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Food and Nutrition Programs

Nutrition Education, Training and School Wellness

What Are the Professional Standards for School Nutrition Professionals?

Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals are a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The final rule, published March 2, 2015, requires a minimum amount of annual training hours for all school nutrition program directors, managers, and staff. Required training topic areas will vary according to position and job requirements. There are also minimum hiring standards for new school nutrition program directors.

What Professional Development Opportunities Are Currently Available?

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office for Food and Nutrition Programs (FNP) offer many ongoing professional development opportunities through the year. These trainings are created specifically for Massachusetts Schools and incorporate both the federal and state program requirements. Opportunities to earn professional standard hours are available in several different formats:

eLearning Tools:

These interactive online trainings cover fundamental topics in School Meal Programs. These tools are available 24/7 to conveniently allow school nutrition professionals, such as directors, managers and staff, to be trained on demand.

  • Nuts and Bolts of School Nutrition Programs: A Massachusetts state-developed training program on the requirements for the School Meal Programs for Massachusetts school nutrition directors, managers, and staff.
  • LEAD to Succeed: Learn, Educate, Advance, and Develop, with FREE training from School Nutrition Foundation! The brand-new L.E.A.D. to Succeed professional development tools were created in partnership with the Georgetown McDonough School of Business for both virtual and in-person use and are free to all school nutrition professionals. Learn more about how you can enroll in the first of four modules in the "Communication for Impact" series and begin earning CEUs.
  • Making It Count: was designed to enhance your knowledge of Child Nutrition Programs, strengthen your skills to meet the nutrition needs of students in your school, and assist you in providing better access to meals. MIC includes videos, interactive and site-based group activities, teaching tools such as facilitator's guides, fact sheets, key word lists, and useful links to help you operate your school nutrition program the best way possible.
  • MassCAMPS: was created as an interactive, engaging, and fun professional development opportunity for Child Food Care Program (CACFP) sponsors and providers. The course offers six modules to enhance knowledge of planning healthy meals and snacks that meet CACFP guidelines and best practices. Each module counts as one hour of CACFP training.

Print Resources:

Team Nutrition, an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, supports national efforts to promote lifelong healthy food choices and physical activity by improving the nutrition practices of the child nutrition programs. We provide resources to schools, childcare settings, and summer meal sites that participate in these programs.

How Can I Keeping Track of the Professional Standards Hours I Have Earned?

  • The Training Toolbox Checklist is designed specifically for school nutrition directors in Massachusetts to easily plan and track staff professional development across the district and is available in both Excel and Google Sheets.
  • Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool 2.0 is designed by USDA to assist School Nutrition Professionals in keeping track of their annually required training hours.

Is There Targeted Technical Assistance Available for Staff Who Administer School Meal Programs?

Yes, Every Tuesday at 2:00 pm FNP offers a different virtual learning opportunity to support the administration and operation of School meal programs. Register for resources that meet your needs in our Communication Plan for School year 2023-2024.

For additional information on Professional Standards, please visit USDA Professional Standards site.

Last Updated: June 14, 2023

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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