The District participates in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, to receive commodities and subsidies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In return, the District provides free and reduced-price meals to elementary and secondary students in its schools and serves meals that meet federal requirements.
The Superintendent or designee will carry out the rules of the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The District’s Reviewing Official and Verification Official or the Department of Social Services Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) will determine student eligibility. Appeals regarding eligibility should be submitted to the District’s Hearing Official.
The District may allow free or reduced-price meals for qualifying District students after receiving a written application from the student’s parent or guardian or a direct certification letter from OTDA. Applications will be provided by the District to all families.
School officials must also determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals and milk by using the Direct Certification Matching Process. Any student residing in a household receiving federal assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or Medicaid is automatically eligible for free meals and milk; eligible families will not have to complete further applications. The District will notify parents or guardians of eligibility, giving them the opportunity to decline free meals and milk.
Child Nutrition Program Authorization
Since the District participates in one or more Child Nutrition Program, the Superintendent has developed rules which address:
a) What can be charged;
b) The limit on the number of charges per student;
c) The system used for identifying and recording charged meals;
d) The system used for collection of repayments; and
e) Ongoing communication of this policy to parents and students. The District’s meal-charge policy and procedures will be distributed to all households and applicable staff in writing at the start of each school year and to new households that transfer into the District during the school year. The policy and procedures may vary by grade. The District will also provide details regarding payment methods on its website.
a) Students who use prepaid meal accounts are given a grace period during which they are allowed to charge meals after their prepaid funds have been exhausted. The parent will be notified that the account balance is exhausted and unpaid meal charges are due. No a la carte items may be charged outside of milk or reimbursable meals
b) The District’s point-of-sale system will track all charges and payments;
c) As appropriate, District administration may contact Social Services to report a student’s consistent failure to arrive at school with a meal.
Unpaid meal charges will be addressed directly with the student’s parent or guardian who is responsible for providing funds for meal purchases; discreet notifications of low, exhausted, or deficit balances will be sent at appropriate intervals during the school year. The notification may include a repayment schedule, but will not charge any interest or fees related to meals charged during the grace period. District administration will further consider the benefits of attempted collections and the costs that would be expended in collection attempts.
Return of Unused Funds
At the end of each school year, any money left in a student’s prepaid meal account shall be carried over from one grade to the next until graduation from Niskayuna High School. After graduating or otherwise leaving the District for more than 30 days, any student prepaid meal accounts with a balance greater than $10 for students will be refunded. Absent any request or instruction otherwise, such balances shall be directed to the last known mailing address on file with the District. Balances less than $10 will be transferred to a fund to help pay off unpaid charges for students in need.
Upon a student’s leaving/graduating from the District, families with balances on their account will also have the option to transfer the balance to a sibling’s account, or to donate the balance to a fund which will help pay off unpaid charges at the end of every school year. To choose either of these options, there will be a form available on the website which may be completed and remitted to the Food Services Director within 30 days of last attendance.
Parents/guardians may also use this form to request that the balance on a student’s prepaid account be reimbursed at any time other than upon leaving the district or graduating.
Restriction of Sweetened Foods in School
The sale of sweetened foods will be prohibited from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last scheduled meal period.
Sweetened foods consist of sweetened soda water; chewing gum; and candy, including hard candy, jellies, gum, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy, candy coated-popcorn, and water ices, except those which contain fruit or fruit juices.
Restrictions on Sale of Milk Prohibited
The District will not directly or indirectly restrict the sale or marketing of fluid milk products at any time or in any place on school premises or at school-sponsored events.
Food Substitutions for Children with Disabilities
Federal regulations governing the operation of Child Nutrition Programs, Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that children with disabilities be offered the opportunity to participate in all academic and nonacademic activities including school nutrition programs. The District will make reasonable accommodations to those children whose disabilities restrict their diets, such as providing substitutions or modifications in the regular meal patterns. These meal substitutions will be offered at no extra charge. A student with a disability must be provided substitutions in food when that need is supported by a statement signed by a physician attesting to the need for the substitutions and recommending alternate foods.
However, the school food service is not required to provide meal services (for example, School Breakfast Program) to students with disabilities when the meal service is not normally available to the general student body, unless a meal service is required under the student’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 Accommodation Plan as mandated by a physician’s written instructions.
Food Substitutions for Nondisabled Children
Though not required, the District will also allow substitutions for non-disabled children who are unable to consume the regular meal because of medical or other special dietary needs if the request is supported by a statement signed by a recognized medical authority.
The District may also allow substitutions for fluid milk with a non-dairy beverage that is nutritionally equivalent (as established by the Secretary of Agriculture) to fluid milk and meets nutritional standards for students who are unable to consume fluid milk because of medical or other special dietary needs if the request is supported by a statement signed by a recognized medical authority.
Prohibition Against Adults Charging Meals
Adults must pay for their meals at the time of service or set up pre-paid accounts.
HACCP-Based Food Safety Program
Schools participating in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast programs are required to implement a food safety program based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. The District must develop a written food safety program for each of its food preparation and service facilities that is based on either traditional HACCP principles or the Process Approach to HACCP. (The Process Approach simplifies traditional HACCP by grouping foods according to preparation process and applying the same control measures to all menu items within the group, rather than developing an HACCP plan for each item.)
Regardless of the implementation option selected, the District’s written food safety program must also include:
a) Critical control points and critical limits;
b) Monitoring procedures;
c) Corrective actions;
d) Verification procedures;
e) Recordkeeping requirements; and
f) Periodic review and food safety program revision.
Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 108-265
Child Nutrition Act 1966, 42 USC § 1771 et seq.
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act 1946, 42 USC § 1751 et seq.
§ 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC § 794 et seq.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC §§ 1400-1485
7 CFR Parts 15B, 210 and 220
Education Law §§ 902(b), 915, 918, 1604(28), 1709(22), 1709(23) and 2503(9)(a)
8 NYCRR §§ 200.2(b)(1) and 200.2(b)(2)
Social Services Law § 95
Adopted July 14, 2017, Revised April 17, 2018