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Team Up for School Nutrition Success

This unique learning experience serves to enhance a school’s food service operation by providing peer-based technical assistance to School Nutrition Program food service directors (FSD).

What is the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative?

Team Up for School Nutrition Success (Team Up) is a new training initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN). This training model connects seasoned and successful FSDs with FSDs who are new or interested in improving their program operations.


The USDA and ICN conducted a pilot training in November 2014 in the Southeast Region. Based on the successes and lessons learned from the pilot, the initiative was expanded nationwide. The ICN conducted a pilot workshop in San Diego for the Western Region in June 2015. A total of 28 California FSDs participated. In previous years, the well-received Ambassador Leadership Conferences provided best practices from exemplary FSDs or nutrition service staff who shared their successes with topics such as marketing strategies, ways to increase breakfast participation, recipe development and menu planning, farm to school models, salad bars, and production processes. The Team Up initiative is a natural next step of the Ambassador program. The new Team Up trainings will include sharing of best practices from experienced FSDs and provide enhanced mentoring for participants.

Next Steps

The California Department of Education is launching Team Up workshops in fall 2016. These one-day workshops consist of panel presentations and peer-to-peer mentorship to assist FSDs in developing goals and action plans to enhance their school food service operation. FSDs will learn from each other while addressing their individual resource and training needs. The workshop format includes one mentor working with three participants (3:1 ratio) to provide effective peer-to-peer mentoring on a variety of topic areas. The topics for the 2016 workshops are increasing participation and farm-to-school.


Training Schedule


  • Wednesday, September 21, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Natomas Unified School District, 1931 Arena Boulevard
  • Thursday, October 6, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Ontario-Montclair School District, 1515 South Bon View Avenue
Training Registration Instructions

Training information, locations, and registration is available on the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Training Registration Web page. Please review the instructions below before starting the registration process.

Instructions for Child Nutrition Program Participants

  • Obtain your agency’s five-digit CNIPS Identification (ID) number OR personal User ID and password.
  • Use your agency’s CNIPS ID or personal User ID and password to register and follow the system prompts as shown below:

    • Program Training Available screen—select All
    • Available Training screen—select Team Up for School Nutrition Success
    • Available Training Location screen—select preferred location
  • After completing the Attendee Information section and selecting Continue, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address provided upon completion of the registration process.
Registration Assistance and Cancellation Procedure

For assistance with online registration or if you are unable to attend and require a cancellation, please contact the CNIPS Help Desk weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 6, or by e-mail at If possible, please provide your registration confirmation number when cancelling your registration.


ICN Team Up for School Nutrition Success Web Page External link opens in new window or tab.
The Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) Web site includes ICN-developed materials, presentations, and resources regarding the Team Up initiative.

USDA Policy Memo External link opens in new window or tab.
This memorandum provides important information regarding the Team Up pilot that was launched in November 2014.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Team Up initiative, or are interested in participating in future Team Up workshops, please contact Julie BoarerPitchford by phone at (916) 322-1563 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Julie BoarerPitchford | | 916-322-1563
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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