May 21, 2010 Deadline
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Child Nutrition Unit will mail each school district two sets of the renewal of the agreement between ADE and the school food authority of the 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 2010-11 school year.
Completion Of Adobe Forms:
All of the forms required for the Renewal of Agreement and Policy Statement are attachments to this Commissioner’s Memo, with the exception of the school district’s individualized CN Program Schedule A. Attached forms in Adobe format are forms that can be saved, completed on the computer and then printed for mailing back to ADE's Child Nutrition Unit. It is not possible to save the form after it has been completed; it is only possible to print the completed form while it is still showing on the computer screen. If needed, a free version of Adobe Reader may be downloaded from: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
2010-11 Income Eligibility Guidelines:
At this time the income eligibility guidelines for the 2010-2011 school year have not been published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The income eligibility guidelines are based on the poverty guidelines. However, the poverty guidelines for 2010 have not yet been established. Due to this delay, all of the forms in the renewal packet do not have the income guidelines listed. Prior to July 1, 2010, the ADE Child Nutrition Unit will publish the income eligibility guidelines to be used beginning July 1, 2010.
Distribution Of Applications Timeline Requirement:
The 2010-2011 free- and reduced-price meals application cannot be distributed prior to July 1, 2010, unless the LEA has year-round school or the charter school plan requires opening prior to July 1. If the LEA has year round school, then the LEA may distribute the 2010 applications no earlier than 10 days prior to July 1, 2010.
Renewal Of Agreement:
Please complete both copies of the renewal of the agreement, indicating programs the school district plans to continue operating, dates of operation, and any new programs the district plans to implement for the 2010-2011 school year. Also complete both copies of the two renewal of agreement attachments, health inspection statement and wellness committee members forms. Both sets of the forms must have original signatures.
Indicate if changes have been made from the 2006-2007 original agreement attachments on the following items: district wellness policy, civil rights/504 procedures, food safety/HACCP plan for each school in the district, or meal count and collection procedures. Indicate if changes have been made from the 2009-2010 agreement attachments for procurement procedures, or if there is a new or revised beverage/vending contract. If a new or revised beverage/vending contract is in effect, a copy of the contract must be sent with the renewal of agreement. All new or revised beverage/vending contracts must meet Arkansas nutrition standards as stated in Commissioner’s Memo FIN-06-016.
Remember that any new kitchen facility must have a food safety/HACCP plan available for use by employees and for inspection by the Arkansas Department of Health.
With each renewal of agreement, the school food authority of the LEA must indicate the number of serving days for each program that will be operating during the 2010-2011 school year (for example: 178 serving days for lunch).
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 2010-2011 school year.
Following is data requested on CN Program Schedule A for the School Meal Initiative:
On the right side of the section for individual school information, there are boxes to be completedto indicate 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. If the district is using “Three Steps to Healthy School Meals” menu planning system, the boxes will be checked K-6 for elementary schools and 7-12 for secondary schools. 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 Pre-K, K-3, 4-12, K-6 or 7-12. For further explanation of portion sizes for grade groups, please see the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Buying Guide for Traditional Meal Pattern. If not utilizing the Traditional Meal Pattern menu planning option, contact the district’s Child Nutrition Unit area specialist for instructions (refer to pages 12 and 13 of the 2006-2007 original agreement). Please check the appropriate grade grouping box for aach school.
Do not submit this agreement without the updated Child Nutrition Program Schedule A that is individualized and mailed to the district as part of the renewal packet.
Additional Funding reflected on CN Program Schedule A:
Eligibility For Severe Need Breakfast Reimbursement:
Schools eligible for severe need breakfast reimbursement for the 2010-2011 school year have been updated on the CN Program Schedule A enclosed with the mailed renewal packet. ADE Commissioner’s Memo FIN-10-050 outlines the application process that was to be completed for 2010-2011 severe need reimbursement. School districts will receive written notification from Louann Griswood, assistant director for finance, ADE Child Nutrition Unit, designating the school's eligibility for severe need for the 2010-2011 school year.
School districts that served 60 percent or more of the total lunches to students eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the second preceding school year (2008-2009) 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 18-years-old or younger who participate in afterschool education programs. 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 School Year 2010-2011 Afterschool Snack Programs.” No reimbursement for the Afterschool Snack Program can be paid unless the Afterschool Snack Program Schedule B Is completed and written approval is received prior to the start of the program. Please see page five of the 2006-2007 original agreement between school food authority and the Arkansas Department of Education for specific program requirements.
Seamless Summer Program Schedule C-11:
The Seamless Summer Program Schedule C-11 is for the summer of 2011. This program makes it possible to serve up to two free meals per day (breakfast, lunch, morning snack, afternoon snack 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 2011, complete the Seamless Summer Option Schedule C-11 at least two weeks prior to the start of the program. For information regarding Seamless Summer meals for summer of 2010, please see Commissioner’s Memo FIN-10-080.
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.
State Legislative Mandates:
Act 826 of 1991 requires all schools with 20 percent 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.
Menu Review By Wellness Committee:
Act 2285 of 2005 requires menus for the school lunch program and other foods sold in the cafeteria be reviewed quarterly by the wellness committee. The wellness committee is to provide recommendations concerning menus and other foods sold in the school cafeteria.
Arkansas Nutrition Standards:
Act 1220 of 2003 requires that the Arkansas Child Health Advisory Committee revise the allowable competitive foods/beverages and maximum portion size list each school year. ADE Commissioner’s Memo FIN-10-079 includes the maximum portion size list for the 2010-2011 school year.
Renewal Of Policy Statement For Free And Reduced Price Meals:
The mailed packet includes:
1. Two copies of the renewal of policy atatement for free and reduced-price meals for the 2010-2011 school year,
2. Two copies of the Child Nutrition contact information,
3. One set of the free and reduced-price meals application and verification forms packet, and
4. 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 2010-2011 School Year and both copies of the Renewal of Policy Statement Attachment Child Nutrition Contact Information. Please read the Renewal of Policy Statement and Free and Reduced Price Meals Application and Verification Forms packet carefully.
Required Forms For 2010-2011:
Do not use any letters or forms from previous years' free and reduced-price meals application and verification forms packets. Due to significant federal changes on forms and letters, use only 2010-2011 School Year Forms or Letters included with the 2010-2011 Renewal of Policy Statement packet. Failure to use 2010-2011 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 the Child Nutrition Unit with the two signed copies of the Renewal of Policy Statement and the two copies of the CN Contact Information.
The 2010-2011 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 Child Nutrition Unit approval prior to use by the district.
The 2010-2011 Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application and Verification Forms can be printed from this Commissioner’s Memo or on the ADE Memos page of the Child Nutrition Unit 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 2010-2011 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 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. Due to the delay in publication of the 2010-2011 income eligibility guidelines, the media release does not have income guidelines listed. Prior to July 1, 2010, the ADE Child Nutrition Unit will publish the correct 2010-2011 income eligibility guidelines. The media release must not be published without the correct income eligibility guidelines.
Each school district in Arkansas will participate in the direct certification of free eligibles. Each school district will be mailed a hard copy of the direct certification list and students on the direct certification list will be automatically coded in APSCN to indicate free-meal status in the district in which they attended the previous school year. Additional children living in the household with students on the direct certification list must also have access to free-meal benefits. Please see Commissioner’s Memo FIN-10-21 “Federal Policy change to Extend Categorical Eligibility to all students in SNAP Households” regarding this change in federal policy.
An additional optional form (Optional Notification To School District Students Residing In Households With Direct Certification Students) has been added to the 2010-2011 Forms and Letters Packet. The district may use this optional form to give households the opportunity to complete Part B to advise school districts of other students in the same household as students on direct certification. The district cannot require households to complete this optional form in order to certify other household members eligible based on living in the same household with a directly certified student. The school district is responsible to ensure that all children eligible in the direct certification household have access to free-meal benefits.
Other methods to determine students as eligible for free-meal benefits based on being a member of a household with a directly certified student are available. These include, but are not limited to:
1. The household may complete the Optional Notification To School District form;
2. The district can pull a COGNOS report called APSCN Family Address List. The report can be found in COGNOS (Public Folders > ADE APSCN – Student Management System > Demographics > General Demographic Reports;
3. Households may call the school district to indicate other students in the household (district must document the call); or
4. The household may complete a free or reduced-price meal application.
Determining officials must make sure that all students that can be considered categorically eligible based on this direct certification policy have access to free-meal benefits.
SNAP Household Applications:
For households submitting applications with SNAP (formerly food stamp) case numbers, the LEA must certify all children as categorically eligible for free meals. Any income information on the application is disregarded. Further, for purposes of carry-over into the new school year, categorical eligibility must, to the extent feasible, be extended to newly enrolled siblings.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires each school district to report to ADE the results of the verification process for the 2010-2011 school year. Forms and instructions will be provided on the verification page of the Child Nutrition website http://cnn.k12.ar.us for the 2010-2011 verification process. The verification process must be completed by Monday, November 15, 2010, and the Verification Summary Report (FNS-742) must be emailed to the Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit by Wednesday, December 15, 2010. Please remember that failure to complete verification is an audit finding that may affect other federal funding, i.e. E-rate.
Remember New Eligibility Manual For School Meals:
The Eligibility Manual for School Meals has been revised to reflect changes in determining student eligibility for free or reduced-price meals by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These changes are effective immediately. This revised guidance shall be used in place of the 2008 guidance manual for the 2010-2011 school year (file the 2008 guidance with the 2009-10 applications and documentation). See ADE Commissioner’s Memo FIN-10-066 for more information. The manual is available on the Child Nutrition Web site at http://cnn.k12.ar.us under the “Eligibility” button.
This manual contains information on federal requirements regarding the determination and verification of eligibility for free and reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.
May 21, 2010, Deadline:
Complete and return by May 21, 2010, both copies of:
1. Renewal of Agreement
2. The two Renewal of Agreement Attachments:
....a. Wellness Committee Members
....b. Health Inspections Statement
3. CN Program Schedule A
4. Renewal of Policy Statement
5. Policy Statement Renewal Attachment, CN Contact Information Page
6. New or Revised Beverage/Vending Contract (if applicable)
7. Schedule B – Afterschool Snack (if applicable)
8. Schedule C-11 – Seamless Summer (if applicable)
9. 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 anytime 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
Arkansas Department of Education
2020 West 3rd Street, Suite 404
Little Rock, AR 72205-4465
The ADE Child Nutrition Unit will mail one signed copy of the renewal packet including the Renewal of Agreement, Renewal of Agreement Attachments (Health Inspection 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-11, if applicable) to the school food authority of the LEA following approval by Wanda Shockey, director, ADE Child Nutrition Unit.
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