Civil Rights Reminder
Civil rights are one of the general program compliance areas that is monitored during administrative reviews. The goals of civil rights are
- Equal treatment for all applicants and beneficiaries
- Knowledge of rights and responsibilities
- Elimination of illegal barriers that prevent or deter people from receiving benefits
Annual civil rights staff training is a requirement. Usually the best way to do this is to review your district’s civil rights policy at an all-staff meeting at the beginning of the school. Be sure to document who was in attendance and the date of the training.
Another civil rights compliance requirement is the collection and reporting of racial/ethnic category of the actual number of children applying for free and reduced price meals. The methods of collection of this data may include the determination of the information by a school official through observation or personal knowledge.
Some additional civil rights requirements include:
- Hanging the “And Justice for All” poster where participants can see it
- Providing reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities such as:
- Special dietary needs
- Special eating utensils
- Equal access and service
- Providing language assistance including:
- Forms in different languages
- Please contact the Child Nutrition Unit for access to these forms.
- An interpreter to explain the program to parents
The USDA non-discrimination clause must be written on all program materials distributed to households. This is on the NDDPI Child Nutrition website (http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/child/index.shtm) under “About Us”.
What is discrimination?
- The act of distinguishing one person or group of persons from other, either intentionally, by neglect, or by the effect of actions or lack of action based on their protected classes.
Some examples of discrimination include:
- Serving meals at a time, place, or manner that is discriminatory
- Selectively distributing applications
- Segregating kids by gender or ethnicity/race
Sponsors need to have a policy of how to handle discrimination complaints. Any complaints of discrimination must be reported to NDDPI using the form that is available at this link www.dpi.state.nd.us/child/purpose/civilrpt.pdf. If you have any questions about civil rights, please contact our office at 1-888-338-3663.
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Verification to be Completed by November 15
Verification is the process of documenting the income reported on 3 percent of the approved free and reduced applications.
- First, calculate how many new applications you have received this year from July 1 to October 1. This is your “number of approved application forms.” Only count real applications, not names on the direct certification list, migrants, or homeless designations.
- Take the number of applications and multiply it by .03; this is the number of applications you are required to verify. Round up any fractions. For example, 50 applications multiplied by .03 equal 1.5. Round up to two applications. You need to choose two applications that are close to the income guidelines (within $100 a month) to verify.
We have a form letter on our web site that you can use to contact the families selected for verification: http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/child/snp/tools/vletter.pdf
Please use the latest, 2013, version of this letter. The revised letter reflects our new regulation to not require the social security numbers of all adults in the household.
Verification consists of asking for and examining check stubs for wages, taxes for farming or business income, and copies of checks or court orders for child support. The check stubs can be from anytime in August, September, October or November. Families that write in food stamps (SNAP) or TANF case number can be verified by calling the county social service office and asking if the family is eligible for SNAP or TANF. If the documentation provided matches what was reported, the family stays free or reduced, whatever the original determination. If the documentation changes their status, the family has 10 days to provide other documentation before they can be changed to reduced-price or paid status. If the family was determined reduced and should have been free, the change needs to be made within three days.
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Verification Collection Report due December 15, 2013
The Verification Collection Report form (formerly known as the Verification Summary Report) has changed. The verification process must be completed by November 15th and the Verification Collection Report is due in our office by December 15, 2013.
Beginning this school year all schools, including Residential Child Care Institutes (RCCIs) and schools participating in Provision 2 or 3 must complete the report. However, since RCCIs and schools participating in Provision 2 or 3, do not collect free/reduced price eligibility information, they do not need to complete sections 4 and 5 of the Verification Summary Report.
The new form is divided into 5 sections, and may be found at this link: http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/child/snp/tools/verification-summary.pdf
Section 1: Collects school and student enrollment totals as well as information about RCCIs.
Section 2: Collects information about schools participating in Provision 2 or 3. Those schools should complete question 2-2 only; and disregard all other questions in this section. All non-provision schools should skip this section.
Section 3: Collects information regarding students approved eligible for free meals and are not subject to verification. Direct Certification students are listed under 3-2 and all other students categorically eligible for free meals through other programs (FDPIR, foster, migrant, runaway, homeless, etc.) are listed under 3-3.
Section 4: Collects information regarding applications and students eligible for free or reduced price meals based on information listed on an application form. Do not include information about students who were listed on an application form, but subsequently became eligible for free meals through Direct Certification. These should be reported in Section 3.
Section 5: Collects information on the results of the school’s verification activity.
We are working with ITD to develop an electronic data collection tool that will simplify form completion, but are not sure if it will be ready this school year. If it is completed in time for use this cycle, information, instructions and a link will be sent out immediately.
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“Take Time for School Breakfast” and Celebrate National School Breakfast Week, (NSBW),
March 3-7, 2014!
National School Breakfast Week is celebrating its 25th Anniversary! NSBW began in 1989 to raise awareness to students, parents and the community about the benefits of eating a healthy school breakfast.
Each year has a special theme to help you celebrate. This year’s theme “Take Time for School Breakfast” is an excellent way to encourage parents to consider school breakfast as a time-saver for busy weekday mornings and encourage children to eat school breakfast to stay focused and energized at school. Your school can offer breakfast in a variety of ways. Whether it is a traditional school breakfast in the cafeteria, a grab and go breakfast or breakfast in the classroom, everyone has time to eat school breakfast!
Go to www.schoolnutrition.org/nsbw to find information on the tool kit to help you start planning. It provides handouts, flyers and backpack brochures to educate children and parents about the importance of eating a healthy school breakfast. There are theme-related activities for the children as well as ideas to decorate the cafeteria. There are even suggestions for breakfast themed menus to really get children excited! Who wouldn’t love to eat Time Travel Toast, Tick-Tock Taters or Back to the Future Bagels?
USDA has also developed a School Breakfast Toolkit, which is available as an online resource. The Toolkit provides information to help promote and expand School Breakfast Programs as a way of supporting positive outcomes for children. Many of the materials included on this site are designed to be customized. You can download PowerPoint files, information sheets, letters, and marketing materials and modify them to suit your specific needs. The Toolkit is available on the USDA website at this link:
Tip: Some schools have the students go to their classrooms in the morning to check in and then go to the cafeteria for breakfast as a group.
Let’s take the time to plan and celebrate National School Breakfast Week March 3-7, 2014!
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North Dakota Schools Shine in Farm to School Activities
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New Nutrition Education Resources Available from Team Nutrition
Team Nutrition has introduced two new nutrition education resources to help get elementary students exploring and learning about nutrition.
- Fifth and sixth graders will experience hands-on nutrition education while growing, harvesting, tasting, and learning about fruits and vegetables with the Dig In! curriculum. The curriculum includes a Teacher’s Guide, a Gardening Guide (included in the Teacher’s Guide), parent booklets, and posters.
- Third and fourth graders will discover the connections between the school garden, the classroom, school cafeteria, and home through the fun experiences in The Great Garden Detection Adventure curriculum. The curriculum includes bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and newsletters for parents.
A FREE copy of the curriculum is available for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. To request your school’s copy of the Dig In! and/or The Great Garden Detective Adventure curriculums click on this link (http://tn.ntis.gov/) to access the order form.
Also add color to your school menus while encouraging healthy choices by using free clipart images from Team Nutrition available at this link (http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/graphics.html)!
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Schools Listed for Administrative Review
The schools listed below are up for an administrative review this year. We will be contacting you shortly if we have not already.
The new assessment forms are located on the USDA website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/guidance/adminreview.htm.
The Off-Site assessment tool will need to be completed prior to our visit.
Barnes Co North (optional)
Cass County Juvenile
Circle of Nations
Dakota Boys Ranch
Eight Mile Public
Fargo Catholic Schools
Fort Yates Public
GF Juvenile Detention Center
Kidder County - Steele
Lake Region Special Ed
Lewis & Clark
Little Flower - Rugby
NE Human Service
Shiloh Christian School
St Josephs-Devils Lake
St Michaels-Grand Forks