SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 81
September 17, 1999
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Required Changes to the Procedures for School Nutrition Program (SNP) Electronic Claims Submission|
The Department of Education has previously announced the Virginia PEN network upgrade (Supts. Informational Memo 106, dated May 14, 1999). The major change affecting Virginia PEN is the replacement of aging, character-based technology with the use of industry standard browsers, Internet access, and graphical interfaces. School Nutrition Programs at the local level will be directly affected by this change in technology. The current method of transmitting a completed claim for federal meal programs reimbursement by logging into Virginia PEN, selecting a menu option, and transmitting files will be replaced. The new procedure will require use of a browser and access to the Internet to log-in to the Department's server to create an Internet based transaction. There is NO CHANGE in the way the school nutrition data is collected, consolidated, and entered into the claim software at the local level. The E-claim software must still be used to collect and process data for monthly claims and adjustments. The only change is in the method of transmitting a "processed" claim to DOE. In order to accomplish these required procedural changes, the school nutrition director and/or individual responsible for transmitting school nutrition claims must have a Pentium based computer with an Internet browser and access to the Internet. The minimum hardware specifications are provided in enclosure 1. A computer that meets these specifications must be available to the school nutrition program by November 30, 1999. School nutrition funds may be used to purchase additional hardware or peripherals for the school nutrition programs, if needed, to meet these requirements. Effective Date of Conversion: Effective December 1,1999, all school divisions must submit claims, adjustments, and reports with the new interface. All claims for September and October must be submitted by November 15, 1999. From November 16, 1999 to November 30, 1999, the Department's technical staff will convert VAPEN servers and dial-in phone connections from the older character based technology to the new browser based technology. No claims will be accepted during this period. The Department expects the new system will be operational on December 1, 1999. Training: Training for one person from each division will be provided regionally beginning with the last week of September. Each school division should send the individual responsible for submitting the school nutrition e-claim. This should be the person with access to the superintendent's Virginia PEN signature account, log-in, and password. Training will be conducted in computer labs for a "hands-on" session; space will be limited to one person per division. The attached training schedule (enclosure 2) assigns a designated training site for each division. Please complete the enclosed registration form (enclosure 3) and FAX it to the School Nutrition Office at (804)786- 3117 by next Friday, September 24, 1999. Confirmation of registration and directions to the training site will be sent. School nutrition funds may be used for travel expenses incurred. Systems Testing: The Department is beta testing the new graphical connection to Virginia PEN at this time. Several school divisions have been selected to be test sites and will submit claims using the new system. We are confident this upgrade to the transmission procedure will be a positive change for school divisions. For further information regarding this new process, you may contact Catherine Digilio Grimes, director, School Nutrition Programs at (804) 225-2074. PDS/idl Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office. *This training is not mandatory for the school divisions who are participating in the beta testing.