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2015 Professional Standards Grants


Alaska Child Nutrition Programs will conduct two distinctly different training models in an effort to directly confront operational issues found at schools and residential child care institutions. The first project is an inter-district mentorship training program for high-need, school food authorities (SFAs) that have unique compliance struggles. This model will utilize a train-the-trainer model that will address nutrition and operations. This program will be called Peer–to–Peer Mentorship (P2PM). The second project will target the administrative staff. It will provide a series of administrative training sessions geared to increase overall awareness of the USDA administrative regulatory requirements. For further information, contact Jo Dawson at


The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) will implement the Designing Your Employee Training Plan. This training program will offer regional, one-day trainings focusing on Developing Employee Training Plans, including a plan for tracking trainings. By providing training to Local Education Agencies (LEAs), ADE expects them to have increased knowledge of human resource skills as outlined in the Professional Standards Learning Topics and increased awareness of existing Institute of Child Nutrition online no-cost trainings and USDA resources. A total of ten trainings will be conducted by grant co-directors in three different Arizona regions (northern, central, and southern). Each regional training will accommodate 50-60 participants. For more information, please contact Cara Peczkowski at


The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) will improve their training program by providing online and in-person trainings to assist all Colorado school foodservice personnel in meeting annual training requirements. The Colorado Department of Education aims to achieve two objectives: (1) Implement an online training center to provide training opportunities and (2) create and pilot a new one-day, in-person orientation to School Nutrition and Food Service Management workshop for new program directors and managers. Grant funds will be used to enhance 15 existing CDE trainings, totaling an estimated 15.5 hours of education to school foodservice personnel. For more information, please contact Jane Brand at


The Florida Department of Agriculture will cultivate a series of school nutrition program curricula using current materials developed by the division, and the Institute for Child Nutrition that focus on operation efficiency, marketing effectiveness, and customer service. These materials will be used to impart knowledge of the on-the-job training approaches to current foodservice professionals and staff who will serve as instructors. three 6 week, on-the-job training courses will be offered to school nutrition staff. A maximum of 20 participants will be selected for the trainings. Once the first set of on-the-job trainings courses are completed, Florida will assess the effectiveness of the program and apply lessons learned to the second set of courses. For more information, please contact Quinn Skinner at


The Iowa Department of Education (IDE) identified specific objectives to be implemented within each of the grant goals in the Professional Standards Training Grant. Goal 1: Provide in-person and on-line trainings for school nutrition personnel to have the knowledge, training and tools they need to plan, prepare, and purchase healthy products to create nutritious, safe, and enjoyable school meals, and meet professional standards objectives. Goal 2: Establish a Team-Up for Success Iowa mentorship program between food service directors to foster peer-to-peer relationships for support, idea sharing, lessons learned, and technical assistance to help schools serve healthier meals and operate successful programs. The workshops will train 30 mentors to tailor technical assistance based on a district’s needs and how to provide successful peer-to-peer mentoring. The Project Director will conduct the workshop training and build upon the ICN Team-Up for Success workshops by utilizing and expanding ICN materials for use in Iowa. For more information, please contact Anne Feilmann at


The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) supports increased training efforts, including the Professional Standards requirements, to ensure that school personnel have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to properly operate and oversee School Meal Programs by increasing accessibility to a multitude of trainings offered through the State agency. Kansas will offer sub-grant funding to a minimum of 38 sponsors to provide at least 3,500 hours of training to food service personnel by September 30, 2017. By September 2017, Kansas will increase access to quality training opportunities for School Nutrition Program sponsors by making 10 free interactive online training classes available through a Learning Management System. For more information, please contact Cheryl Johnson at


The Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of School and Community Nutrition (SCN) will increase training efforts in Kentucky by expanding the State’s current Level One Certification Training Program certified trainer network. This will be accomplished by increasing the number, knowledge level, and effectiveness of certified trainers, and, by creating the SCN TRAINS (Training, Resources, Accountability, and Instruction for Nutrition Services) website. Kentucky feels that through these efforts, school food authorities will be better prepared for meeting compliance with new professional standards for food service professionals. For more information, please contact Deanna Tackett at


The Maryland Department of Education (MSDE) will provide training, resources, and job aids on a broad range of key learning topics, as identified by the Food and Nutrition Service. through participating in grant activities, Maryland Local Education Agencies (LEAs) will enhance their ability to successfully operate the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. In order for school nutrition personnel to create healthful, appealing meals that meet the current School Meals requirements, staff across all levels of program operation will need access to effective and relevant training and resources. The MSDE will partner with the University of Maryland Extension, and the Maryland School Nutrition Association (MD-SNA) to design, implement, and evaluate training and technical assistance initiatives for agencies participating in the NSLP and SBP. This grant will provide training to Maryland LEAs so that they will be able to (1) meet the new professional standards guidelines, (2) meet or exceed current program operations and administration requirements, and (3) enhance the food quality, appearance, and nutritional profile of School Meals. three projects were identified to achieve grant goals. 1. Develop a series of MSDE web-based Training Videos for School Nutrition Programs 2. Sustain a statewide Summer Culinary Training Series: MSDE will work with grant partners to update curriculum content, recipes, and training activities to enhance food quality and appearance in School Meals programs. 3. Develop an Intensive Training & Technical Assistance Program for Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCI) For more information, please contact Robin Ziegler at


The Massachusetts Department of Elementary Education in cooperation with Stalker Institute will build off their success of providing training to school nutrition professionals by developing online modules to advance the knowledge, skills and abilities of school nutrition professionals. Massachusetts will create online training series based on the needs of school nutrition professionals and designed to align with Professional Standards Learning Objectives. MA will train 165 School Nutrition Professionals in MA on meeting USDA school nutrition requirements. For more information, please contact Holly Alperin at


Michigan Department of Education (MDE) training staff and School Nutrition Association of Michigan (SNAM) trainers will continue to offer their respective trainings. The Institute for Child Nutrition will be contracted for the procurement trainings. Their goal is to reach 1500 participants. Michigan will conduct two train-the-trainer workshops for MDE and SNAM trainers to learn about Professional Standards, review course content, and address adult learning strategies. Additional training opportunities will be determined based upon training needs assessment results and availability of that topic by Michigan experts or others nationally, depending on the topic. For example, if the training needs assessment reveals Michigan School Food Service Professionals (MSFSP) wish to have more training on meal patterns, the Partner Committee will look at the catalog of courses offered both locally and nationally to determine the best course of action for providing training on the requested topic. For more information, please contact Marla Moss at


To achieve the Professional Standards Training grant goals to develop and implement training programs for school nutrition personnel, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will: 1) Enhance the effectiveness of in-person and e-learning trainings provided by MDE. 2) Expand access to in-person trainings provided by school nutrition subject matter experts utilizing a regional training model. The grant objectives build and strengthen existing partnerships, utilize training resources currently available from a variety of sources, support the development of effective training tools, establish regional train hub locations, and foster establishment of regional trainers. For more information, please contact Donna Becker at


Nevada will provide menu planning and recipe development training to school foodservice directors and managers utilizing a “train the trainer” model. This training will provide the knowledge and skills to enable foodservice directors to train their staff to plan, prepare, and serve nutritious meals while helping them meet the professional development training requirements. Directors will be engaged from 17 school districts, 11 residential care facilities, and 3 charter schools. The second goal of this grant is to train school directors on proper purchasing and procurement strategies, a program administration area that Nevada has identified as a significant training need statewide. They will provide webinars, and 3 regional ½ day trainings for school foodservice directors and managers covering may professional standards topics. For more information, please contact Catrina Peters at

North Carolina

through the Professional Standards Training Grant, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) will provide innovative culinary training for school nutrition professionals as part of the Smarter Meals – Smarter Students project. Experiential learning provided through the culinary workshops, at the state, regional and local level, would equip participants to properly and effectively prepare and promote whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lower sodium entrees, USDA foods, and NC Farm to School Program produce. This will increase variety and acceptance of menu items offered to students. Participants in the workshops will experience a unique North Carolina culinary workshop focused on K-12 school nutrition, designed to specifically address the requests identified in recently conducted needs assessments. For more information, please contact Lynn Harvey at

North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) wants to provide in-person training for school foodservice staff on planning and preparing meals that meet all the meal pattern requirements (goal 1) and provide in-person training to schools on financial management, procurement, and maximizing the value of USDA Foods (goal 2). The two activities under goal 1 are to a) hold back to school workshops (400 participants) in 8 locations each year for two years taught by SA staff; and b) contract with a chef and a Registered Dietitian to hold Culinary Boot camps for 120 participants twice per year for 2 years at a facility provided for free (Dakota Medical Foundation). The two activities for goal 2 are to a) provide one 2-day workshop, conducted by North Dakota staff, on USDA Foods and meal pattern requirements (80 people); and b) contract with a retired Food Service Director to provide a 1-day training on financial management and procurement (80 people). For more information, please contact Linda Schloer at


The funds received from the Professional Standards Training Grant will be used to design and implement a training workshop that will increase the number of school nutrition professionals from Oregon who will become more familiar with, and implement cycle menus. The workshop will be three-prong and happen in a short succession. The initial online presentation will guide sponsors through the basic elements of nutrition to lay the foundation of the importance of the meal pattern. The live, in-person workshop will focus on cycle menus, and the training series will conclude with an online presentation tying in procurement as it relates to cycle menus. After all three modules have run for the first time, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) will develop and publish a webpage extension of the current ODE website, potentially titled Professional Development, which will also link to the current ODE training webpage. This page will be a forum for sponsors to discuss best practices, ask questions of their fellow sponsors, and discuss tips used in their development of menus. The webpage may also eventually evolve into a best practices page for any other task or guideline associated with Child Nutrition programs. For more information, please contact Joyce Doughtery at


Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (PDE) project will involve maintenance of the School Nutrition Toolbox site, provision of technical assistance to school personnel for use of the site, addition of components to the site to document users’ job titles and provide users with Professional Standards learning codes, revision of four existing modules, and development of two additional modules. The audience for this training is all Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) in Pennsylvania and all three identified levels of school food service operations. through this proposed project, two modules will be developed. One of these modules will be called Recognizing a Reimbursable Meal. The second module will be on the topic of the Food Safety Plan. This was also identified as a need during Administrative Reviews. For more information, please contact Vonda Cooke at


Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will direct the development of 22, thirty-minute online Professional Standards training courses and, as the primary source for information for nutrition professionals, develop a new Professional Development portal (web page on for school nutrition personnel to access project courses. As partners, Texas Education Agency (TEA) will also host the courses on their Learning Management System (LMS) targeting school district personnel and track results. The developed courses can count as credit towards School Nutrition Association (SNA) certification in School Nutrition. TDA will solicit bids through a Request for Proposals (RFP) for instructional design services to convert existing curriculum into new online modules with goals to offer uniformity in instruction and to reduce training costs to affected Local Education Agencies (LEAs) school nutrition staff. TDA has carefully selected the training modules and aligned courses and learning objectives to address past findings issued by TDA to LEAs to target operational and nutrition findings. For more information, please contact Angela Olige at

West Virginia

The West Virginia Office of Child Nutrition (OCN) will provide eight regional hands-on trainings that result in school nutrition personnel being able to effectively utilize all food safety program guidelines and health department regulations to ensure optimal food safety. The OCN will also provide menu planning trainings to 55 county Child Nutrition Directors to enable them to effectively and efficiently plan and prepare standardized recipes, cycle menus, and meals, including the use of USDA Foods to meet all Federal school nutrition program requirements, including the proper meal components. The OCN will also provide 8 “train the trainer” cook trainings to 450 school cook managers or lead cooks. In addition, the OCN will provide 8 “train the trainer” cashier and point of service trainings to 550 school clerical/point of service staff that will enable them to efficiently operate and utilize PRIMERO, WV’s Point of Service System, ensure correct application of reimbursable meal components, Offer Versus Serve, and confidential student eligibility identification in a financially responsible manner. For more information, please contact Richard Goff at


The Wisconsin grant will include the expansion of current training and resource development and introduces three new training initiatives with the intent of increasing opportunities for Wisconsin nutrition professionals to obtain quality training that will impact the success of the program. Six food service directors will be trained as peer trainers. Peer trainers will conduct a four-hour workshop on topics of best practices in their districts. Wisconsin will develop Goal Oriented Achievement Learning skills (GOALs) training initiative to enhance training opportunities to meet professional standards objectives and provide recognition to nutrition employees. It will utilize a tiered system similar to School Nutrition Association’s Certification process. GOALS will provide school nutrition professionals with the Continuing Education Units (CEUs) they need to meet professional standards regulations while improving their child nutrition program knowledge and skillset. A program called “Spanish First” will also be developed. This program will provide training opportunities in Spanish and resources to ensure that training needs reach a larger number of school nutrition professionals in Wisconsin. For more information, please contact Jessica Sharkus at

Page updated: June 11, 2024