SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAM
1. Universal and Non-Stigmatizing
a) Each participating elementary school is to have a universal program, available for each student enrolled at the school. Parents are to receive monthly information letters, menus and an envelope to be returned to the School Meal Coordinating Assistant, with confidential information including a parent consent form and any financial contribution.
b) Each participating secondary school is to establish a procedure which ensures that students are not stigmatized and do not perceive that they are. It is understood that universality is not possible at the secondary level. The School Meal Coordinating Assistant will work in conjunction
with school staff to ensure that a process for outreach is developed so that students needing access to the program, receive proper information and encouragement to participate.
c) Each participating alternative program may develop its own procedures based on universality and non-stigmatization.
d) Under no circumstances will a child be denied access to the program based on financial considerations.
e) Information concerning individual student involvement in the program will remain confidential and financial records will be kept secure. Financial information will be made available for audit purposes only and will be seen by the School Meal Coordinating Assistant and one other school district employee in each school, who will verify financial information.
f) The district will provide information to parents about the program, using multilingual forms. Information will be provided in those languages which represent sizable segments of the school community.
g) The district will maintain an ongoing commitment to outreach in order to ensure that all children and parents who could benefit from the program are aware of what is offered. This will be considered an important part of the role for Coordinating Assistants, the School Meal Committee and the school meal administration, and may include use of newsletters, phone calls, posters and other media.
2. Donations, Assistance and Outside Funding
a) Contributors will not be permitted to display bold advertising on any goods or products. A simple form of recognition, such as a small acknowledgment plaque will be permitted.
Although contributions to the Meal Program are willingly accepted, the District will ensure that contributions do not have an adverse effect on the program. Therefore the following will be considered prior to approval by the District Meal Administrator:
i. contributions which may provide a short-term benefit but may have an adverse effect on the program, will be gratefully declined.
ii contributions from groups or organizations whose purposes or goals may be considered unethical to basic societal and educational values, such as respect for human rights, equality, etc., will not be accepted.
iii contributions which may stigmatize students (such as creating publicity which identifies or labels participants) will not be accepted.
iv contributions given in return for goods, services or access to the school community will not be accepted.
Adherence to all district policy and regulations is mandatory.
3. School Meal Committee
a) Each participating school will have a School Meal Committee whose membership is open to all interested parents, staff, a school-based administrator, representatives from the student body and associated professionals (i.e. public health nurse).
b) Meetings will be held at least three times during the school year, with the first held by no later than October 15th. This meeting will ensure that, among other topics, the following are detailed:
To provide guidance for the School Meal Program in accordance with School Meal Policy and Regulations.
ii Frequency of Meetings.
iii Selection of Chairperson.
The committee will select a Chairperson who will be an eligible member of the committee.
iv Introduction of Coordinator and description of their role.
The School Meal Committee will act as a consultative and advisory body to the school administration as per Policy 1163 (Consultation). Final decision making will rest with the school administration.
vi Appeal Process
In accordance with School District 61 Bylaw 9330.1 (Appeals), the Committee may appeal decisions or items of concern up to and including the Board of School Trustees, following the appeal process, but with the inclusion of the District School Meal Administrator, after an appeal to the school administration.
vii Reporting Process
The committee will determine a method for reporting which will include keeping accurate minutes. A copy of these will be forwarded to the District Meal Facilitator. An interim report will be forwarded to the District Meal Committee and the Parent Advisory Council by January 31st and a final report will be sent May 31st. The Committee will report to the school’s Parent Advisory Council at least two times during each school year.
The committee will operate with significant autonomy in order to support delivery of meals to children in that school. The Committee’s functions include:
• providing support to the School Meal Coordinating Assistant
• acting as a resource to administration and the Coordinating Assistant
• acting as a liaison among staff, students and the District Meal Committee
• assisting the Coordinating Assistant with outreach
• consulting about operation and management of the school program
• providing input regarding menu
• liaise with the Coordinating Assistant.
4. District Meal Committee
a) The District Meal Committee acts as a consultative and advisory group in order to facilitate district directions. Its functions include:
• acting as district advocate to the Ministry
• acting as a consultative resource to the School Committees and responding to their concerns
• reporting to the School Board
• acting on district-wide concerns
• receiving reports from schools
• communicating information from the Ministry to School Committees
Meetings are held a minimum of twice during the school year and are chaired by the District School Meal Administrator. The first meeting to be held by February 15th will ensure that the following are covered:
To provide support to School Meal Committees, act as a monitor for the program, and ensure that District policy and regulations are followed.
ii Frequency of Meetings
A minimum of two times during the school year. iii Consultation
The District Meal Committee acts in a consultative and advisory role. Final decision making rests with the District Administrator.
iv Appeal Process
In accordance with School District 61 Bylaw 9330.1 (Appeals), the Committee may appeal decisions or items of concern up to and including the Board of School Trustees, following the appeal process, but beginning with the District School Meal Administrator.
The Committee is comprised of the following:
• Chair or designate from each School Committee
• Representative from each of the following district or employee groups: VAA, ASA, GVTA, CUPE 947,
CUPE 382, VCPAC, Student Consultative Committee and the Board, together with the District School Meal Administrator, District School Meal Facilitator, and the CRD Nutritionist.
vi Reporting Process
The committee will select a recording secretary and minutes will be distributed to each school and representative group. Reports from each School Committee will be distributed at the February meeting.
5. School Procedures and Expectations
a) School administration assumes responsibility to ensure that procedures and expectations are developed for the individual school community.
School administration is supported by the District School Meal Administrator and Facilitator. Procedures and expectations include the following:
i Record Keeping
Confidential records, subject to audit, will be kept at each school. Records will indicate the students enrolled in the program for each time period, and the contribution received. These records, kept in a secure area, are available only to the School Meal Coordinating Assistant. The number of children participating at each school is available to the public through the District School Meal Facilitator.
ii Financial Accountability
The School Meal Coordinating Assistant assumes responsibility for collecting funds on a monthly basis, keeping records, and forwarding them to the district. Accounting and record keeping are verified with another school employee for the accuracy of these records.
iii Quality Control
The Coordinating Assistant is responsible for ensuring that standards are maintained in such areas as food quality, portion sizes, appearance and freshness, etc. When questions or concerns arise, the District School Meal Facilitator will be immediately informed.
The School Meal Coordinating Assistant will undertake to ensure that all children in need of the program are being reached, and will communicate information about the School Meal Program to children and parents in a variety of ways.
v Implementation of an Effective and Efficient Program
Each school community has the flexibility to develop a program that best meets the needs of that particular community. District support is offered in order to ensure that each school attains the goals and aims of district policy.
vi Nutrition Education
Following School District Regulation 6164.3, all schools are expected to provide suitable nutrition education programs, as outlined in the Ministry of Education’s curriculum. The district expects that this may be accomplished most effectively and efficiently by integrating nutrition education with the School Meal Program.
7. Consistency in Equity and Standards
a) While the School District supports the development of varying school meal programs, it is expected that standards of equity and consistency are maintained whenever possible. Although it is impossible to be prescriptive for a variety of reasons i.e. secondary or elementary or alternative; different needs; facilities; and proportions of the student body
taking part in the program, the district is committed to maintaining consistency in equity and standards in areas such as the following:
Funds are distributed equitably based on the needs of students at each school. Although this is largely based on the number of students participating in the program, other considerations are recognized such as cost of preparation and delivery and amount of food being consumed. It is also recognized that extraordinary expenses may be required at individual schools on occasion. District budgets will be developed annually by the District Meal Administrator and Facilitator and reviewed by an Assistant Superintendent. All surplus funds are directed to a general reserve fund to be used for the meal program exclusively, and are allocated according to the preceding regulations.
Safe food handling practices must be followed at all times without exception. These are developed in conjunction with the District Meal Facilitator and the Capital Regional District Public Health Inspector.
Menus will remain equitable among similar configurations of schools (i.e. secondary, elementary or alternative). Diversity in food choices are welcomed. Menus are prepared with the involvement of the
Coordinating Assistants, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist or Home
Economics Teacher and the caterer (if applicable).
iv Nutritional Value
Menus are developed in conjunction with a Home Economics
Teacher or Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, in order to ensure that standards for nutritional value are adhered to, that the four food groups are represented in correct quantities each day, and that adequate portions are planned and served.
8. District Administration of School Meal Program
a) The Program is administered by the District School Meal Administrator who is an administrator within the school district. This person reports to an Assistant Superintendent, and reports to the School Board or a School Board Committee as requested.
The School Meal Facilitator provides much of the day-to-day operation of the program and is supervised by the District School Meal Administrator.
Responsibilities of the District Administrator and Facilitator include the following:
i Reporting to the District Meal Committee and the School Board.
ii Preparation and disbursement of annual district budget.
iii Support to school committees.
iv Support and direction to school based staff.
v Daily and on-going management of the district program. vi Overall responsibility for monitoring food quality.
vii Liaison with CRD, caterer, Ministry and other related personnel. viii Tendering and hiring of caterer.
ix Coordination among elementary, secondary or alternative schools and programs.
x Preparing Annual and Interim Report.
xi Developing and administering survey of satisfaction.
xii Advocacy for extension of the program to schools as needed.
a) For those schools not providing their own food preparation and delivery, a tendering process will be established. Tenders are open to the public, and are reviewed by a Purchasing Committee appointed by the District School Meal Administrator and an Assistant Superintendent. A caterer is selected based on the following criteria:
• associated costs
• cost per student throughout the entire year
• previous experience as a caterer, or in preparing large quantities of food for children
• menu (variety, nutritional composition, flexibility)
• suitability of food preparation facilities
b) It is not necessary for all schools to be serviced by the same caterer. Those schools providing their own food preparation and service provide an annual itemized cost and food analysis to be reviewed by the School Meal Administrator, which includes:
• cost breakdown for a sample menu
• nutritional justification (indicating the four food groups and size of portions). This will be reviewed by an independent nutritionist.
It is recognized that schools may not be able to make accurate predictions about food costs during the year and that these may be subject to review from time to time. (A school may not profit financially as a result of being its own caterer, any profits must be returned to the district).
10. Interim and Annual Report
a) The District School Meal Administrator will present an Annual Report to the Board of School Trustees by October 31st of each year.
The District Meal Committee will be consulted about its contents prior to distribution. Its contents will include:
i Information regarding each of the participating schools including:
• participation rates throughout the year
• report from School Meal Coordinating Assistants
• report and recommendations from School Meal Committee ii Detailed budget information including:
• costs per school
• administrative and overhead costs
• catering charges and amounts paid
iii Summary report and recommendations from the School Meal
iv Report and recommendations from the District School Meal
v Results of district survey as applicable.
b) The District School Meal Administrator will present an Interim Report to the Board of School Trustees by March of each year. The District School Meal Committee will be consulted about its contents prior to distribution. Its contents will be brief and include:
i Report from each School Meal Coordinating Assistant and School
ii Monthly participation rates at each school.
iii Budget information indicating expenditures to date. iv Report from the School Meal Administration.
A survey, as required by the Ministry, will be conducted by the School Meal Administrator during the Spring in order to provide School Meal Committees with information which may be useful in planning and assessment. The survey is prepared in consultation with the District Meal Committee. It is expected that parents, staff, and students will be surveyed and it is the School Meal Committees responsibility to decide whether to survey all of the population or to choose a random sample.
12. Environmental Impact
The School District is committed to maintaining a program with minimal negative impact on the environment and will endeavour to provide food delivery and/or distribution which adheres to this priority.
13. Surplus Funds
Surplus funds will be directed to a general trust fund to be distributed to school meal programs, according to the guideline of equity.
Greater Victoria School District
Approved: January 24, 1994
Revised: March 2019
Modification to this document is not permitted without prior written consent from the Greater Victoria School District