Title 16

Chapter 21
Health and Safety of Pupils

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-21-7

§ 16-21-7. School health.

(a) All schools that are approved for the purpose of §§ 16-19-1 and 16-19-2 shall have a school health program that shall be approved by the state director of the department of health and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education or the commissioner of higher education, as appropriate. The program shall provide for the organized direction and supervision of a healthful school environment, health education, and services. The program shall include and provide for the administration of nursing care by certified nurse teachers, as defined in § 16-21-8, as shall be requested, in writing, by the attending physician of any student and authorized, in writing, by the parent or legal guardian of the student. No instruction in the characteristics, symptoms, and the treatment of disease shall be given to any child whose parent or guardian shall present a written statement signed by them stating that the instructions should not be given the child because of religious beliefs.

(b) [Deleted by P.L. 2016, ch. 529, § 1.]

(c) All Rhode Island elementary, middle, and high schools that sell or distribute competitive foods and beverages on the school campus during the school day shall be required to offer only healthy foods and beverages as set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-296, 42 U.S.C. § 1758 et seq., and federal regulations implementing the act promulgated pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1779(b). Provided, the Rhode Island board of education or local school committees may adopt more restrictive policies than the ones referenced herein.

(d) Schools may permit the sale of beverages and snacks that do not comply with subsection (c) as part of school fundraising in any of the following circumstances:

(1) The sale of those items takes place off and away from the school campus.

(2) The sale of those items takes place after the end of the school day as defined in subsection (g).

(3) Career and technical schools with culinary arts or food-service programs may request an exemption from the department of elementary and secondary education to enable the limited sale of noncompliant snacks and beverages that have been prepared by culinary students as part of their curriculum. No specially exempted fundraiser foods or beverages may be sold in competition with school meals during the meal service.

(e) The department of elementary and secondary education shall post on its website resources to assist school districts with implementation of this section.

(f) The department of elementary and secondary education shall develop a process to monitor compliance with this section.

(g) Definitions. As used in this section:

(1) “Competitive foods” means all foods and beverages, other than meals reimbursed under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq.) and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. § 1771 et seq.), available for sale to students on the school campus during the school day.

(2) “School campus” means all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day.

(3) “School day” means the period from midnight before, to sixty (60) minutes after, the end of the official school day.

(h) The standards set forth and referenced in this section shall apply throughout the entire school campus, including, but not limited to, a la carte food sale, school stores, vending machines, and fundraisers held during the school day.

History of Section.
G.L. 1938, ch. 182, § 10; P.L. 1949, ch. 2341, § 1; impl. am. P.L. 1951, ch. 2752, § 21; G.L. 1956, § 16-21-7; P.L. 1961, ch. 133, § 2; P.L. 1977, ch. 271, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 231, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 234, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 80, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 92, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 529, § 1; P.L. 2021, ch. 351, § 3, effective July 12, 2021; P.L. 2021, ch. 352, § 3, effective July 12, 2021.