and added  sugar, (4) Not more than 175 calories per individual food item. An elementary school may permit the sale of foods that do not comply with the regulations above as a part of as part of a school fundraising event if the items are sold by pupils of the school and the sale of those items takes place off of and away from school premises or the items are sold by pupils of the school and the sale of those items takes place at least one-half hour after the end of the school day.

Education Code
49431.2 (2005) requires all foods sold outside of the school meal programs to students on school grounds at each middle and high school to be approved for compliance with the nutrition standards. Foods generally regarded as snacks must contain not more than 35 percent of calories from fat, 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, 35 percent sugar by weight, and no more than 250 calories per item. Foods generally regarded as entrees must be less than 400 calories and contain no more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories. Middle and high schools may permit the sale of foods that are not in compliance with the standards if the items are sold off of school premises or at least 30 minutes after the end of the school day or during a school-sponsored student activity after the end of the school day.

Education Code 49431.7 (2007) prohibits a school district from making available foods containing artificial trans fats or prepared with trans fats to students enrolled in K-12. This includes foods available through a vending machine or school food service establishment during school hours and up to one-half of an hour before and after school.

Education Code 49430.7 (2008) requires, as a condition of receipt of funds in support of meals, schools or school districts must comply with the following requirements or prohibitions: (1) Not sell or serve a food item that has in any way been deep fried, pan fried or flash fried, (2) Not sell or serve an item containing artificial trans fat, (3) Not sell or serve a food item that has been fried in prohibitied oils of palm, coconut, palm kernel and lard.

Education Code 49431.5 (2005) requires all beverages sold to students on school grounds to be approved for compliance with the beverage standards. Beverage standards are effective in elementary and middle schools as of January 1, 2006. Beverage standards are to be phased in to high schools between July 1, 2007 (when 50 percent of beverages sold to students must comply) and July 1, 2009 (when 100 percent of beverages sold to students must comply). Compliant beverages in elementary schools include fruit-based or vegetable-based drinks, composed of no less than 50 percent fruit juice/vegetable juice and with no added sweeteners, drinking water, with no added sweeteners; two-percent milk, one-percent milk, nonfat milk, soy milk, rice milk, and other similar nondairy milk. Sale of non-compliant beverages can take place off of and away from school premises, or be sold by pupils at least one-half hour after the school day. From one-half hour before to one-half hour after school, only compliant beverages for middle/junior high and high schools can be sold which includes the above list with the addition of electrolyte replacement beverages that contains no more than 42 grams of added sweetener per 20-ounce serving. Sale of noncompliant beverages can take place off of and away from school premises, or on school premises at least one-half hour after the end of the school day.

The Legislature declares in Education Code 35182.5 (2003) that state and federal laws require all schools participating in meal programs to provide nutritious food and beverages to pupils; that state and federal laws restrict the sale of food and beverages in competition with meal programs;" and that opportunities should be given to parents, pupils, and community members to review food and beverage contracts to ensure that items sold on campus provide nutritious sustenance to pupils, promote good health, help pupils learn, provide energy, and model fit living for life." Education Code 49590 (1997) also declares that the nutrition levels of meals served to school-age children pursuant to the National School Lunch Act be of the highest quality and greatest nutritional value possible."

Education Code 49531 (1997) and California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 15, Subchapter 1, Article 4, 15552 (no date available) allows any child nutrition entity to apply for available federal and state funds to the California Department of Education to provide nutritionally adequate breakfast, lunch or both to pupils each school day. Education Code 49531.1 (no date available) requires the California Department of Education to develop and maintain nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages sold on public school campuses, which includes school lunches and breakfasts. The guidelines shall include fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol guidelines.

Education Code 49432 allows every public school to post a summary of nutrition and physical activity laws and regulations and requires every district to post its nutrition and physical activity policies in public view in all school cafeterias or other central eating areas.

District of Columbia
     Last Updated: 8/11/2014

Farm-to-School: Section 101 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 defines “locally grown” and “locally processed”, and requires public schools and public charter schools to serve locally grown, locally processed, and unprocessed foods from growers engaged in sustainable agriculture practices whenever possible. Preference shall be given to fresh unprocessed agricultural products grown and processed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Section 103 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 authorizes the Healthy Schools Fund to provide an additional 5 cents per lunch meal reimbursement to public schools and public charter schools when at least one component of a reimbursable lunch meal is comprised entirely of locally grown and unprocessed foods; provided, that the schools report the name and address of the farms where the locally grown foods were grown to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

Section 205 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires food service providers to provide the following information to public schools and public charter schools: (1) menu for each breakfast and lunch meal served, (2) nutritional content of each menu item, (3) ingredients for each menu item; and (4) location where fruits and vegetables served in school are grown and processed and whether growers are engaged in sustainable agricultural practices.

Public schools and public charter schools are required to post this information in the school’s office, and online if the school has a website. Public schools and public charter schools are required to inform families that vegetarian option and milk alternatives are available upon request.

Section 302 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to, in conjunction with other agencies, community organizations, food service providers, public schools, and public charter schools, develop programs to promote the benefits of purchasing and eating locally grown and unprocessed foods that are from growers engaged in sustainable agriculture practices. At minimum, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education is required to conduct at least one program per year, such as an annual local flavor week or a harvest of the month program, in collaboration with other District agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Section 303 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education submit an annual comprehensive report on the District’s farm-to-school initiatives and recommendations for improvement to the Mayor, the Council, and the Healthy Schools and Youth Commission. Each public school and public charter school is also required to submit information about whether the school participates in the farm-to-school program. This information must be posted online if the school has a website and make the form available to parents in its office.

     Last Updated: 11/24/2010

Farm-to-School: Code 190A.1-190A.4 (2007) establishes a farm to school program to encourage and promote the purchase of locally and regionally produced or processed food. The program seeks to link elementary and secondary public and nonpublic schools with farms to provide schools with fresh and minimally processed food for inclusion in school meals and snacks, to encourage children to develop healthy eating habits, and provide farmers access to consumer markets. The program may include activities that provide students with hands-on learning opportunities, such as farm visits, cooking demonstrations, and school gardening and composting programs. The statute also establishes a council charged with establishing partnerships between public agencies, nonprofit organizations and schools and with seeking out financial or in-kind contributions to the program.

     Last Updated: 6/23/2008

Farm-to-School: SB 158 (2008) establishes a farm-to-school program in the Department of Agriculture. The program is established to do the following: (1) Promote the sale of farm products grown in state to Maryland schools, (2) Solicit farmers to sell their products to schools, (3) Develop and update a database of interested farmers and their products, (4) Facilitate purchases from farmers by interested schools, (5) Provide outreach and guidance to farmers, and (5) Organize a one week promotional event known as "Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week." 

New York
     Last Updated: 9/9/2013

Food Allergies: The Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (2007) requires Commissioners of Health and Education to establish state policy by June 2008 to manage the risk of anaphylaxis in public schools.  The bill requires schools to consider and take action in response to such state policy. The policy must include the following: (1) A procedure and treatment plan for responding to anaphylaxis, including responsibilities for school nurses and other school personnel, (2) A training course for appropriate school personnel for preventing and responding to anaphylaxis, (3) Procedures, guidelines and communication plan for the development of an individualized emergency health care plan for children with a food or other allergy, and (4) Strategies for the reduction of the risk of exposure to causative agents, including food and other allergens.

The Departments of Health and Education have also provided guidance in Making the Difference: Caring for Students with Life-Threatening Allergies (2008).

Rhode Island
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Food Allergies: Statute 16-21-31 (2007) requires any school with a student that has an allergy to peanuts/tree nuts and/or food derived from peanut/tree nuts products to post a notice within the school building in a conspicuous place at every point of entry and within the cafeteria facility.  The notice must advise that there are students at the school with allergies to peanuts/tree nuts. 

Statute 16-21-32 (2007) requires the governing body of each elementary, middle or junior high school to develop a policy designed to provide a safe environment for students with peanut/tree nut allergies. When a school is aware that an enrolled student has a peanut/tree nut allergy with potentially serious health consequences, the school must implement a protocol, consistent with the governing body’s policy that provides the student with protections while he or she is attending school or participating in school-sponsored activities. The policy must include the development of an individual health care plan and an emergency health care plan for each student with a food allergy. The plans must be developed collaboratively and signed by the school nurse, the student’s health care provider, the parents/guardians of the student, and the student (if appropriate). Depending upon the nature and extent of the student’s peanut/tree nut allergy, the measures listed in the health plan may include the posting of signs at school, the prohibition of the sale of particular food items in the school, the designation of special tables in the cafeteria, the prohibition of particular food items in certain classrooms, and the complete prohibition of particular food items from a school or school grounds.

Rhode Island
     Last Updated: 8/21/2013

Food Services:  The State Board of Education requires all school districts to comply with the Rhode Island Nutrition Requirements for Food Service Programs (2009) requires schools that provide the school lunch program and/or school breakfast program to abide by the guidelines in the requirements which exceed USDA standards. The requirements are as follows:

  • Whole Grains: All of the grains served that are considered as a “bread serving” (rice, bread, pasta, cereal etc.) as part of reimbursable meals & snacks will be at least 51% whole grain. This percentage increases by 10% per year until it reaches 100% whole grain by 2013/2014. Grain products must have no more than 7 grams of total sugar per ounce (grains with fruit may have more). See the approved whole grain list.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: In all menu planning options, schools must serve, at a minimum: 2 servings of fruit and/or vegetable per breakfast, 3 servings of fruit and/or vegetable per lunch, 1 serving of fruit and/or vegetable per each after school snack.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Schools must offer at a minimum 3 different fruits in 1 week, 5 different non-fried vegetables in 1 week, 1 serving of fruit or vegetable per day will be dark green or orange. One serving of fruit or vegetable per day must be fresh or raw.
  • Juice: Schools may offer no more than one serving of 100% juice per day for breakfast and lunch and one serving of 100% juice for every 5 consecutive snacks served.
  • Sugar/Added Sugars: 100% juice or milk served as part of school lunch, school breakfast, or after school snack, may have no more than 4 grams of total sugar per ounce.
  • Sodium: May not exceed 575 mg for all components of school breakfast, 1070 mg for school lunch 1000 mg for soup served as a part of lunch, 350 mg for afterschool snack.
  • Milk: 1% or skim, non-flavored with no more than 4 grams of total sugar per ounce.
  • Cooked legumes: One or more servings of cooked legumes must be at least once per week.

Statute 16-8-10 (1956) requires all public elementary and secondary schools to make type A lunches available to student attending those schools in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the department of elementary and secondary education. Statute 16-8-10.1 (1998) requires all public schools to make a breakfast program that meets any rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner available to students attending school.

Adequate Time to Eat: No state policy.

School Breakfast
Statute 16-8-10.1 (2005) requires all public schools to make a school breakfast program available to students attending the school.

: No state policy. The Rhode Island Farm to School Project at Farm Fresh RI helps school districts source locally.

     Last Updated: 1/11/2010

Farm-to-School: RCW 15.64.060 (2008) establishes a farm-to-school program within the Department of Agriculture. It requires the Department to identify and develop policies and procedures to implement and evaluate the farm-to-school program, to assist food producers, distributors, and food brokers to market Washington grown food to schools, to assist schools in connecting with local producers, and to identify and make available existing curricula and publications to educate students on the benefits of consuming locally grown food. 

West Virginia
     Last Updated: 8/22/2013

Food Services: State Board Policy 4321.1 requires schools to make plain, unflavored water available throughout the school day at no charge. Cups must be available at any water dispenser for easy student access. It also requires all meals to be priced and served as a unit. Only milk, low-fat  and or 1% fat milkshakes and bottled water may be served as a la carte items at any grade level.

State Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) requires county boards of education to select one of two West Virginia Department of Education Lunch Menu Planning Options, as outlined in the policy. Under option A, meals must, over the averaged period of one week, meet the following requirements: 

  • Provide at least one-third  of students' recommended RDA for calories, protein, calcium, iron and vitamins A and C
  • Limit calories from fat to no more than 30%, saturated fat to less than 10%, and trans fat not to exceed 0.5 grams per product.
  • Limit sodium to 1100 milligrams
  • Provide at least 6 grams of naturally occurring dietary fiber
  • Offer water
  • Omit any foods or beverages containing non-nutritive, artificial sweeteners
  • Meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Under option A, the policy also requires additional foods to be provided to pregnant or lactating students so that breakfast and lunch together provide the following:

  • A total of 5 oz of protein foods, of which 1 oz must be 1 oz of cheese, 1 cup of yougart or 8 oz milk
  • 3 servings from the grain group (preferably whole grains)
  • 1 1/4 cups from the fruit and vegetable group
  • 16 fluid oz from the milk group 
  • 1 cup of fruit in place of one serving of the grain group once a week is allowed.

The requirements of option B are broken down by grade level and meal component, and are outlined in Board Policy 4321.1 (2008).

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) allows schools to provide a nutritious in-school snack through the child nutrition program. Snack items should be age appropriate to prevent choking and adjusted to meet the nutritional needs of the child based on age. Snack choices should include fruits/vegetables, whole grains and non-fat and/or 1% low-fat dairy.

Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/6/2014

Code 20-7-133 (2003) requires the creation of a Child Health Advisory Committee, whose primary responsibility, according to Code 20-7-134 (2003), is to develop nutrition and physical activity standards and policy recommendations for the State Board of Education, which is then charged with implementation. The State Board of Education's Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) and Child Health Advisory Committee Recommendations for Standards to Implement through Rules & Regulations provide criteria for all foods and beverages served, sold and made available to students at elementary, middle and high school campuses.

The following requirements for reimbursable meals in all grade levels and a la carte items in middle and high schools apply:

  • No more than 23 grams of fat per serving
  • No more than 30 grams of sugar/8 ounce serving for flavored milk
  • Fruits and vegetables offered at all points of service
  • French fries are limited by portion size and frequency served/week.

The State Board of Education's Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) have the following restrictions for food and beverages:
Elementary Schools

  • No access to food or beverages sold or given away (including as a reward) outside meals at anytime, including vending, a la carte items, anywhere on school premises during school days. This includes all FMNV and competitive foods.
  • French fries may only be served once per week and must meet portion size limits
  • The Child Nutrition Program may only sell food items in the cafeteria, during meal periods that are already offered as a component of a reimbursable meal. Extra servings of desserts, French fries or ice cream are not allowed.

Middle/Junior and High Schools

  • The Child Nutrition Program may only sell food items in the cafeteria, during meal periods that are already offered as a component of a reimbursable meal.

Exceptions to the restrictions are outlined in the Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards in Arkansas Public Schools.


Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

District of Columbia
     Last Updated: 6/2/2014
Marketing: Section 206 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 prohibits food and beverages that do not meet the USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge program at the Gold Level for competitive foods from being advertised or marketed through posters, signs, book covers, scoreboards, supplies, equipment, or other means in public schools or public charter schools. After first issuing a warning, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education may impose a penalty on public schools and public charter schools that violate the requirements, not to exceed $500 per day, paid to the Healthy Schools Fund, subject to the right to a hearing requested within 10 days after notice or imposition of the penalty is sent.


Section 206 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires that all beverages and snack foods provided by or sold in public schools and public charter school or provided by organizations participating in the Afterschool Meal Program, whether through vending machines, fundraisers, snacks, after-school meals, school stores, or other means, meet the requirements of the USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge program at the Gold Level for competitive foods. Exceptions to this include: food and drinks available only to faculty and staff members, provided that school employees shall be encouraged to model healthy eating, food provided at no cost by parents, food sold or provided at official after-school events and adult education programs. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education may adopt standards that exceed these requirements.


Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers will meet the standards outlined above, with no exemptions allowed.

     Last Updated: 9/29/2014

HB4459 (2010) requires the Department of Public Health to develop regulations for all competitive foods and beverages sold on school grounds up to 30 minutes before the beginning of the school day or 30 minutes after the end of the school day. In the case of vending machines, however, the regulations apply at all times. The regulations may make reasonable exceptions for booster sales, fundraising and concession stands during the school day. The Department of Public Health must conduct a review of the regulations every 5 years and report the findings to the legislature. The report must include: (1) An assessment of success in implementing the regulations, (2) Challenges and barriers experienced in implementation (3) Changes in revenue received from reimbursable school meals and competitive food sales, (4) Changes in student participation in school meals, (5) recommendations for improvement of guidelines.

As a result of HB4459 (2010), the Public Health Council issued  Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages in Public Schools. The standards are as follows:

The standards define competitive foods are defined as those foods and beverages provided (1) school cafeterias, offered as a la carte items, (2) school buildings, including classrooms and hallways; (3) school stores; (4) school snack bars; (5) vending machines; (6) concession stands; (7) booster sales; (8) fundraising activities; (9) school-sponsored or school-related events; and (10) any other location on school property.  The competitive food standards do not apply to competitive foods and beverages sold on school grounds up to 30 minutes before the beginning or 30 minutes after the end of the school day. This exception does not apply to vending machines, however, which must comply at all times. The standards also require that all public schools make plain potable water readily available to all students during the day at no cost to the students and offer fresh fruit and non-fried vegetables for sale at any location where food is sold (except non-refrigerated vending machines and those dispensing only beverages. Schools may not use fryolators in the preparation of competitive foods and are required to make nutrition information available for students for non-prepackaged competitive foods and beverages (excluding fresh fruits or vegetables and foods or beverages sold during the school day at booster sales, concession stands and other school-sponsored  or school-related fundraisers and events).


  • Juice: 100% fruit or vegetable juice with no added sugar, no more than 4 oz
  • Milk and Milk Substitutes:  Fat free or low-fat (1% or less), no more than 8 oz and 22 grams of sugar per 8 oz
  • Water: No added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, but may contain natural flavorings and/or carbonation
  • Beverages with added sugar or sweeteners:  Any beverages with added sugar or sweeteners not already prohibited in section 225.200 will be phased out by August 1, 2013; provided, however, that a public school may provide or sell flavored milk or milk substitutes that contain the same amount or less sugar than plain fat-free or low-fat milk.   
  • Other Beverages:  No beverages other than juice, milk, milk substitutes and water may be sold or provided. 


  • Calories: May not exceed 200 calories/item (except a la carte entrées, which may not exceed NSLP entrée items 
  • Fat: No more than 35% of total calories, except as provided in 105 CMR 225.200
  • Saturated Fat:  No more than 10% of total calories, except as provided in 105 CMR 225.2
  • Exceptions to fat and saturated fat include up to 1 ounce of nuts, nut butters, seeds, or reduced fat cheese.
  • Trans Fat: Must be trans-fat free.
  • Sugar: No more than 35% of total calories from total sugars. Exceptions include  non-fat or low-fat yogurt, including drinkable yogurt, with a a maximum of 30 grams of total sugars per 8 ounces and  100% fruit with no added sugar.
  • Sodium: No more than 200 mg per item. Exceptions include a la carte entrees (480 mg sodium limit)
  • Grains: All bread and other grain-based products must be whole grain
  • Artificial sweeteners: No food or beverage may contain an artificial sweetener.
  • Caffeine: No food or beverage may contain more than trace amounts of caffeine.


Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

New Jersey
     Last Updated: 9/29/2014

N.J.S.A. 18A: 33-16 (2007) prohibits the following items from being served, sold or given away anywhere on school property at any time before the end of the school day, including items served in the reimbursable After School Snack Program: (1) Foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) as defined as the USDA, (2) All food and beverage items listing sugar, in any form, as the first ingredient, (3) All forms of candy as defined by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Schools are required to reduce the purchase of any products containing trans fats beginning September 1, 2007.  In addition, by September 2007, all snack and beverage items, sold or served anywhere on school property during the school day (including items in a la carte lines, vending machines, snack bars, school stores, fundraisers and After School Snack Program) must meet the following standards:

  • No more than 8 grams of fat/serving (excluding nuts and seeds) and 2 grams of saturated fat/serving.
  • Beverages not to exceed a 12-ounce portion size (other than 2% or less milk or water), with whole milk not exceeding 8 ounces
  • Beverages in elementary schools limited to milk, water or 100% fruit or vegetable juices
  • In middle and high schools, at least 60% of beverages offered (other than milk or water) must be 100% fruit or vegetable juice
  • In middle and high schools, no more than 40% of all ice cream and frozen deserts shall be allowed to exceed sugar, fat and saturated fat standards.

The following exemptions to the policy apply:  (1) Foods and beverages served during special school celebrations or curriculum-related activities, with the exception of FMNV, (2) Medically authorized special needs diets, (3) School nurses using FMNV during the course of providing health care to individual students (4) Special needs students with IEPs that indicate a particular diet.


Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

New Mexico
     Last Updated: 9/29/2014

 6.12.5 NMAC (2006) sets standards for competitive beverages and foods sold to students through vending machines, a la carte sales and fundraisers.  In elementary schools, beverages may not be sold through vending machines until after the last lunch period and may only include 2% or less milk or soy milk and water.  Vending machines at elementary schools may not sell carbonated beverages or food.  Middle schools are limited to the same beverage restrictions, with the addition of 100% fruit juice (no added sweeteners, less than 20 ounces and less than 125 calories/container).  Middle school vending machines may sell nuts, seeds, cheese, yogurt and fruit at all times, and other foods (with nutritional specifications outlined) after the lunch period.  High schools may sell the same beverages as elementary and middle schools, with the addition of fruit juice (at least 50%, not exceeding 20 ounces).  After the lunch period, vending machines may sell sugar-free and caffeine free carbonated drinks, non-carbonated flavored water with no added sweeteners and sports drinks.

6.12.5 NMAC sets standards for competitive beverages and foods sold in a la carte sales and fundraisers.  In the area of a la carte sales, all schools follow regulations follow the same beverage restrictions for vending machines, with the exception of carbonated beverages, sport drinks and flavored water (which are not permitted).  A la carte food items may only be sold during the lunch period, and are restricted as follows:  (1) no more than 400 calories/container/package/amount served, (2) no more than 16 grams of fat/container/package/amount served, with a maximum of 2 grams of saturated fat and trans fat combined and (2) no more than 30 grams of sugar per serving/amount served.  These restrictions do not apply to nuts, seeds, cheese and yogurt.

In the area of fundraisers, two sets of restrictions apply, those during school hours and those outside of school hours.  During school hours, beverages and food products may be sold at any time except the lunch period as long as they abide by the following restrictions.  In elementary schools, food products may not be sold as fundraisers.  Beverages are limited to 2% or less milk, soy milk or water (no carbonated beverages).  In middle and high schools, food and beverage items for fundraisers are subject to the same restrictions as those in vending machines (see above).  Outside of school hours, at least 50% of the choices/offerings for the fundraiser must meet high school vending standards. 


Fundraising Exemptions

Per 6.12.7 NMAC (2014), exempted fundraisers may take place once per semester or trimester, per school, per year.


     Last Updated: 10/8/2014

Statute 336.423 (2007) restricts food and beverages sold in a school at all times during the regular or extended school day when the activities in the school are primarily under the control of the school district board.  This includes, but is not limited to, the time before or after classes are in session and the time when the school is being used for activities such as clubs, practice, student government or rehearsal.  The standards became applicable during the 2008-09 school year, with the exception of entrée and snack items (2009-10 school year).  Standards do not apply to food and beverage items sold as part of the USDA's National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program.

The following restrictions apply to any entrée item that is sold individually:

·         No more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories

·         No more than 450 total calories


The following restrictions apply to any snack item defined as supplementing a meal, such as chips, crackers, onion rings, nachos, French fries, doughnuts, cookies, etc.):

·         No more than 35% of the total calories from fat (not applicable to legumes, nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, non-fried vegetables and cheese).

·         No more than 10% of total calories from fat (not applicable to nuts, eggs and cheese)

·         No more than 35% sugar by weight (not applicable to fruit and vegetables

·         No more than .5 grams of trans fat per serving

·         No more than 150 total calories if sold in a school in which the highest grade level in the school is grad 5 or less, 180 total calories in which the highest grade level is 6-8, and 200 total calories if which the highest grade level is 9-12.

Beverages sold in a school are limited to the following:

·         Water

·         Fruit or vegetable juice (no more than 8 oz for up to grade 5, 10 oz for grades 6-8, and 12 oz for grades 9-12) that is 100% juice with no added sweetners and contains no more than 120 calories per eight ounces.

·         Milk or a nutritionally equivalent milk alternative, provided the beverage item is not more than 8 oz for up to grade 5 (10 oz for grades 6-8 and 12 oz for grades 9-12) is fat free or low fat and, if flavored, contains no more than 150 calories per 8 ounces.

·         No calorie or low-calorie beverages containing no more than 10 calories per 8 ounces (grades 9-12 only)

·         A beverage that is not more than 12 oz and contains no more than 66 calories per 8 ounces (grades 9-12 only)


Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

West Virginia
     Last Updated: 6/2/2014

State Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) prohibits offering food or beverages as an award or using them as a means of punishment or disciplinary action for any student during the school day. 

State Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) encourages county boards of education to minimize marketing of other foods and beverages in the high school setting by locating their distribution in low student traffic areas and by ensuring that the exterior of vending machines does not depict commercial logos of products or suggest that the consumption of vended items conveys a health or social benefit. 

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) requires all other food and beverages (outside of the school meal program) to meet the following requirements.

  • No more than 200 calories per product/package
  • No more than 35% of total calories from fat, excluding nuts and cheese
  • 10% or less of the calories from saturated fat 
  • 0.5 grams or less of trans fat per product/package
  • No more than 200 milligrams of sodium per product/package
  • Limit fruit/vegetable portion sizes to no more than 4 oz fper product/package or elementary and 8 oz for middle/high school students

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) reccommends that only water, 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice and non-fat  and/or low-fat milk, flavored or unflavored, be sold, served or distributed during the school day. However, Code 18-2-6a (no date available) permits the sale of other juice beverages with a minimum of 20% real juice. Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) also prohibits the following: (1) the sale and/or distribution of coffee and coffee-based products during the school day, (2) the sale, service or distribution of products containing non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners, and (3) caffeine containing beverages with the exception of those containing naturally occurring caffeine substances.

Code 18-2-6a (no date available) requires that soft drinks may not be sold during the school day in areas accessible to students in elementary, middle or junior high school through vending machines, in school stores, school canteens or through fundraisers. In elementary, middle school or junior high school, only healthy beverages may be sold at the aforementioned points of service. This does not restrict fund-raising activities off school groups. High schools which permit the sale of soft drinks through vending machines must ensure that 50% of the beverages offered for sale are healthy beverages" and that the machines are located near the vending machines containing soft drinks. Healthy beverages" are defined as water, 100% fruit and vegetable juice, low-fat milk and other juice beverages with a minimum of 20% juice. Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) reccommends that only water, 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice and non-fat and/or low-fat milk, flavored or unflavored, be sold, served or distributed during the school day at all levels.

Board Policy 4321.1 (2008) prohibits candy, soft drinks, chewing gum, or flavored ice bars to be sold or served during the school day, except where county boards permit the sale of soft drinks in high schools, per Code 18-2-6a (no date available), but not during breakfast or lunch periods. The policy prohibits the selling of food outside the school nutrition programs in elementary schools from the time the first child arrives until 20 minutes after the last lunch period. Soft drinks may be sold in high schools during the school day provided that equal access to water and 100% fruit or vegetable juice is given. Reduced or low fat milk must also be offered wherever and whenever drinks are sold.

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 10/30/2011

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks: State Board of Education Policy 1110-6 (2006) requires the Department of Education to establish regulations or guidelines for physical activity. The resulting Wellness Guidelines (2006) requires public schools to provide all students in all grades with at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, during which schools must encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity. At the middle and high school levels, the policy is interpreted as requiring schools to provide the means to be physically active (intramurals, equipment, etc). The policy must be implemented by the 2010-2011 school year.

The Wellness Guidelines (2006) state that schools may not use physical activity as a punishment nor withhold opportunities for physical activity as punishment.

     Last Updated: 2/1/2010

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks: IAC 20-30-5-7.5 (2006) requires school corporations to provide daily physical activity for students in elementary school consisting of curriculum and programs and may include the use of recess beginning in the 2006-07 school year.

North Carolina
     Last Updated: 12/20/2010

General Physical Activity Requirement: State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) requires schools to provide a minimum of 30 minutes daily of moderate to vigorous physical activity to all K-8 students. This may be completed through regular physical education, physical activities, recess, dance, classroom energizers, or other curriculum based physical education activity program. The physical activity must involve physical exertion of at least a moderate to vigorous intensity level and for a duration sufficient to provide a significant health benefit to students.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks
: Although there is no specific recess requirement, State Board State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) requires schools to provide a minimum of 30 minutes daily of moderate to vigorous physical activity to all K-8 students.  Recess is often used to fulfill this requirement. In addition, the policy prohibits taking away structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity from students as a form of punishment. In addition, it prohibits using severe and inappropriate exercise as a form of punishment for students.


Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 8/21/2011

Interscholastic Athletics: No state policy.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: SB189 (2011) requires the governing authority of each public and nonpublic school to provide information to all coaches, officials, volunteers, youth athletes and their parents/guardians about the nature and risk of concussion and head injury, including continuing to play after a concussion or head injury. Each coach (whether employed or volunteer) must complete an annual concussion recognition education course. Requirements for the course are outlined in the statute. Each youth athlete and their parents or guardian must sign an information sheet outlining the requirements which must be satisfied before an athlete who has suffered a concussion or head injury may return to play. The statute requires a coach to immediately remove any youth athlete from a game, competition or practice if: (1) the youth athlete reports any defined sign or symptom of a concussion, (2) the coach, athletic trainer or official determines that the youth athlete exhibits any defined sign or symptom of a concussion or suspects a concussion, (3) the coach or official is notified that the youth athlete has reported or exhibited a sign or symptom of a concussion by a medical health care provider or other licensed individual (as defined in the statute). Once an athlete is removed from play, the coach must notify the athlete’s parent or guardian and the student may not return to play or participate in supervised team activities (games, competition or practices), until they are evaluated and given written clearance to return to play. In addition, it requires the Department of Health to make information about the nature and risk of concussion and head injury to all public and private middle and high schools, private clubs, public recreation facilities and each athletic league which sponsors youth athletic activities.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): No state policy.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 5/17/2011

Bullying/HarassmentGeneral Laws Chapter 71 (2010) defines bullying as “the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property; (ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.” The statute prohibits bullying on school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school district or school or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by a school district or school. In addition, it prohibits bullying at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a school district or school, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the victim, infringes on the rights of the victim at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. It also prohibits retaliation against those reporting or providing information about bullying incidents.

General Law 71 (2010) requires each school district, charter school, non-public school, approved private day or residential school and collaborative school to develop, adhere to and update a plan to address bullying prevention and intervention in consultation with teachers, school staff, professional support personnel, school volunteers, administrators, community representatives, local law enforcement agencies, students, parents and guardians.  The plan must be updated at least biennially. Requirements of the plan are outlined in the statute. The Department of Education developed the Model Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (2010) as guidance for the districts. Each school district must annually provide written notice of the relevant student-related sections of the plan to students and parents, and the entire written plan to staff. The plan must also be posted on the website of each school district or school. Each school principal or the person who holds a comparable position shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of the plan at his school. Staff are required to immediately report any instances of bullying or retaliation they have witnessed or become aware of to the principal or named school official in charge of the plan. Additional requirements upon report of an incident are outlined in the statute. Further, the statute includes guidance for bullying incidents involving students from multiple districts and students who have graduated but are still under age 21. The statute requires the Department of Education to periodically review school districts, charter schools, approved private day or residential schools and collaborative schools to determine whether the districts and schools are in compliance with this act.

General Law 71B Chapter 3 (2010) requires that whenever the evaluation of the IEP team indicates that a child has a disability that affects social skills development or that the child is vulnerable to bullying, harassment or teasing because of the child’s disability, the IEP shall address the skills and proficiencies needed to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment or teasing.

Chapter 265 Section 43 of the General Laws states that whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and (2) makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury, shall be guilty of the crime of stalking and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or by both such fine and imprisonment. This includes acts of “cyberbullying.”

Chapter 71 Section 18 (2010) establishes a commission for the purpose of making an investigation and study relative to bullying and cyber-bullying. The commission must report to the general court the results of its investigation and recommendations, along with drafts of legislation necessary to carry out the recommendations.

CyberbullyingGeneral Laws Chapter 71 (2010) defines “Cyber-bullying” as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.  Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.

The statute prohibits bullying, whose definition including cyberbullying. Each school district must develop a plan to address bullying prevention and intervention, including cyberbullying. The plan must include professional development for staff that addresses information on the nature and incidence of cyberbullying and internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying. In addition, every public school providing computer access to students must have a policy regarding internet safety measures to protect students from inappropriate subject matter and materials that can be accessed via the internet and must notify parents or guardians of the policy. 

: General Law 269.19 (no date available), enacted in 603 CMR 33.04 (no date available), requires secondary educational institutions to issue every student and recognized student group or organization a copy of General Laws 269.17 and 269.18 (no dates available). Each student group and organization must then distribute copies of said laws to their members and agree to comply with them. Secondary institutions must also report to the board of education that they have complied with this statute and adopted disciplinary policies for acts of hazing. General Law 269.17 makes hazing, defined within this law, a crime punishable by a fine up to $3,000 and/or up to one year's imprisonment. General Law 269.18 requires witnesses or those with knowledge of a hazing to report it to law enforcement if they are able to without imperiling themselves or others. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine up to $1,000.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 4/28/2008

ARS 36-798.03 (2000) prohibits the use of tobacco on school grounds, in school buildings, in school parking lots or playing fields, in school buses or vehicles or at off-campus school sponsored events. Note: Arizona meets CDC's definition of a comprehensive tobacco-free schools policy.

     Last Updated: 8/11/2008

Statute 25-14-103.5 (1998) mandates each school district to adopt policies and rules prohibiting the use of all tobacco products by students, teachers, staff, and visitors on all school property which includes school grounds and school transportation vehicles. Signs are to be prominently posted on all school property.

     Last Updated: 4/28/2008

Code 16:29-2903 (2002) prohibits smoking in public and nonpublic schools. Administrative Code 14:877 (2003) requires each school district and charter school to have a policy that prohibits the use of or distribution of tobacco products in school buildings, on school grounds, in school leased or owned vehicles, even when they are not used for student purposes, and at all school affiliated functions.  Note: Delaware meets CDC's definition of a comprehensive tobacco-free schools policy.

     Last Updated: 4/28/2008

Criminal Code §97-32-9 (2000) prohibits students from possessing tobacco on any educational property. Code §97-32-29 (2000) further prohibits the use of tobacco on any educational property for adults who, if in violation, would be subject to a fine and issued a citation by a law enforcement officer.

New Mexico
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

State Board of Education Administrative Code NMAC 6.12.4 (1994) requires each local school board to implement a policy prohibiting the use of tobacco products in school buildings, on school property, and for students at school functions away from school property. New Mexico does not have a specific policy addressing indoor air quality in schools. NMSA 24-16-1 (2007) makes it unlawful for a person to smoke in any indoor workplace or indoor public place, the definitions of which cover public and private schools. Smoking is also prohibited near entrances, windows and ventilation systems of public places where smoking is prohibited.

New York
     Last Updated: 4/28/2008

Public Health Laws 1399-n and 1399-o (2003) prohibits smoking in places of employment, the definition of which includes school grounds. "School grounds" includes any building, structure and surrounding outdoor grounds, and any vehicles used to transport children or school personnel.  Further, Education Law 409 (2003) prohibits tobacco use on school grounds (building, structure and surrounding outdoor grounds).

North Carolina
     Last Updated: 4/28/2008

Statute §115C-407 (2007) requires local boards of education to adopt, implement and enforce a written policy prohibiting smoking at all times by any person in school buildings, in school facilities, on school campuses, and in or on any other school property owned or operated by the local school administrative unit. The policy shall prohibit the use of all tobacco products by persons attending a school-sponsored event at a location not listed in the statute when in the prescence of students or school personnel or in an area where smoking is otherwise prohibited by law. The policy must include adequate notice to students and school personnel, posting of signs prohibiting the use of tobacco at all times by any person in and on school property, and a requirement that school personnel enforce the policy.

     Last Updated: 4/28/2008

ORS 339.865 (1993) and OAR 581-021-0110 (2004) does not permit any person under the age of 18 to possess tobacco products on school grounds, in school facilities or at school-sponsored activities. OAR 581-021-0110 also prohibits the possession of tobacco products by students in any building, facility or vehicle owned or leased by the school district or charter school and by January 01, 2006, each district is required to establish policies and procedures to implement and enforce this rule for all students, staff, and visitors.

West Virginia
     Last Updated: 4/28/2008

Board Policies 2422.5 (2005) and 4373 (2002) prohibit the possession, use, or distribution of tobacco products in school buildings, on school grounds, in school-leased or -owned vehicles, and at all school affiliated functions in maintaining a tobacco free school.

Air Quality
     Last Updated: 1/9/2011

Public Act 09-81 (2009) Requires that a local or regional board of education to provide a uniform inspection and evaluation program (such as Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools) of the indoor air quality of every school building that is or has been constructed, extended, renovated or replaced on or after January 1, 2003. The inspection and evaluation program must include a review, inspection or evaluation of the following: (1) The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; (2) radon levels in the water and the air; (3) potential for exposure to microbiological airborne particles, including, but not limited to, fungi, mold and bacteria; (4) chemical compounds of concern to indoor air quality including, but not limited to, volatile organic compounds; (5) the degree of pest infestation, including, but not limited to, insects and rodents; (6) the degree of pesticide usage; (7) the presence of and the plans for removal of any hazardous substances that are contained on the list prepared pursuant to Section 302 of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 USC 9601 et seq. ; (8) ventilation systems; (9) plumbing, including water distribution systems, drainage systems and fixtures; (10) moisture incursion; (11) the overall cleanliness of the facilities; (12) building structural elements, including, but not limited to, roofing, basements or slabs; (13) the use of space, particularly areas that were designed to be unoccupied; and (14) the provision of indoor air quality maintenance training for building staff. Local and regional boards of education must make available for public inspection the results of the inspection and evaluation at a regularly scheduled board of education meeting and on the board's or each individual school's website.

     Last Updated: 1/9/2011

Green Cleaning: 105 ILCS 140 (2007) requires all elementary and secondary public schools and non-public schools with 50 or more students to establish a “green cleaning policy” and exclusively purchase and use environmentally-sensitive cleaning products pursuant to the guidelines and specifications for schools established by the Illinois Green Government Coordinating Council.  One of the goals of “green cleaning” is to reduce the harmful chemicals that are in conventional cleaning products that contribute to indoor air pollution and are asthma triggers. If adopting a “green cleaning” policy is not economically feasible or if such adoption would result in an increase in the cleaning costs of the school, the school may request an exemption for product categories (not exemption from the requirement) in which three comparable green cleaning products are higher than the product currently in use. The exemption is valid for one year and must be renewed.

     Last Updated: 6/22/2009

Code 16-41-37.5-2 (2009) requires the State Department of Health to adopt rules establishing indoor air quality  inspection, evaluation and employee notification program to assist state agencies and schools.  It also require the Department of Health to inspect a school after receiving a complaint about the school's indoor air quality, report the results of the inspection, and identify conditions that could contribute to poor air quality in the school including carbon dioxide, humidity, evidence of mold or water damage and excess dust.  The Department of Health must then provide guidance on the steps the school or state agency should take to address any issues and request a response from the school within 60 days. Code 16-41-37.5-2.5 (2009) requires the Department of Health to distribute a manual of best practices of managing indoor air quality at schools as described in this section. Code 16-41-37.5-3 (2005) establishes the School Air Quality Panel, and requires the panel to assist in developing air quality improvement plans.  It requires the panel to identify and make available to schools best operating practices for indoor air quality.

     Last Updated: 5/22/2008

Statute 123B.885 (2002) requires school bus operators to minimize the idling of school bus engines and exposure of children to diesel exhaust fumes. Diesel school buses must be parked and loaded at sufficient distance to prevent diesel fumes from being drawn into the school in-take air systems.

     Last Updated: 5/27/2010

Code 41-79-31 (2010) requires local school health councils to conduct a school health needs assessment that addresses and supports the eight components of the coordinated school health model. The results of the assessment must be used in the development of long-range maintenance plans that include specific indoor air quality components for each school building. The long-range maintenance plans must be included in the local school wellness policy. 

41-79-31 (2010) requires the State Department of Education to require that local school health councils adopt and support the implementation of a local school wellness policy that includes minimizing children's exposure to dust, gases, fumes and other pollutants that can aggravate asthma in the school setting. The policy must require the air quality and ventilation systems of schools to be assessed annually, which assessment may be accomplished with the EPA's Tools for Schools Indoor Air Quality Checklist. The policy also must prohibit the use of hazardous substances such as, but not limited to, chemical cleaning products and pesticides in and around school buildings during the hours that children are present at school. The policy must require all school construction projects to implement containment procedures not later than July 1, 2012, for dusts, gases, fumes and other pollutants that trigger asthma. 

Code 37-17-6(2) (2000) requires school districts to provide air conditioning in all classrooms in each school.

New York
     Last Updated: 5/22/2008

Commissioner's Regulation 155 (1999) requires teaching spaces be provided with a controlled supply of fresh air and have sufficient air changes to produce healthful conditions and avoid odor build-up or concentrations of toxic substances or dust particles. A comprehensive maintenance plan, which must include measures assuring good air quality, is also required. School Facility Report Cards also require schools to individually report whether they have taken measures to assure acceptable indoor air quality" (Healthy Schools Network, Inc., 2000).

New York
     Last Updated: 1/9/2011

Green Cleaning: Education Law 409-i (2005) requires all public and non-public elementary and secondary schools to use environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products ("green clean"), with the goal of minimizing adverse impacts on children's health and the environment. The commissioner of general services to must establish and regularly amend guidelines for the purchase and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products, and provide a sample list to schools of products that meet these requirements.

     Last Updated: 5/22/2008

23 VSA 1282 (2007) prohibits the operator of a school bus from idling while waiting for children to board or exit the vehicle at a school.  The operator may not start the engine until ready to leave the school premises.  Exceptions to this include circumstances that reasonably require the idling of the engine, such as periods when it is necessary to operate defrosting, heating or cooling equipment to ensure the health or safety of the driver or passengers, to operate auxiliary equipment, and when the engine is undergoing maintenance or inspection.  This rule does not affect vehicles other than school busses while on school premises.

West Virginia
     Last Updated: 4/30/2009

Board Policy 6201 (2000) highly recommends carpeting be restricted in public school buildings to the following areas: classrooms for grades K-2, computer labs, libraries/media centers, teachers' lounges, auditorium aisles and walkways, music rehearsal rooms, and administrative offices.

Board Policy 4336 (12) (2004) prohibits school bus idling while waiting for or loading students.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-231b prohibits the application of pesticides on the grounds of any public or private school with students in grade eight or lower. Until July 1, 2009, an application of a lawn care pesticide may be made on the playing fields and playgrounds of a public or private school with students in grade eight or lower pursuant to the model pest management program developed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.  Public Act 22a-54 (2003).This limitation shall not apply in the case of an emergency application of pesticide to eliminate an immediate threat to human health. Statute 07-168 (2007) restricts the application of pesticides within any building or on the grounds of any school to a pesticide applicator with supervisory certification or operational certification under section

Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 2/28/2013

Statute 33-1613 (no date available) requires each school district to require independent inspection of the district's school facilities, including playgrounds and athletic fields, at least once every school year to address safety and health standards for facilities.

North Carolina
     Last Updated: 5/22/2008

Statute 115C-46 (2006) requires local boards of education to prohibit the purchase or acceptance of chromated copper arsenate-treated wood for future use on school grounds.   Existing arsenic-treated wood must be sealed or removed according to guidelines established under Statute 115C-12(34) (2006). Local boards of education are encouraged to test the soil on school grounds for contamination caused by the leaching of arsenic-treated wood. Statute 115C-12(34) requires the State Board of Education to develop guidelines for sealing existing arsenic-treated wood in playground equipment or establish a time line for removing existing arsenic-treated wood on playgrounds and testing the soil on school grounds for arsenic contamination.

Rhode Island
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Section 40.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires all playgrounds to be maintained and operated in a safe manner at all times and must comply with the guidelines of the most recent version of the Handbook for Public Playground Safety issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Student Services
Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 7/18/2013

Self-Administration of Diabetes Medications: ARS 15-344.01 (2008) allows the school district governing board and the charter school governing body to adopt policies and procedures for pupils who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The policies and procedures shall allow students to manage their diabetes in the classroom, on school grounds and at school sponsored activities. If a school district or charter school adopts policies and procedures, they must include the following components: (1) The parent or guardian must annually submit a diabetes medical management plan to the student's school authorizing them to carry appropriate medications and monitoring equipment, and acknowledging that the pupil is capable of sellf-administration. The management plan must be signed by a licensed health professional; (2) A requirement that the student be able to practice proper safety precautions for the handling and disposal of equipment, and a specified method of disposal; and (3) Procedures that enable a school district or charter school to withdraw a pupil's authorization to monitor blood glucose and self-administer diabetes medication if the student does not practice proper safety precautions. The statute also allows for the training and authorization of voluntary diabetes care assistants.

     Last Updated: 12/21/2011

Medical Emergencies: 92 NAC 59.006 (no date available) requires all schools to adopt and implement the Emergency Response to Life Threatening Asthma or Systemic Allergic Reactions Protocol. This protocol consists of calling for the designated staff to implement the protocol, respiratory evaluation, administration of medications (Epi-Pen), assess the cause and vital signs, contact the parents and physician, and possibly transfer to a medical facility.

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