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Office for Food and Nutrition Programs

Administrative Review Process

Given the impact of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), how have the requirements for Administrative Reviews Scheduled in School Year 2020/2021 changed?

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted a nationwide waiver, providing flexibilities to certain onsite monitoring requirements for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program. DESE has elected to utilize this waiver and continue to maintain program integrity and to provide meals, while also supporting social distancing to reduce the exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

How are the National School Lunch Program requirements evaluated?

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as amended by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), require that participating SFA's comply with National School Lunch Program (NSLP) requirements. The Administrative Review (AR) provides a comprehensive evaluation of school meals programs completed by State Agencies.

What parts of program operations are evaluated during the Administrative Review?

The AR is comprised of five key compliance areas:

  • Meal Access & Reimbursement
  • Meal Pattern & Nutritional Quality
  • Resource Management
  • General Program Compliance
  • Other Federal Program Reviews

A summary of the most recently conducted ARs is available to the public. Additional information about the AR Process in Massachusetts is available in a free interactive online learning module:

How often are districts evaluated?

The HHFKA, states that state agencies must conduct administrative reviews of all school food authorities (SFA's) participating in the NSLP (including the Afterschool Snacks and the Seamless Summer Option) and School Breakfast Program at least once during a 3-year review cycle.

The State Agency wishes to inform Child Nutrition Program (CNP) sponsors, site staff, and the public that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has submitted a waiver to 7 CFR 210.18 to modify the existing 3-year AR Cycle to a 4-year cycle (through SY 2023-2024) under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The waiver requests are available to the public below.

What SFAs are scheduled to be reviewed in this current four-year review cycle?

  • Year 1, School Year 2019/2020 Download PDF Document
  • Year 2, School Year 2020/2021 — Pending release Fall 2020
  • Year 3, School Year 2021/2022 — Pending release Fall 2021
  • Year 4, School Year 2022/2023 — Pending release Fall 2022

Can a district request to have certain required components waived?

The USDA has designed a process for State Agencies and eligible service providers to submit requests to waive requirements of CNPs Program requirements may be waived if the request would facilitate the State Agency or Service Provider to carry out the purpose of the program while remaining cost-neutral. This process is outlined fully in the memo, Child Nutrition Program Waiver Request Guidance and Protocol- Revised (SP 15-2018, CACFP 12-2018, SFSP 05-2018).

Last Updated: September 21, 2020

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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