Newport-Mesa USD | AR 3553 Business and Noninstructional Operations
Free And Reduced Price Meals
The district's plan for students receiving free or reduced-price meals shall ensure the following: (Education Code 49557)
1. The names of the students shall not be published, posted, or announced in any manner, or used for any purpose other than the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, unless otherwise provided by law.
2. There shall be no overt identification of any of the students by the use of special tokens or tickets or by any other means.
3. The students shall not be required to work for their meals or for milk.
4. The students shall not be required to use a separate dining area, go through a separate serving line or entrance, or consume their meals or milk at a different time.
When more than one lunch, breakfast, or type of milk is offered, the students shall have the same choice of meals or milk as is available to those students who pay the full price.
(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)
(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)
An application form for free or reduced-price meals shall be distributed to all parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year, together with information about eligibility standards, application procedures, and appeal procedures. This form and information shall also be provided whenever a new student is enrolled. (Education Code 48980, 49520; 7 CFR 245.5)
(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)
At the beginning of each school year, the Superintendent or designee shall send a public release, containing the same information supplied to parents/guardians and including eligibility criteria, to local media, the local unemployment office, and any major employers in the district attendance area contemplating large layoffs. Copies of the public release shall be made available upon request to any interested person. (7 CFR 245.5)
(cf. 1112 - Media Relations)
Applications for the free and reduced-price meal program shall be available to students at all times during the regular school day and shall contain the following statements: (Education Code 49557; 7 CFR 245.5)
1. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school day.
2. Students participating in the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Programs will not be overtly identified by the use of special tokens, special tickets, special serving lines, separate entrances, separate dining areas, or by any other means.
The application packet also shall contain:
1. A notification that, if a student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, then he/she may qualify for free or reduced-cost health insurance coverage
2. A request for the parent/guardian's consent for the student, if eligible for free school lunches, to participate in the Medi-Cal program and to have the information on the school lunch application shared with the local agency that determines eligibility under the Medi-Cal program
3. A notification that the district will not forward the application to the agency that determines Medi-Cal eligibility without the parent/guardian's consent
4. A notification that the application is confidential and will not be shared with any other governmental agency for any purpose other than the administration of the Medi-Cal program
5. A notification that the application information will be used only by the state and local agencies that administer the Medi-Cal program and will not be shared with other government agencies
6. Information regarding the Medi-Cal program, including available services, program requirements, rights and responsibilities, and privacy and confidentiality requirements
(cf. 5141.6 - School Health Services)
The Superintendent or designee shall determine students' eligibility for the free and reduced-price meal program based on the criteria specified in 42 USC 1758 and 1773 and 7 CFR 245.1-245.13 and made available by the California Department of Education.
When authorized by law, participants in other federal or state programs may be directly certified, without further application, for enrollment in the free and reduced-price meals program. (Education Code 49561; 42 USC 1758)
(cf. 6173 - Education for Homeless Children)
(cf. 6173.1 - Education for Foster Youth)
(cf. 6175 - Migrant Education Program)
Verification of Eligibility
Not later than November 15 of each year, the Superintendent or designee shall verify the eligibility of a sample of household applications approved for the school year in accordance with the sample sizes and procedures specified in 42 USC 1758 and 7 CFR 245.6a. (42 USC 1758; 7 CFR 245.6a)
If the review indicates that the initial eligibility determination is correct, the Superintendent or designee shall verify the approved household application. If the review indicates that the initial eligibility determination is incorrect, the Superintendent or designee shall: (42 USC 1758; 7 CFR 245.6a)
1. If the eligibility status changes from reduced price to free, make the increased benefits immediately available and notify the household of the change in benefits
2. If the eligibility status changes from free to reduced price, first verify the application, then notify the household of the correct eligibility status, and, when required by law, send a notice of adverse action as described below
3. If the eligibility status changes from free or reduced price to paid, send the household a notice of adverse action as described below
If any household is to receive a reduction or termination of benefits as a result of verification activities, or if the household fails to cooperate with verification efforts, the Superintendent or designee shall reduce or terminate benefits, as applicable, and shall properly document and retain on file in the district the reasons for ineligibility. He/she also shall send a notice of adverse action to any household that is to receive a reduction or termination of benefits. Such notice shall be provided 10 days prior to the actual reduction or termination of benefits. The notice shall advise the household of: (7 CFR 245.6a)
1. The change and the reasons for the change
2. The right to appeal, when the appeal must be filed to ensure continued benefits while awaiting a hearing and decision, and instructions on how to appeal
3. The right to reapply at any time during the school year
Confidentiality/Release of Records
The Superintendent designates the following district employee(s) to use individual records pertaining to student participation in the free and reduced-price meal program for the purpose of disaggregation of academic achievement data or for the identification of students in any program improvement school eligible for school choice and supplemental educational services pursuant to 20 USC 6316:
Director of Assessment
Director of Information Technology
In using the records for such purposes, the following conditions shall be satisfied: (Education Code 49558)
1. No individual indicators of participation in the free and reduced-price meal program shall be maintained in the permanent records of any student if not otherwise allowed by law.
(cf. 5125 - Student Records)
2. Information regarding individual student participation in the free and reduced-price meal program shall not be publicly released.
3. All other confidentiality provisions required by law shall be met.
4. Information collected regarding individual students certified to participate in the free and reduced-price meal program shall be destroyed when no longer needed for its intended purpose.
(cf. 5141.6 - School Health Services)
Regulation NEWPORT-MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
approved: September 13, 2011 Costa Mesa, California