Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)
- Updates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Updates from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Nutrition Team (SNT)
- Other Updates and Information
USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is hosting a webinar for state agencies this week regarding the new nationwide waivers. Further guidance is expected soon.
School Nutrition Skills Development Courses (SNSDC)
The School Nutrition Team (SNT) is pleased to announce that the School Nutrition Skills Development Courses (SNSDC) will be offered virtually for Summer 2021.
This year, the SNT will host a limited selection of virtual live SNSDC classes during the weeks of July 19th and August 9th. These classes are free of charge, however advance registration is required. The SNT will release full class listings, weekly schedules, and registration information in May. Stay tuned!
All recorded course videos from SNSDC 2020 will remain available online and continue to fulfill requirements for the GOALS curriculum. The SNSDC 2021 virtual live classes will not be recorded for participant privacy reasons.
What is the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO)?
USDA recently released COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #85, Nationwide Waiver to Allow the Seamless Summer Option through School Year 2021-2022. Additionally, Nationwide Waiver #86 announces that schools participating in the SSO will receive reimbursement for meals at the higher Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) rates.
What is the SSO and how does it differ from the SFSP?
The USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) provides a comparison chart of the summer feeding options. The main differences between the two programs are the meal pattern and the reimbursement rates.
The SSO follows the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meal pattern. USDA FNS wants to ensure that students receive high-quality, nutritious meals that help them succeed in the classroom. The NSLP meal pattern emphasizes healthy eating with a focus on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and sensible calorie levels.
Nationwide Waiver #86 allows for schools to receive reimbursement for meals at the SFSP rates. We are awaiting further guidance as to whether this is a single or variable rate.
The SNT will provide training on the SSO in upcoming months. The training will include helpful hints for the transition from SFSP to SSO. The annual contract renewal memo will be released in early May and will provide guidance on what needs to be completed for this summer (if your school food authority provides summer meals) and for the upcoming school year.
The School and Community Nutrition Teams are dedicated to helping SFAs make a smooth transition from SFSP to SSO and will continue to provide timely guidance and instructions. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions.
Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment
All School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or School Breakfast Program (SBP) are required to complete a Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment. If your SFA participated in the NSLP or SBP prior to the 2018-2019 school year, the triennial assessment was due June 30, 2020. If your SFA did not complete the assessment by this date, please do so as soon as possible. SFAs that joined the programs after the 2018-2019 school year need to complete the triennial assessment within three years of their contract start date.
To fulfill the triennial assessment requirement, Wisconsin SFAs must complete the Wisconsin Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment Report Card. The Triennial Assessment Report Card does not need to be submitted to the School Nutrition Team but must be kept on file for your next Administrative Review. In addition, the results of the triennial assessment should be made available to the public.
We understand that COVID-19 may have impacted your SFAs ability to complete some wellness related goals. However, please complete the assessment as accurately as possible while considering your efforts over the past three years. The Triennial Assessment Report Card includes a narrative section where you can include a description of deviations related to COVID-19. Local Wellness Policy resources are available at the School Nutrition Team’s Local Wellness Policy webpage.
Educational and Enrichment Activities for the Afterschool Snack Program
One of the foundations of the Afterschool Snack Program is providing an educational or enrichment activity open to all students. Here are some educational and enrichment activities you can share directly with students to go along with their afterschool snack. While your learning model may still be in flux, you can share these links with families or print out the activity sheets and slide into a snack sack, or play the videos during snack time, as you wish.
- A trio of coloring pages (grades 1-5):
- All about growing lettuce hydroponically (grades 6-12)
- Science observation activity to use while eating fruits and vegetables (grades 3-5), from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences
- Adjectives Activity (grades 3-5) from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences
- Hummingbird’s Squash by Terry Lofton, Chapter 3 (grades 6-8)
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Updates
Households may be contacting schools to request verification that their child(ren) was learning virtually as directed by the Department of Health Services (DHS). The SNT is receiving many questions about what parents need from schools for this verification.
Parents need schools to provide any form of written verification from the school of the date their child began and ended learning virtually. This can be an email, letter, or other form. This “written verification” is for students who learned 100% from home, but their school reported a different learning model (hybrid, all in-person, or in-person with the option of virtual). Once DHS receives the start/end dates of when the student learned “all virtually”, they will be able to adjust the benefits for that household.
What needs to be included in the “verification”
- The verification needs to come from a school official or administrator (principal, secretary, or someone else at the school).
- The verification must include the student’s full name, the date they began learning “all virtually”, and the date they ended learning “all virtually”.
IMPORTANT: A new learning model survey (round 3) will be emailed to principals or other designated contacts on May 10, 2021 so please be on the lookout for this email.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.