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School Nutrition:
Professional Standards

Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals is a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The rule requires a minimum amount of annual training hours for all state directors of school nutrition programs, state director of distributing agencies, school nutrition program directors, managers, and staff.

Professional Standards also includes minimum hiring standards for new state directors of school nutrition programs, state directors of distributing agencies that oversee USDA Foods, and school nutrition program directors.

Training Tracking Tools:

Documentation of training hours must be available for Administrative Review.


 

 

Required Training Hours

School Nutrition Program Position Required Training Hours

Program Director
This person oversees all aspects of the School Nutrition Program in their district. This includes administering, planning, directing, assessing, implementing, and evaluating the program.

12 annual training hours
Program Manager
Large districts that have a centralized kitchen and satellite kitchens often have a Program Manager for each satellite kitchen to oversee food production and service.
10 annual training hours
Program Staff working ≥ 20 hours/week.
This is anyone that is employed to work in the School Nutrition Program.
6 annual training hours
All Program Staff working < 20 hours/week. 4 annual training hours
Any training that lasts 15 minutes or longer counts!
“Teachable Moments” in your kitchen can be counted towards Professional Standards training hours.

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Key Areas of Training


Training must be in these 4 Key Areas: Nutrition, Operations, Administration, Communications and Marketing.

Professional Standards Learning Objectives and Topics with Codes

Nutrition (Learning Code 1000)

Key Topics: Menu Planning, Nutrition Education, General Nutrition.

Example: How to read the ingredients list to confirm a menu item is whole grain rich.

Operations (Learning Code 2000)

Key Topics: Food Production, Serving Food (offer vs serve), Cashier and Point of Service, Purchasing/ Procurement, Receiving and Storage, Food Safety and HACCP.

Example: Learn about how much should be offered and how much should be served to make a reimbursable meal.

Administration (Learning Code 3000)

Key Topics: Free and Reduced Price Meal Benefits, Program Management, Financial Management, Human Resources and Staff Training, Facilities and Equipment Planning.

Example: Complete the Professional Standards Training Tracking Tool Webinar to learn how to track training.

Communications and Marketing (Learning Code 4000)

Key Topics: Communications, Marketing.

Example: Share a Smarter Lunchroom technique you learned and want to implement in your School Nutrition Program.

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Hiring Standards for NEW School Nutrition Program Directors


Student Enrollment

Required Qualifications

≥10,000 Students
Great Falls Elementary
Billings High School

Must have at least one of the following:

  • Bachelor's degree, or equivalent educational experience, with academic major in specific areas * .
  • Bachelor's degree in any academic major, and a State-recognized certificate.
  • Bachelor’s degree in any academic major and at least 5 years of experience in management of school nutrition programs.

2,500-9,999 Students
Kalispell Public Schools
Bozeman High School
Belgrade Elementary
Helena Elementary
Missoula Elementary
Butte Elementary

Must have at least one of the following:

  • Bachelor's degree, or equivalent educational experience, with academic major in specific areas * .
  • Bachelor's degree in any academic major, and a State-recognized certificate.
  • Bachelor's degree in any academic major and at least 2 years of relevant experience in school nutrition programs.
  • Associate's degree or equivalent educational experience, with academic major in * specific areas, and at least 2 years of relevant experience in school nutrition programs.

≤ 2,499 Students
51 Sponsors in Montana

Must have at least one of the following:

  • Bachelor's degree, or equivalent educational experience, with academic   major in specific areas * .
  • Bachelor's degree in any academic major, and a State-recognized certificate.
  • Bachelor's degree in any academic major, and at least one year of relevant experience in school nutrition programs.
  • Associate's degree or equivalent educational experience, with academic  major in * specific areas, and at least one year of relevant experience in school nutrition programs.
  • High school diploma (or GED) and at least 3 years of relevant experience in school nutrition programs.

< 500 Students
199 Sponsors in Montana

OPI School Nutrition Programs can approve a candidate who meets the educational standards as listed for schools with ≤ 2,499 students, but has less than 3 years of experience.

 

* Specific majors/areas of concentration: food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field.

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current events For more questions about Professional Standards,
contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 406.444.2501