Wellness Policy

Thunderbird Challenge Program

The Thunderbird Challenge Program recognizes the relationship between academic achievement and student health and wellness. Thunderbird Challenge Program is committed to providing a school environment that encourages nutritious eating habits, wellness, and appropriate physical activity as a means of promoting academic success, engaging students, and encouraging lifelong health.


The goal of The Thunderbird Challenge Program’s health and wellness education is to empower cadets to develop healthy behaviors, skills, and attitudes by providing a variety of fitness and health awareness opportunities, while establishing program and community partnerships that encourage healthy lifelong choices. The health and wellness educational environment will include the following components: Health Education; Physical Education; Health Services; Nutrition Services; Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services; Healthy and Safe School Environment; Health Promotion for Staff; and Family and Community Involvement.


Nutrition education occurs in the classroom, as well as in the larger program community. The program utilizes multiple channels (e.g., classroom, cafeteria, and parental communication) to promote healthy nutritional and physical behaviors. In support of the aim of the Thunderbird Challenge Program’s wellness curriculum, the following guidelines, or recommendations, will be considered by the district:

  • Allow cadets adequate time to consume meals;
  • Utilize program personnel to provide training and support to staff to meet nutrition standards for preparing healthy meals, engaging staff in wellness activities, creating partnerships in providing excellent food to our cadets; and utilizing smarter lunch room tools and strategies to increase intake of healthy food choices, decrease waste, and improve participation. All nutrition program managers, staff, and directors will meet or exceed hiring and annual continuing education/training requirements in the USDA Professional Standards for Child Nutrition Professionals;
  • Program employees, cadets, or sanctioned program organizations will be required to adhere to district guidelines for fundraisers and encouraged to offer health-promoting activities such as non-food items, physical activity/ related options, or healthy food and beverage options which follow USDA Nutrition Standards (see Regulation Nutritional Guidelines, Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools), unless exempted under state guidelines. Any fundraiser which does not meet the Smart Snack rules can only be conducted if the following criteria are met:
    • The program site shall designate a Smart Snacks in School Exempt Fundraiser contact person who shall be responsible for maintaining up-to-date documentation regarding each exempt fundraiser held at the program site;
    • A limit of thirty (30) exempt fundraisers per semester may be held at the program site.
    • Exempt fundraisers are prohibited from taking place while meals are being served to cadets under the NSLP (National School Lunch Program) or the SBP (School Breakfast Program) and while after-school snacks are being served to cadets under ASSP (After-School Snack Program);
    • The maximum duration of any individual exempt fundraiser shall be fourteen (14) days;
    • For each individual exempt fundraiser, documentation must be kept on file at the program site showing (1) the program organization, activity, class, or other group that benefits from the fundraiser, and (2) the date(s) the fundraiser is conducted, with the duration not to exceed fourteen (14) days.
    • Only healthy food and beverage options that meet the standards and nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages provided, but not sold, to cadets during the school day, such as classroom parties, or other foods given as incentives, will follow the standards and nutrition guidelines, with two exemptions allowed from these standards per year, per classroom;
  • Promote marketing that emphasizes only foods and beverages that meet Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards;
  • Support the health and well-being of every employee along with programs and agencies that promote healthy lifestyles;
  • Provide nutrition education to families and the community through parental communication, educational workshops, screening services, and health-related exhibitions/fairs. Child Nutrition will offer hands-on nutrition education classes and activities for students.


The Child Nutrition Program will serve reimbursable meals that meet the USDA’s (United States Department of Agriculture) current meal pattern requirements as well as follow the principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Meal programs include lunch, breakfast, fresh fruits and vegetables grants, summer food program, and after-school snack programs. All meals will:

  • Offer whole grains, fruits, and vegetables per USDA standards;
  • Be accessible to all students, encouraging students to start each day with a healthy breakfast;
  • Be appealing and attractive to students and staff of various ages and diverse backgrounds;
  • Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
  • Be designed to feature fresh fruits and vegetables from local sources to the greatest extent possible, and to pursue partnerships with local/regional farms to facilitate a Farm-to-School program;
  • Include the provision of safe, unflavored, cool drinking water throughout the school day at no cost to students and only allow low-fat or non-fat varieties of milk and 100% juice with no added caloric sweeteners; and
  • Include foods high in whole grains with ample fruits and vegetables, as well as foods that are free of added trans-fat, low in added fats, sugars, and sodium, have age-appropriate caloric levels, and are served in appropriate portion sizes consistent with USDA standards.


The Thunderbird Challenge Program recognizes the importance of physical activity and physical education in promoting health and academic achievement and cadet engagement. Physical activity is an important part of a cadet’s comprehensive, well-rounded education program that will positively impact lifelong health and well-being. The Thunderbird Challenge Program supports quality physical activity throughout the school day.

  • Time spent participating in physical activities, per state law, will meet the requirements for accreditation by the Oklahoma State Board of Education. Students in all grades will be offered a range of physical activity choices, which may include competitive and non-competitive options. In addition, teachers and other program personnel may provide other opportunities to students by integrating physical activity into the academic curriculum;
  • Cadet’s participating in physical education will be moderately to vigorously active for the majority of class time;
  • The program provides proper and safe equipment and facilities to support physical education classes and other program-sponsored physical activities;
  • Training for teachers on integrating physical activity into the curriculum may be provided as part of the professional development opportunities in the district.


An assessment of the program’s Wellness Policy will be completed at least once every three (3) years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas of improvement. As part of that review, the program Wellness Policy Council, which includes teachers, administrators, students, parents, Child Nutrition personnel, and community members (such as medical professionals), will review nutrition and physical activity policies; review nutrition and physical education policies and program elements; and review environmental provisions that support healthy eating and physical activity. The School Policy and Practice Needs Assessment (PPT) will be a tool to assess the level of implementation of the policy and program elements. Results from this tool, as well as input from stakeholders, will be utilized to plan for future improvements. Results and information about the Wellness Policy and its implementation will be posted on the program’s web page to inform the public, and will also be communicated using other venues, , and Healthy and Fit School Advisory Committee meetings. Oversight for the district Wellness Policy will be maintained by the Director of Child Nutrition and the Program Wellness Policy Council.


The Thunderbird Challenge Program shall establish a Healthy and Fit School Advisory Committee to be composed of at least six members. The Advisory Committee may be composed of teachers, administrators, parents of cadets, health care professionals and business community representatives who have the authority and responsibility to ensure the program site complies with this policy.

The Healthy and Fit School Advisory Committee may be combined with the Safe School Committee as determined by the Director.

A. Wellness Policy Committee
DFAC Manager - Chef Mark Michalski mark.michalski@thunderbird.org
Health Services – Nurse Amber or Brandon health.services@thunderbird.org
Student Council Representative – Varies by Cycle
Education Representative - Sherri Vermeer sherry.vermeer@thunderbird.org
Operations Representative - A.C.O.C. Tammy Yenny tammy.yenny@thunderbird.org
Recruiting Representative – Shawn England shawn.england@thunderbird.org

Adopted 2/6/2018