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Direct Certification

Overview

Direct Certification (DC) promotes participation in school meal programs by simplifying access to free and reduced price meals. Children are automatically (categorically) eligible for free or reduced price school meals based on their eligibility as a foster child or based on their households participation in these programs: FoodShare (SNAP), W-2 cash benefits (TANF), Medicaid, or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

When a student is directly certified for free meals, the student's family does not need to complete the application for free or reduced-price meals. DC decreases administrative burden for school staff and families while improving the integrity of the certification process, as it establishes eligibility without the completion of an application.

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DC User Guide

(includes DC FAQ)
 

DC Webcast

 

state of Wisconsin

Direct Certification Login

 

Locked out?

Contact DCF: (855) 264-6323 Toll Free
 

New Users:

  1. Set Up DC Username
  2. Submit DC Access Request Form

DC Calendar of Requirements

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Most districts and private schools participating in National School Lunch Program are required to run full enrollment student input files:

  • 1st: beginning of year (between second week of July and first day of school)
  • 2nd:: three months later (around month of December)
  • 3rd: six months after first run (around month of March)
  • 4th: between March 18 and April 1 (for CEP proxy report)

Exceptions: Community Eligibility Provision, Special Milk Program, and Residential Child Care Institutions (see the appropriate Calendar of Requirements)

DC Process

  1. Create a student input file (typically from your Student Information System (SIS)).
  2. Log into the DC Portal.
  3. Upload the student input file, select Full or Partial Enrollment, then click "submit."
    1. Template Student Enrollment Input File
    2. What is a Full Run and What is a Partial Run? (See DC User Guide)
    3. List of School Codes (PDF) (Excel)
  4. Download the completed student match output file.
    1. This file provides a code for each student, which shows whether the student is directly certified for free or reduced price meals and identifies the program matched.
    2. List of DC Eligibility Output Match Codes
    3. Sample Student Match Output File
  5. Upload match file into your SIS according to your specific software instructions, if applicable.
  6. Verify or manually update students for Extension of Benefits.
  7. Print/Mail notification letters to families.
Note: more detailed instructions are in the DC User Guide and DC webcast

    Resources

    Contact

    (608) 267-9228