Superintendent’s Memo #172-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

July 17, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Application for 2015-2016 State Funding for Alternative School Breakfast Service Models

The fiscal year 2016 state budget provides $537,297 to support increasing the number of school breakfast meals served to students through an alternative service model, as defined later in this memo.   Research shows students who eat a healthy school breakfast perform better academically and physically, have better school attendance, and demonstrate fewer behavioral issues. Increasing school breakfast participation can alleviate childhood hunger, improve nutrition, and ensure children have a healthy start to their day.

These state funds will be awarded through a competitive process to eligible school divisions. Divisions must submit the required application to the Department of Education by September 15, 2015, in order to be considered for funding.  The application, instructions, detailed selection criteria, and submission timelines are available in Attachment A.  The completed application must be submitted by the school division; applications from individual schools will not be accepted.  State reimbursement of five-cents ($0.05) per reimbursable meal served will be provided for each approved school in the division.   These funds must be credited to the financial account of the school nutrition program and may not be used for any other purpose.  The school nutrition program financial reports submitted to the Department of Education will be monitored to determine compliance with this provision.

What is an Alternative School Breakfast Service Model?
Alternative school breakfast service models provide meals to students through a distribution method different than traditional cafeteria service, removing various obstacles associated with traditional cafeteria service that can prevent students from accessing school breakfast. Breakfast participation is made more convenient by serving it in such a way that students can easily access the meal.  The most effective alternative breakfast models allow students to eat their meal after the school day has begun.

Alternative breakfast models provide students greater flexibility to eat “breakfast after the bell” – where school breakfast is provided after the official start of the school day. Meals can be served in the classroom, cafeteria, hallway kiosk, or other locations. Students have the opportunity to eat during the first 10-15 minutes of the school day. Delivery options vary; however, all models require students be given the opportunity to eat their breakfast after the school day has begun.

Some examples of alternative service models are:

  1. Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) - Students eat breakfast in the classroom.  This can be after the first bell or when students arrive but before the official instructional day begins. Breakfast meals can be delivered to each classroom or picked up from a central location (i.e., cafeteria or kiosk) on the way to class.

  2. Grab and Go Breakfast - Students pick up breakfast meals as they arrive at school and eat in the classroom.   Meals are available in a variety of locations; such as, mobile service carts equipped with a computerized point of service or roster and placed at the school entrance or another high-traffic area or in the cafeteria.  Food items are packaged as a unit to make this model convenient and appealing to students.

  3. Second Chance Breakfast - Students eat breakfast during a nutrition break in the morning, usually after first period, either in the cafeteria, from a mobile service cart, or in the classroom.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

  1. All schools participating in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Breakfast Program are eligible to apply.

  2. Priority will be given to elementary schools with total student eligibility for free or reduced price meals greater than 45 percent.

  3. Priority will be given to schools that implement an alternative breakfast service model throughout the entire school.

  4. School divisions may determine which alternative breakfast service model best applies to its students; however, the model must fit the “Breakfast after the Bell” framework.

  5. School divisions also have the option to expand the existing traditional school breakfast program to receive additional reimbursement for all breakfast meals.

  6. The school must implement the proposed plan for all of school year 2015-2016, upon receipt of a funding award.

  7. All breakfast meals served must meet the USDA School Breakfast Program regulations for reimbursable meals.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:

  1. School divisions that receive state funds for alternative breakfast service models will be asked to evaluate the educational impact of the models implemented and submit a report to the Department of Education by June 30, 2016.  A reporting template will be provided to all recipient school divisions.

  2. The Department of Education will compile the aggregated results and submit a report to the Governor and the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees by August 1, 2016.

HOW TO APPLY:  Applications (in Attachment A) must be completed and certified on a school division basis; individual school applications will not be accepted.

The application for State Funding for Alternative School Breakfast Service Models with original signatures of the division superintendent and the division school nutrition director must be received by the Virginia Department of Education no later than 4 p.m., Tuesday, September 15, 2015, via U.S. Mail or courier.  Postmarks will not be accepted. Facsimile or electronic copies of the application will not be accepted.  Send the original application by U.S. Mail or courier to:

Virginia Department of Education
Office of School Nutrition Programs, 21st floor
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120

Grant opportunities from a variety of nonprofit organizations are also available to provide school divisions with start-up funding for their transition to alternative breakfast (i.e., equipment), as outlined in Attachment B.   If you have questions or would like more information about these grant opportunities, contact Elizabeth Brightwell, Virginia No Kid Hungry program associate, at (804) 371-4281 or by e-mail at elizabeth.brightwell@doe.virginia.gov.

If you have questions or need additional information about alternative breakfast service models or the state funding application, contact the school nutrition program specialist assigned to the school division or Catherine Digilio Grimes, director of school nutrition programs, via e-mail at catherine.digilio-grimes@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2074.

SRS/CDG/idl

Attachments:

  1. 2015-2016 Alternative School Breakfast Service Models Application (Excel)
  2. Grant Opportunities for Alternative School Breakfast (PDF)