MAY 21, 2008 DEADLINE
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Child Nutrition Unit (CNU) will mail each school district two sets of the Renewal of the Agreement between ADE and the School Food Authority (SFA)/Local Education Agency (LEA). This Agreement must be completed to participate in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Afterschool Snack Program, Seamless Summer and/or the Special Milk Program for the regular school term and/or for the summer sessions of the 2008-2009 school year.
RENEWAL OF AGREEMENT:
Please complete BOTH copies of the Renewal of Agreement, indicating programs the school district plans to continue operating, dates of operation, and any new programs the district plans to implement for the 2008-2009 school year. Also complete BOTH copies of the two Renewal of Agreement Attachments, Health Inspection Statement and Wellness Committee Members. Both sets of the forms must have original signatures.
Indicate if changes have been made from the 2006-2007 Agreement on the following items: Procurement Procedures, District Wellness Policy, Civil Rights/504 Procedures, Food Safety Plan for each school in the district, Meal Count and Collection Procedures or the district’s Beverage Contract. If a new or revised beverage contract is in effect, a copy of the contract must be sent with the Renewal of Agreement.
NEW ITEM ON RENEWAL OF AGREEMENT:
Indicate number of serving days for each program that will be operating during the 2008-2009 school year on the Renewal of Agreement.
CHILD NUTRITION (CN) PROGRAM SCHEDULE A:
Two copies of the school district Child Nutrition (CN) Program Schedule A are enclosed in the packet mailed to the district. Please make corrections and additions to the CN Program Schedule A to reflect the correct information for the 2008-2009 school year.
Following is data requested on CN Program Schedule A for the School Meal Initiative (SMI):
On the right side of the individual SCHOOL information section of the CN Program Schedule A, there are NEW boxes to be completed. These boxes are to advise the CNU of which grade grouping the district has used in planning menus. This same grade grouping will be used for the nutrient analysis of school meals for the School Meals Initiative (SMI). If the district is using “Three Steps to Healthy School Meals” menu planning system, the boxes will be checked K-6 for elementary school and 7-12 for secondary school. If the district is not using “Three Steps,” the menu planner must check the appropriate grade grouping that will be used for the nutrient analysis. The choices are PreK, K-3, 4-12, K-6 or 7-12. For further explanation of portion sizes for grade groups see United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Buying Guide for Traditional Meal Pattern. If not utilizing the Traditional Meal Pattern menu planning option, contact the district’s CNU Area Specialist for instructions (refer to pages 12 and 13 of the 2006-2007 Original Agreement). Please check the appropriate grade grouping box for EACH SCHOOL.
DO NOT SUBMIT THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT THE UPDATED CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM SCHEDULE A that is mailed to the district as part of the renewal packet.
Reminder: Act 826 of 1991 requires all schools with 20% or more of the students eligible for free and reduced price meals during the preceding school year to provide students with a school breakfast program.
ELIGIBILITY FOR SEVERE NEED BREAKFAST REIMBURSEMENT:
Schools eligible for Severe Need Breakfast Reimbursement for the 2008-2009 school year HAVE NOT been updated on the CN Program Schedule A enclosed with the mailed renewal packet. ADE Commissioner’s Memo FIN-08-059 outlines the application process to be completed for SY 2008-2009 Severe Need Reimbursement. School districts will receive written notification from CNU designating the schools eligible for severe need. The CN Program Schedule A will have been updated with the correct school severe need determination when the district receives the approved copy signed by Wanda Shockey, Director, Child Nutrition Unit, ADE.
School districts that served 60% or more of the total lunches to students eligible for free or reduced price meals in the SECOND preceding school year (2006-2007) are designated Safety Net districts. These districts will receive an additional two cents reimbursement for each lunch served. Please verify Safety Net designation on the CN Program Schedule A enclosed in the mailed packet.
AFTERSCHOOL SNACK SCHEDULE B:
Reimbursement is available for afterschool snacks served to students who are 18 years old or under and participate in an afterschool education program. If one or more of the schools in the district plan to have afterschool programs and would like to provide snacks, complete the attached “Schedule B SY 2008-2009 Afterschool Snack Programs.” NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE AFTERSCHOOL SNACK PROGRAM CAN BE PAID UNLESS THE AFTERSCHOOL SNACK PROGRAM SCHEDULE B IS COMPLETED AND APPROVED PRIOR TO THE START OF THE PROGRAM. See the 2006-2007 Original Agreement between School Food Authority and Arkansas Department of Education (the Agreement), page 5, for specific program requirements.
SEAMLESS SUMMER PROGRAM SCHEDULE C-09:
The Seamless Summer Program Schedule C-09 is for the summer of 2009. This program makes it possible to serve up to two (2) free meals per day (breakfast, lunch, morning snack, afternoon snack and/or supper) to students participating in summer programs other than regular summer school. (The two meals cannot be lunch and supper.) To participate in the Seamless Summer Program during the summer of 2009, complete the “Seamless Summer Option Schedule C-09” at least two (2) weeks prior to the start of the program.
Information about the Seamless Summer Program for the summer of 2008 can be found in Commissioner’s Memo FIN-08-063.
SPECIAL MILK PROGRAM:
The Special Milk Program is available for students who do not have access to lunch, breakfast or afterschool snacks. If the district is interested in this program, please contact Wanda Shockey at (501) 324-9502.
RENEWAL OF POLICY STATEMENT FOR FREE AND REDUCED PRICE MEALS:
The mailed packet includes TWO COPIES of the Renewal of Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Meals for the 2008-2009 school year, two copies of the Child Nutrition Contact Information, one set of the Free and Reduced Price Meals Application and Verification Forms packet and one set of the Spanish translation of the Free and Reduced Price Meals packet. Complete, sign and return BOTH copies of the Renewal of Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Meals 2008-2009 School Year and BOTH copies of the Renewal of Policy Statement Attachment CN Contact Information. Please read the Renewal of Policy Statement and Free and Reduced Price Meals Application and Verification Forms packet carefully.
Do not use letters or forms from any previous year’s Free and Reduced Price Meals Application and Verification Forms packet. Due to significant federal changes on forms and letters USE ONLY CURRENT FORMS OR LETTERS included with the 2008-2009 Renewal of Policy Statement packet. Failure to use 2008-2009 federally approved forms may cause a district to pay back federal reimbursement.
Send two copies of any changed or added forms or letters for approval by CNU with the two signed copies of the Renewal of Policy Statement and the two copies of the CN Contact Information.
The 2008-2009 Free and Reduced Price Meals Application and Verification Forms packet should NOT be returned with the Renewal of Policy Statement UNLESS changes have been made to the forms or letters. ALL CHANGES TO FORMS OR LETTERS must have CNU approval PRIOR TO USE BY THE DISTRICT.
CHANGES TO THE APPLICATION AND FORMS PACKET:
1. A box has been added to the CN Program Schedule to indicate if the school is a serving site for school meals. A serving site is a location where reimbursable meals are served and consumed. If the school has a serving site put a check in the box.
2. Item 14 was added on the Letter to Households at the request of the Research and Technology Division of the Arkansas Department of Education. This statement was added to inform households that the free and reduced price eligibles statistics are used to allow schools to receive federal technology funding.
3. There is a new box next to each student’s name on the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application. When a food stamp case number is included on the application the box by the student’s name must be checked by the adult completing the application. A Food Stamp application must identify each student on the application that receives food stamp benefits.
4. A Notice of Approval for Free Meals based on a student’s status as migrant, homeless, runaway or their enrollment in Head Start or Even Start programs is included in the 2008-2009 Forms packet. This letter MUST be sent by the meal status Determining Official to households when a student is placed on a categorically eligible list (migrant, homeless, runaway, Head Start or Even Start).
5. The Application Tracker used for the Verification Process must have the initials of the Confirming Official before the household is notified of selection for verification activity. The Application Tracker must also have the initials of the Verifying Official to indicate the date of first and second notices sent to the household.
6. The district is required to have a written narrative of the process of application selection for verification. This has been added as Step 3 of the Verification Timeline.
FEDERAL CHANGE IN CALCULATION OF HOUSEHOLD INCOME:
TOTAL INCOME MULTIPLE FREQUENCIES:
If the household receives income at more than one frequency, i.e., one check is received weekly and another check is received every two weeks, all income must be converted to ANNUAL income. To convert to annual income multiply monthly income by 12, twice monthly income by 24, income received every two weeks by 26 and income received weekly by 52. After all income has been converted to annual income, mark the annual income frequency item and complete the space for Total Income.
TOTAL INCOME ONE FREQUENCY:
If the household receives all income on the same frequency basis, i.e., weekly, monthly, then the income is added together, the Total Income is indicated and the appropriate income frequency item is checked on the application. The income is then compared to the Income Eligibility Guidelines to determine eligibility.
IT IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE TO USE CONVERSION FACTORS SUCH AS 4.33 TO CONVERT WEEKLY INCOME OR 2.15 TO CONVERT BI-WEEKLY INCOME TO MONTHLY AMOUNTS. SOFTWARE USE MUST REFLECT THIS POLICY.
The 2008-2009 Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application and Verification Forms can be printed from this Commissioner’s Memo on the ADE Memos page of the CNU Web site at http://cnn.k12.ar.us . These forms can be modified to include school district information.
The Media Release is included as part of the 2008-2009 Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application and Verification Forms. This notice must be provided to the local news media, the employment office and any major employers who are contemplating large layoffs in the attendance area of the district. Documentation of the public release must be made available upon request to any interested party.
Each school district in Arkansas will participate in the Direct Certification of free eligibles. School districts not using the Pentamation system to submit student information to APSCN will be mailed specific procedures to follow. For additional information, please see Commissioner's Memo FIN-08-064 and the 2006-2007 Original Agreement, page 5, Item 27.
Reminder: Each district must send a letter to the household of the student on the Direct Certification list informing the household that the student qualifies for free meals. Those households do not need to complete the Free and Reduced Price Meal Application form for students on the direct certification list. This letter is included in the Free and Reduced Price Meals Application and Verification Forms packet.
USDA requires each school district to report to the Department of Education the results of the verification process for the 2008-2009 school year. Forms and instructions will be provided on the verification page of the Child Nutrition Web site http://cnn.k12.ar.us for the 2008-2009 verification process. The verification process must be completed by November 14, 2008, and the Verification Summary Report (FNS-742) must be emailed to ADE, CNU by December 15, 2008. Please remember that failure to complete verification is an audit finding that may affect other federal funding, i.e., E-rate.
MAY 21, 2008 DEADLINE:
Complete and return by May 21, 2008, BOTH copies of:
1. Renewal of Agreement
2. The two Renewal of Agreement Attachments:
a. Health Inspections Statement
b. Wellness Committee Members
3. CN Program Schedule A
4. Renewal of Policy Statement
5. Policy Statement Renewal Attachment, CN Contact Information Page
6. Schedule B – Afterschool Snack (if applicable)
7. Schedule C-09 – Seamless Summer (if applicable)
8. Changes to Free and Reduced Price Meals Application and Verification Forms and Letters (if applicable)
Please DO NOT HOLD forms for a new superintendent’s signature and/or new meal prices. The Renewal of Agreement and Policy Statement can be updated at any time during the school year with a letter from the superintendent. USE THE CHECKLIST enclosed with the mailed packet to be sure that all requested materials are returned.
Child Nutrition Unit, ADE
2020 West 3rd Street, Suite 404
Little Rock, AR 72205-4465
CNU/ADE will mail one signed copy of the renewal packet including the Renewal of Agreement, Renewal of Agreement Attachments (Health Inspections Statement and Wellness Committee Members), CN Program Schedule A, Renewal of Policy Statement, Renewal of Policy Statement CN Contact Information Page, (Afterschool Snack Schedule B and Seamless Summer Schedule C-09, if applicable) to the School Food Authority (SFA/LEA) following approval by Wanda Shockey, Director, ADE Child Nutrition Unit.