P. O. BOX 2120

January 7, 2000


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: JoLynne DeMary
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Breakfast Program: School Breakfast Pilot Project

A School Breakfast Pilot Study Project has been initiated by Congress to study the 
effects of a universal free school breakfast program on school breakfast 
participation and on student outcomes such as, academic achievement, school 
attendance, tardiness, classroom behavior and attentiveness, and dietary status.  
This project would make available, in a limited number of elementary schools, 
nutritious breakfasts at no charge (free) to all students regardless of family 
income.  This is a three-year project.  Up to six School Food Authorities (school 
divisions) nationwide will be selected to participate.  Selected school divisions 
must implement a universal free breakfast program in a portion of their elementary
schools and continue to implement a regular breakfast program in an equal number of 
elementary schools.  Selected school divisions must be participating currently in 
the School Breakfast Program and must be willing to commit to the project for the 
entire three years. 

The following attachments explain the application process and give some background 
and information.

 School Breakfast Pilot Project Notice (Attachment 1) A copy of the Federal Register
  Notice announcing USDA's intention of selecting up to six School Food Authorities 
 (SFAs) to participate in the pilot project.

 School Breakfast Pilot Overview (Attachment 2) A brief overview of the pilot 
  project and the eligibility criteria.    

 Evaluation Criteria and Site Selection (Attachment 3) A description of the site 
  selection process and evaluation criteria that will be used by USDA.

 Application Questionnaire (Attachment 4) The application questionnaire must be 
  submitted as part of the application.  It solicits necessary information from 
  interested school divisions in order to determine the division's suitability for 
  the pilot project.  To be considered for the pilot project all items must be 
  completed.  Information from school division staff responsible for standardized 
  testing will be needed. 

 Sample Letter of Agreement (Attachment 5) If you are selected to participate as 
  a pilot project site, a Letter of Agreement signed by the local Superintendent 
  indicating that the terms and conditions have been approved will be required.  
School divisions interested in applying for participation in this project must 
submit the following to the Virginia Department of Education, School Nutrition 
Programs by January 31, 2000:

 An Application Questionnaire (attachment 4) and
 A letter of commitment, signed by the Division Superintendent, assuring that 
  the school division will abide by the terms and conditions of the pilot project 
  if they are selected.  This letter should indicate that the school division 
  understands that, although the pilot project will have direct implications on the
  School Nutrition Program, the evaluation of the pilot project will also include 
  data collection activities that will affect students, parents, teachers, and school

The Department of Education will review applications for completeness and to
identify school divisions that are strong candidates for this project.  
Recommendations will be forwarded to U.S. Department of Agriculture for further 

The USDA will select school divisions by April 1, 2000, and will work with each 
site to implement the pilot project during the fall/winter of school year 2000-01.

If your have any questions please contact Catherine Digilio Grimes or the School 
Nutrition Specialist assigned your division at (804) 225-2074/2082.  

Attachments:    A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
                will be sent to the superintendent's office.