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School Nutrition Bulletin #16: Professional Standards, SY 2017-18 Income Eligibility Guidelines, SY 2017-18 CEP Intent and/or Application Forms Due June 30, USDA Memos, Verification Response Rate Challenge

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Announcements from WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT):

  • Professional Standards
  • School Year (SY) 2017-18 Income Eligibility Guidelines released
  • SY 17-18 CEP Annual Intent and/or Application Forms Due June 30
  • SP 24-2017 Local School Wellness Policy: Guidance and Q&As
  • SP 26-2017 Accommodating Disabilities in the School Meal Programs: Guidance and Questions and Answers
  • SP 28-2017 Revised Prototype Free and Reduced Price Application for SY 2017-2018
  • USDA Verification Response Rate Challenge, May 4 - June 15, 2017

Professional Standards

As we approach the end of the first two years since the Professional Standards rule became effective on July 1, 2015, many people have questioned how to determine a two-year period for continuing education documentation. Annual training is required for all school nutrition program employees. The State Agency, DPI, allows the total required training hours to be extended over a two year period. Annual training hours obtained in excess of the required minimum in one year school year (July 1 - June 30) may be applied to either the immediately previous or immediately subsequent year. At least some training, though, must occur during each school year.

For more information, please reference USDA’s “Guide to Professional Standards for School Nutrition Programs” from 2016 or SNT’s Professional Standards webpage.

SY 2017-18 Income Eligibility Guidelines

The Income Eligibility Guidelines for SY 2017-18 are now posted on our website. Just a reminder, these are for SFA use only for determining school meal eligibility and should not be shared publicly.

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Intent and/or Application Forms, Due June 30

Agencies currently participating in CEP must submit their Annual Intent Form to cep@dpi.wi.gov by June 30, 2017.

Agencies interested in participating in CEP starting in SY 17-18 must submit an application to cep@dpi.wi.gov by June 30, 2017. The application is posted on the CEP website along with other program resources.

SP 24-2017 Local School Wellness Policy: Guidance and Q&As

SFAs participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program are required to develop a local school wellness policy to promote the health of students and address the problem of childhood obesity. The Wellness Policy final rule released in July 2016, requires School Food Authorities (SFAs) to revise their local school wellness policy by June 30, 2017. This memorandum provides Questions and Answers to address the local school wellness policy final rule.

SP 26-2017 Accommodating Disabilities in the School Meal Programs: Guidance and Questions and Answers

This memorandum provides guidance related to accommodating disabilities in the School Meal Programs and gives direction on what SFAs and schools must do to comply with Federal law and ensure children with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the School Meal Programs. Topics include: General Information; What is a Disability?; Procedural Safeguards; Requesting a Modification; Making a Meal Modification; Reimbursement for Modified Meals; Accommodations to the Meal Service; Non-Disability Situations; and Miscellaneous. This Q&A is a companion piece to SP 59-2016.

SP 28-2017 Revised Prototype Free and Reduced Price Application for SY 2017-2018

The revised 2017-18 Prototype Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals and instructions have been released by USDA. The SNT is modifying these prototypes for Wisconsin SFAs. We plan to post these documents to our website when they are approved. We will let you know as soon as they are available for Wisconsin SFAs to download.

USDA School Meal Programs: Verification Response Rate Challenge, May 4 - June 15, 2017

Description: Every year, SFAs process about 5 million free and reduced-price meal applications. Of those, thousands of applications are chosen for eligibility verification, and notices are sent to the households asking them to confirm their eligibility (e.g. provide income documentation). In school year 2015-2016, 40 percent of households that were contacted for verification did not respond to verification requests. The households that did not respond became ineligible for meal benefits, even if they met the income requirements.

Creative Solutions: Many SFAs across the country have created solutions that have improved household response rates. We would like to hear from you! Your creative solutions may help other school districts increase their verification response rates, reducing the risk that eligible children lose access to program benefits.

The Challenge: The “Verification Response Rate Challenge” is a public forum for SFA and State agency staff to exchange ideas on how to increase household response in the annual verification process. Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Share your verification success stories or ideas on Challenge.Gov by June 15, 2017.
  2. Build on others’ submissions with constructive feedback and suggestions by June 15, 2017.
  3. Vote for your favorite solution June 16-22, 2017.

School Nutrition Bulletin #16, 05/09/17

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This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.
You can contact the School Nutrition Team at
dpifns@dpi.wi.gov.
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