Department of Education
The California Department of Education (CDE) is requesting Administrative Review and Training (ART) planning grant funds to conduct a feasibility study to implement an online meal application for California’s 1,276 school food authorities (SFA), serving approximately 6.2 million children enrolled in California schools. The CDE will have a workgroup to plan and oversee this project. The workgroup will include subject matter experts (SME) consisting of a Project Coordinator, a Compliance Analyst, a School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Policy Analyst, a Financial Analyst, and a Technology Analyst. The workgroup will be responsible for releasing a Request for Information (RFI) to the public and developing a Feasibility Study Report. The RFI will gather information from possible vendors who could implement an online meal application for free and reduced-price school meals in California. The feasibility study will look at state and SFA level considerations to implement this project. In addition, the workgroup will partner with SFA stakeholders to help CDE evaluate the RFI responses and provide feedback for the Feasibility Study Report. For more information please contact David Hazeleaf at email@example.com or (916) 323-6630.
State Department of Education
The Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) The administrative training and oversight processes in Idaho Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) are in need of improvement due to the rural demographic and the low adult education rate of the state. In order to improve application determination within Idaho CNP sponsors, Idaho CNP proposes to work with various internal and external partners to acquire and implement a state-level, web-based free and reduced price school meal application, for use by local educational agencies (LEAs), within the state that includes integrity features comparable to those in USDA’s new web-based prototype. Online and in-person trainings will be provided to support the adoption and implementation of the state-level, web-based school meals application. An additional goal is to provide online training to improve administrative practices for application determination, certification, verification, meal counting, and meal claiming procedures. Existing trainings will be updated to reflect the availability of the state-level application and to bring trainings in line with updated USDA guidance as program regulations change. These modifications will improve efficiency and accuracy in application determination for local level CNP staff and assist Idaho CNP staff in review activities. The state-level application will be acquired using input from districts with existing web-based free and reduced applications and technical specifications from Idaho SDE information technology (IT) staff. Data will be collected over the course of the grant to determine local level capacity to adopt and implement a state-level, web-based free and reduced application and encourage participation in the program. For more information. Please contact Heather Blume at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 596-9147.
State Department of Education
The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) has identified three goals in an effort to decrease errors identified as part of the Administrative Review process:
- Create a state-level integrity focused web-based application for free and reduced-priced meals
- Enhance KSDE’s existing Kansas Nutrition Claiming and Information Management (KN-CLAIM) System to resolve administrative errors in the areas of Resource Management and Professional Standards
- Develop technology-based training solutions to enhance LEAs knowledge base for successful program administration
Only 53 Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in Kansas use a web-based application for free and reduced price meals. In an effort to decrease the number of errors in determining eligibility, KSDE proposes to adapt and integrate USDA’s Web-based Prototype Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals, incorporating it into KSDE’s public-facing webpage. Increasing the number of LEAs using a web-based application will allow for consistent information collection and ensure accurate eligibility determinations.
KSDE will enhance its existing KN-CLAIM system to reduce non-compliance in the areas of Resource Management and Professional Standards by creating robust tools and reengineering its Professional Development Module. These tools will assist in informing state agency (SA) staff of error-prone LEAs and provide opportunities for technical assistance and targeted monitoring.
KSDE will also develop 15 online training classes that address common findings in the two Critical Areas of Performance within the Administrative Review. LEAs will gain knowledge and resources necessary to reduce counting and claiming-related errors and assist LEAs in complying with the meal pattern requirements. For more information please contact (Julie Henry) at (email@example.com) or (785) 296-2276.
Office of Public Instruction
The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has made great strides to address the integrity of the school breakfast and lunch programs by upgrading, integrating, and enhancing a comprehensive child nutrition system platform. Subsequently, in seeking to continuously improve, the OPI has identified further ways to proactively intervene in non-compliant program operations and data entry, as well as to analyze data at the state agency to identify areas of future improvement.
The following grant projects will allow the OPI to enhance and increase utilization of the child nutrition program and direct certification application by strengthening the integrity focus of the existing systems:
- Deploy additional email notifications not currently in the child nutrition software
- Add configurable alerts functionality to the child nutrition software that sends both sponsor-level activity alerts and state agency monitoring alerts
- Enhance the child nutrition program by adding a Second Review of Applications component with associated alerts, notifications, indicators, and reports
- Deploy a Sponsor Attachment enhancement to store and attach documents at a sponsor level
- Configure and deploy a compliance calendar interface tailored to OPI activity tracking
- Enhance the existing child nutrition software with a configurable risk management module
- Increase the number of sponsors using Cartewheel menu planning, meal compliance verification software
- Create upload of school meals benefits from the school meal systems to the Direct Certification Application to verify that schools have all directly certified kids in their systems
For more information please contact Christine Emerson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 444-2502.
Department of Agriculture
The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) is the seventh largest state in the United States with Local Education Agency (LEA) enrollment ranging from 15 students to over 300,000 and home to the fifth largest school district in the nation. Our School Nutrition unit is located in the NV Department of Agriculture’s (NDA) headquarters in Sparks, NV and consists of seven full time staff dedicated to administering all USDA School Nutrition Programs statewide. NV has a number of challenges that need to be addressed, including: limited staff, extensive travel requirements to service our rural state, and antiquated document collection. Furthermore, our current claiming system was built over twenty years ago on technology that is now obsolete.
After assessing current gaps in program operations areas and common Administrative Review (AR) findings, we identified the following areas that need additional training: certification and benefit issuance, counting and claiming, menu production records, what constitutes a reimbursable meal, and professional standards training and tracking.
Nevada is looking to improve in three primary areas:
- Replace the current, obsolete web-based NSLP claiming system, which will improve our program operations and functionality.
- Automate the AR process, which is currently manual, and will in turn improve program oversight and simplify this process for NDA staff and LEAs.
- Increase statewide training and technical assistance to LEAs on Administrative Review problem areas in order to reduce the number and frequency of findings.
This will be accomplished through an innovative, sustainable training model to lessen burden on staff and travel limitations. For more information please contact Joe Dibble at email@example.com or (775) 353-3751.
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for the District of Columbia is developing a web-enabled system for school nutrition programs, called Orchard. Orchard is designed to manage all aspects of federally and locally funded Food and Nutrition Services Programs (FNS) within the District of Columbia. As part of this new system, OSSE is planning to finalize the Orchard Monitoring and Compliance module, which will collect and track all Administrative Review (AR) activities performed by both OSSE and School Food Authorities (SFAs).
Currently, various aspects of the monitoring and compliance processes are managed by manual tracking of pre-approval, renewal, Administrative Review, and other on-site monitoring visits required by each FNS program. Outcomes and resolutions are managed manually. The new module of the Orchard system will manage the AR processes from beginning to end, collect and track data associated with these processes in a web-based system, provide reporting and analysis tools to identify patterns in outcomes, and improve the quality of overall food service programs, data management activities, and monitoring and compliance activities performed by OSSE. The module also will be available to SFAs to use for their programmatic monitoring and compliance activities.
OSSE will add monitoring and compliance modules to be able to decrease the amount of manual work that goes into program monitoring and compliance. OSSE will be able to collect all AR data in a web-based system where stakeholders (including SFAs) can have access to it. OSSE will add:
- Scheduling of ARs
- Automate corrective action and resolution be able to track them
- Automate and track review outcomes to identify common challenges among SFAs
- Provide SFAs access to automated system to manage their review process.
For more information, please contact Lindsey Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 724-7861.
Department of Education
The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has requested funding to reduce Administrative Review (AR) errors through training and supports for school food authorities (SFA) and their staffs. The purpose of Food for Thought–South Carolina, Sustainable Training for Program Compliance is to implement a system of continuous improvement through both hands-on technical assistance and online training and resources to address SFA programmatic noncompliance. Currently almost a third of the state’s SFAs are of high and medium risk. Meal Component and Quantities findings increased 229 percent from school year (SY) 2016–17 to SY 2017–18, and this number is rising. SFAs have significant deficiencies in their abilities to develop nutritionally compliant menus.
The SCDE’s goals are to decrease the number of AR errors and the number of SFAs considered high risk and to develop and implement the online menu and training portal (MTP) to improve SFA performance. Objectives are to reduce the number of SFAs considered high risk due to program noncompliance by at least 30 percent; to decrease the findings associated with Meal Components and Quantities by at least 5 percent; to design, develop, and implement software; and to tailor the MTP contents to the state’s needs. The SCDE will train two new full-time employees (FTEs) to provide training and technical assistance to high and medium risk SFAs. The SCDE will house the MTP on the agency’s web site (ed.sc.gov); it will be mobile-compliant so that SFAs can access it via cell phones and tablets. The SCDE
is not requesting funds for the development of a web based application. For more information, please contact Donna Davis at email@example.com or (803) 734-0080.