COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 1

May 12, 2006

REGULATORY

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Agreement to Participate in the School Nutrition Programs for School Year 2006-2007

Due Date: July 1, 2006

 

The Annual Agreement to participate in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, and Afterschool Snack Programs must be submitted no later than July 1, 2006. The School Nutrition Programs Web-based system (SNPWeb) will be available for data entry of the 2006-2007 Annual Agreement beginning Monday, May 15, 2006.

 

Federal regulations require each school division to enter into an annual agreement with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), to participate in these School Nutrition Programs. The Annual Agreement is created and submitted using the School Nutrition Programs Web-based (SNPWeb) system. The superintendent is the legal signature authority required to sign the agreement and is the individual responsible for compliance with all regulations governing the school nutrition programs in the school division.

 

School divisions that contract with a food service management company (FSMC) for the operation of their school nutrition programs may not delegate this authority to any employee of the food service management company. Federal regulations require that the school division,...Retain signature authority on the State Agency-School Division Annual Agreement, free and reduced price meal applications, and all claims. (7CFR 210.16 Para. a. 5)

 

In conjunction with the SNPWeb online agreement, the Annual Agreement to Participate document must be downloaded and printed from the Online Forms section of SNPWeb, signed by the superintendent and returned to VDOE by July 1, 2006, along with any other supporting documents that require VDOE approval. A copy of the Annual Agreement packet (online application and supporting documents) approved and signed by VDOE will be returned to the school division. This signed document shall be maintained on file in the school division and shall be readily accessible during federal or state reviews. Federal reimbursement for meals cannot be paid for school year 2006-2007 until the Annual Agreement is approved.

 

Mandatory School Breakfast Program: Section 22.1-207.3, Code of Virginia, requires school divisions to establish a school breakfast program in each school in which 25 percent or more of the currently enrolled students were eligible for free or reduced price meals in the previous school year. Board of Education regulations establish participation as of October 31, of the preceding school year, as the basis for this determination.

 

New or realigned schools shall use student free and reduced price eligibility and membership data as of October 31, of the school year in which the school is opened or realigned. Schools that do not participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) must determine the number of students potentially eligible for free or reduced price meals according to federal regulations. Such determination may be made using statistical data from other schools in the division with a feeder relationship that do participate in the NSLP. All new, realigned, or non-participating NSLP schools with 25 percent or more of the currently enrolled children determined eligible for free or reduced price meals shall begin a school breakfast program by the first operating day of January in the current school year. Please review eligibility data for each of your schools before completing the agreement. If any of the schools meet the criteria, a breakfast program must be established unless an exemption is approved by the Board of Education pursuant to 8VAC20-580-40 of the Board of Educations regulations.

 

Free and Reduced Price Eligibility Income Determination: Many households have different sources of income at different frequencies, such as weekly or bi-weekly wages and monthly social security benefits. Past practice has been to convert all income to a monthly amount using income conversion factors. Use of these conversion factors, however, has resulted in some perceived inconsistencies between converted amounts and monthly income limits shown in the published Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEG). While these conversion factors have created some inconsistent results, no eligible household has been denied eligibility.

 

To avoid these problems, the following procedures should be followed:

 

  • If a household has only one income source, or if all sources are the same frequency, do not use conversion factors. Compare the income, or the sum of the incomes, to the published IEG for the appropriate frequency and household size to make the eligibility determination.
  • If a household reports income sources at more than one frequency, the preferred method is to annualize all income by multiplying weekly income by 52, income received every two weeks by 26, income received twice a month by 24, and income received monthly by 12. Do not round the values resulting from each conversion. Sum all of the converted values, without rounding, and compare the total to the published IEG for annual income for the appropriate household size.

 

Initial Carry-over of Previous years Eligibility: Federal regulations allow a students documented eligibility for free or reduced price meals in the preceding school year to be carried over into the new school year to ensure access to program benefits while current eligibility determinations are made promptly. Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, the carry-over of a students previous school year eligibility in Virginia will be valid for up to 30 operating days into the subsequent school year, or until September 30, whichever is less. This applies to direct certification, categorical determinations, and income applications. As in the past, a new eligibility determination in the current year supersedes the carry-over eligibility.

Adult meals: Meals served to adults are not eligible for federal reimbursement, nor do they count toward determining the value of donated food assistance. Federal reimbursements, students meal payments, and other nonprofit food service revenues cannot be used to subsidize meals served to adults. Meals served to adults must be priced so that the payment is sufficient to cover the entire cost of each meal including the value of donated foods.

 

Questions regarding the Annual Agreement for school nutrition programs may be directed to the school nutrition programs specialist assigned to the division or Lynne Fellin, acting director, at (804) 225-2074.

PIW/LAF/idl