Superintendent’s Memo #125-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 15, 2015
(Revised May 18, 2015)

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Community Eligibility Provision (CEP): Application Process for School Year 2015-2016

Superintendent’s Memo No. 073-15, dated March 27, 2015, provided guidance and general information about the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for school year 2015-2016.  All school divisions were required to submit a CEP Preliminary Data Collection Worksheet to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) by April 15, 2015.  This preliminary data detailed the school sites with 40 percent or greater of identified students (IS) directly certified for free meals as of April 1, 2015.  This is the first criteria that must be met to be considered eligible to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.  The complete list of eligible divisions and schools is posted on the VDOE Web site at

School divisions that meet the eligibility criteria of an identified student percentage (ISP) of 40 percent or greater divisionwide, for individual schools, or groups of schools, as reported to VDOE, and participate in both the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP), may apply to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.

The complete application for 2015-2016 includes three items:

  1. Addendum to the Annual Agreement - Community Eligibility Provision Application Signature Page (Attachment A)

  2. The Application to Participate in Community Eligibility Provision (Attachment B)

  3. All supporting documents used to arrive at the number of identified students submitted on the CEP application for each site.  These documents are the lists of all students that were directly certified as eligible for free meals as of April 1, 2015, in the CEP participating school, groups of schools or division.

    This direct certification file is confidential and therefore must be uploaded by the division to the secure Single Sign-on for Web Services (SSWS) dropbox and sent to the school nutrition specialist assigned to your division.  (Attachment C provides instructions on how to upload the files to the SSWS dropbox).

Applications must be from the division, not individual school sites. 
To apply, submit all required documents (CEP application) by June 30, 2015, as follows:

  1. Submit two copies of the signature page with original signatures (Attachment  A) by U.S. Mail  to:
    1. Virginia Department of Education
      Office of School Nutrition Programs
      P.O. Box 2120 
      Richmond, VA 23218-2120

  2. Submit Attachment B (the Application in Excel format) electronically to

  3. Submit all supporting documents - (list of Directly Certified students) electronically to the SSWS dropbox (Attachment C for instructions).

Participation in CEP is a local decision and one that requires careful consideration of many factors by the school division.  Pursuant to amendments made in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), school divisions have until June 30, 2015, to apply to participate in CEP for the 2015-2016 school year.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) once again this year has allowed some flexibility in the deadline date.  Because of the multiple benefits of CEP and in light of the unique decision-making process involved in electing CEP, the USDA has extended the election deadline until August 31, 2015.  However, school divisions are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid approval delays.   The application should be submitted before the beginning of the new school year but no later than the extended deadline of August 31, 2015.

The VDOE must review the application to ensure the division/school meets the minimum identified student percentage (ISP), participates in both the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, and has a record of administering the federal meal programs in accordance with program regulations, including the financial status of the school nutrition program.  The ISP, as submitted on the CEP application, will be validated by VDOE before approval and before the first claim for reimbursement is filed to ensure the integrity of the data.

School divisions should carefully analyze the financial impact of CEP on the overall school nutrition program budget.  Financial considerations should be based on the anticipated level of federal reimbursement and other nonfederal support that may be available to cover any meal costs in excess of the federal reimbursement.   If the federal reimbursement is insufficient to cover the cost of providing breakfasts and lunches to all students at no charge, non-federal funds must be used to offset the difference.

Training on CEP will be provided for eligible school divisions via a webinar on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (and may be repeated if necessary). Additional technical assistance will be provided to each school division as needed.  The webinar information is as follows:

  Topic: Community Eligibility Provision
  Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
  Time: 1:30 p.m.
  Meeting number: 593 512 932
  Meeting password: SNP2074

Please click the link below to see more information about the meeting, including its agenda, or to join the meeting.  The Web conference link is: .

Call-in toll-free number: 1-866 842-5779 (US)        Conference Code: 804 225-2074

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the school nutrition program specialist assigned to your division or Lynne Fellin, associate director, via e-mail at or Catherine Digilio Grimes, director of school nutrition programs, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2074.



  1. Community Eligibility Provision Application Signature Page (PDF)
  2. Community Eligibility Provision Application (XLS)
  3. Instructions for uploading to the SSWS Dropbox (PDF)