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Sunnyside schools recognize dangers of obesity

A move is afoot to prevent local children from becoming obese.

The Sunnyside School Board adopted the first reading of a policy that deals with the growing issue of childhood obesity.

The policy touches on how overweight children are at a higher risk for developing severe long-term health problems. The policy also outlines how obesity and subsequent diseases are largely preventable through diet and regular physical activity.

Under the policy, the board is taking a more strict stance on emphasizing nutrition and physical activity to students at all grade levels. The policy further states how the district will provide students access to nutritious food, provide opportunities for physical activities and developmentally appropriate exercises, as well as information about the risks of obesity.

The policy also directs the superintendent to develop and implement a comprehensive district-wide nutrition program consistent with state and federal requirements as part of the National School Lunch Program and the school breakfast program. The policy also directs the superintendent to adopt and implement a comprehensive curriculum on health, fitness and nutrition consistent with the Essential Academic Learning Requirements for students in all grade levels.

The school board also approved the first reading of a policy that addresses reimbursement for travel expenses. The policy outlines how all travel requests must be approved by a staff member's immediate supervisor prior to being submitted to the superintendent for approval. Any out-of-district travel must be approved by the superintendent or designed. The rest of the policy outlines guidelines for reimbursement plus what is not reimbursable expenses under district guidelines.

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