Professional Development for the School Nutrition Professional: Keep Compliant and Achieve Your Full Potential

As a foodservice director, you know the importance of ensuring that both you and your staff meet professional development goals. For one, you’re making sure that your team is current on the latest national standards to help your department keep compliant. You’re also improving your department’s financial viability by educating your staff, and helping your employees feel valued and appreciated.

Work one-on-one with your team members to set professional development goals at the start of the school year – and check in with them often to see how they are progressing. As foodservice director, assess which training will best set you and your department up for success. Additional education helps your entire department reach its full potential!

Keep Compliant: Professional Development Standards

Professional standards for school nutrition professionals are outlined within the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, requiring annual training hours for all state directors of school nutrition programs, state directors of distributing agencies, school nutrition program directors, managers and staff. The educational topics for these learning opportunities vary by job. These standards “…ensure school nutrition personnel have the knowledge, training, and tools they need to plan, prepare, and purchase healthy products to create nutritious, safe, and enjoyable school meals,” according to the USDA.

Per the Professional Standards for All School Nutrition Program Employees, the following training standards and commitment apply to all school nutrition program employees at the local level:

Directors: at least 12 hours of annual continuing education/training. This required continuing education/training is in addition to the food safety training required in the first year of employment.

All Managers: at least 10 hours of annual continuing education/training

All Other Staff: at least 6 hours of annual continuing education/training

Part-Time Staff: Each year, at least 4 hours of annual continuing education/training, regardless of the number of part-time hours worked

Consult the guidelines for state-level director requirements, as more training is required of these individuals.

The Professional Standards Learning Objectives outline training topics for you and your staff that are housed within the core topics of :

nutrition (1000)

operations (2000)

administration (3000)

communications/marketing (4000)

Opportunities abound and choices for professional development training include writing standardized menus, supporting school gardens as a means to nutrition education, and identifying possible cooperative purchasing groups.

Meet Your Professional Development Requirements and Achieve Your Full Potential with the Help of My K12 Resource

You can meet the national standards for professional development with ease when you plan ahead. The My K12 Resource team helps your department navigate the national guidelines and provides training modules and services to fit your needs and budget. Whether you prefer a training course that we already have in place, or one that is customized to fit your needs, we are your child nutrition professional development experts!

When you budget for professional development training, you are setting your department up for success. You can order any of our training services including one-on-one coaching and mentoring. We have a program designed specifically for new directors and a program that will empower the very experienced directors. It’s all about helping those within your department reach their full potential – while keeping compliant – with the help of your My K12 Resource coach.