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National School Lunch Program

FY2015 Method II ART Grant Summaries

State
Grant Type
Award Date
Amount
Michigan ART II Planning 2015 September 2015 $41,139
Minnesota ART II Planning 2015 September 2015 $74,200
New Jersey ART II Planning 2015 September 2015 $75,000
District of Columbia ART II 2015 September 2015 $1,441,264
Montana ART II 2015 September 2015 $1,1497,189
Florida ART II 2015 September 2015 $1,490,047

Michigan

Department of Education

The Michigan Department of Education’s Office of School Support Services, School Nutrition Programs (SNP) unit, plans for the creation of an Electronic Statewide Point of Service (POS) Reporting System for the State of Michigan to improve administrative training and oversight processes. The current SNP unit does not collect meal count information from School Food Authorities (SFA) through online reporting, nor do all SFAs have systems in place that support POS collection of data for meal counts. The proposed investigations would assess the possibility and next steps required for a state-level POS and the support of SFAs without existing electronic POS systems. Grant planning would include:

  • Collecting information to determine feasibility of a plan to create a statewide electronic reporting system for meal counts to implement a data collection system that utilizes information already collected through existing electronic POS software and equipment and; Provide assistance to schools without an electronic POS to implement electronic POS systems for their meal programs.
  • Investigate the use of POS software programs in Michigan, collect information on SFAs, review responses, and determine the best way to implement an electronic reporting system for meal counts.

Minnesota

Department of Education

Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) plans to conduct a feasibility and cost-benefit analysis of possible software tools to enhance the administration and monitoring of National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. MDE currently has two separate electronic software systems in use to facilitate completion of the administrative review process. Collectively the use of the two programs meet some of MDE’s needs, but are unable to meet the growing needs of NSLP/SBP.

The purpose of the analysis will be to provide comprehensive information gathering on existing tools currently utilized, as well as other viable systems to identify the best option(s) for future program growth while maintaining the highest program integrity in administrative and monitoring functions. The final solution must have the ability to meet the compliance and stakeholder needs of the programs; potential limitations; ease of integration; flexibility to grow with program needs; estimated costs; and overall accuracy and efficiency.

New Jersey

Department of Agriculture

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), Division of Food and Nutrition has identified three goals to address various administrative errors and program integrity issues in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. NJDA will assess current training technology enhancements specifically targeting the development of an on-demand, web-based training solutions that incorporate tracking the user’s successful completion of training, required by the Professional Standards Final Rule, streamlining this portion of the state agency’s administrative review. A gap analysis and cost-benefit analysis will be performed to consider cost effective approaches to decrease Local Education Agency (LEA) administrative errors through training and the financial feasibility of new IT systems for the development of and hosting of web-based tutorials for LEAs. The state agency will conduct a needs assessment for an enhancement in the existing School Nutrition Electronic Application Review System (SNEARS) to streamline the contract approval process with Food Service Management Companies. The state agency has a need to align SNEARS functionalities with the School Year to be consistent with new and old provisions mandated by USDA (i.e., CEP and provisions). Currently SNEARS is operating on a Fiscal Year calendar, which causes inconsistencies with reports and data; agency staff are forced to manually manipulate information within SNEARS. An Impact Assessment will be conducted to determine the timeframe and feasibility of this complex enhancement to ensure LEAs are accurately reimbursed.

District of Columbia

Office of the State Superintendent

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for the District of Columbia is developing a web-enabled system within the Division of Health and Wellness called Orchard. Orchard will be designed to manage all aspects of federally and locally funded Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Programs within the District. As part of this new system, OSSE is planning to build the Orchard Monitoring and Compliance module, which will collect and track all Administrative Review (or monitoring and compliance) activities performed by both OSSE and School Food Authorities (SFAs).

The Orchard Monitoring and Compliance module will replace monitoring and compliance processes currently managed by manual tracking of preapproval, renewal, Administrative Review, and other on-site monitoring visits required by each FNS program. The Orchard Monitoring and Compliance module will also replace the manually managed outcomes and resolutions. This new module of the Orchard system will manage the Administrative Review 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 the state agency. The module will be available to SFAs to use for their programmatic monitoring and compliance activities.

Florida

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness, based on Administrative Reviews and targeted research of the 307 SFAs participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program during SY 2014-2015, will procure a customized Point of Sale (POS) Menu Planning and Production and Eligibility technology solution. Nearly 51 percent of the SFAs indicated at least one of their sites utilize manual processes such as rosters, tallies, cash registers, clickers or class lists.

FDACS will use a priority-based approach for implementation of the implementation of a technology solution to target SFAs that currently perform processes manually. This configured deployment will assist SFAs across the state with the intent of accomplishing the following goals:

  • Reduce counting and claiming errors, eligibility determination errors, and meal component identification errors by providing SFAs with a technology solution that increases accuracy in accounting, transcription, consolidation, and extension of eligibility at the PO
  • Increase ability of FDACS to identify error-prone SFAs in real-time and target training for error reduction
  • Increase program integrity by creating targeted program technical assistance and training utilizing aggregate data monitoring and reporting through the technology solution
  • Reduce the amount of state agency time spent on-site during reviews, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings

Montana

Office of Public Instruction

The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) plans to purchase a child nutrition software system to address the challenges. Low and broadly geographically dispersed population communications issues arising between and among state agency staff and school staff throughout the state. Limited resources, in number and time, have been fulfilling multiple roles at schools. Data (student and meal data, review data, continuing education data) is currently dispersed among different systems, files types, and hard copy, depending on the Local Education Agency work methods. Administrative Reviews are performed manually and require extensive time for offsite pre-work, mail time, and travel time. Montana OPI requires a solution to implement, and train users on processes and a child nutrition software system that integrates functionality in a manner that:

  • Modernizes security to protect information
  • Enhances communication among agency and school staff
  • Provides efficient means to upload, store, and review school agreements, menus, nutrition information, findings, and other Administrative Review items to simplify and reduce time spent on the all aspects of the Administrative Reviews
  • Centralizes data for School Nutrition Programs for more accurate meal counts, claims, reporting, Administrative Reviews, review tracking, continuing education tracking, and data analytics at both the local and state agency levels
  • Provides a workflow, help system/tech support, and rules that guide system users so errors are minimized

 

10/09/2015