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Definition of K-8 Under Competitive Foods


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Beneficial Information

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: NSD-SNP-03-2010

Attention: Food Service Directors and Business Officials

Date: August 2010

Subject: Definition of a School Containing Kindergarten through Eighth Grade under the Competitive Food and Beverage Restrictions

Reference: Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 15500 and California Education Code Section 49430

This Management Bulletin (MB) clarifies which competitive food and beverage restrictions apply for food and beverage sales by student organizations specifically in a school containing kindergarten through eighth grade (K-8). For purposes of competitive food and beverage sales, a K-8 school is considered a middle school and may follow all competitive food and beverage restrictions allowable under the middle school restrictions. The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) strongly encourages a best practice approach used by a number of K-8 schools; specifically, applying the elementary school restrictions to the students in kindergarten through sixth grade while allowing the seventh through eighth grade students the more flexible middle school restrictions.

Background

In previous Coordinated Reviews, the NSD has used the elementary school student organization restrictions when reviewing a school containing kindergarten through grade eight. The NSD considered a K-8 school as an elementary school based on the following language (per Title 5, California Code of Regulations (5 CCR), Section 15500):

Section 15500. Food Sales [by Student Organizations] in Elementary Schools (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and Section 15501, no school providing kindergarten or any of grades one through eight shall permit the sale of food by pupil organizations if such school is participating in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, or Food Distribution program.

Subsection (b) and Section 15501 allow for the sale of food by pupil organizations on condition that the foods are approved by the district’s governing board and other stipulations.

Current Analysis

After further review, 5 CCR, Section 15500(a) does not provide a definition of an elementary school. It does state that without a district’s governing board approval “no school providing kindergarten or any of grades one through eight shall permit the sale of food by pupil organizations…” Even though this statement falls under the title “Food Sales in Elementary Schools,” it applies to a variety of school types including, for example, kindergarten through third grade, kindergarten through fifth grade, and K-8, as well as sixth grade through ninth grade and seventh through twelfth grade. Therefore, Section 15500 does not define an elementary school nor does it imply that a K-8 school is an elementary school.

In order to determine the definitions for elementary, middle, and high schools that apply to student organization sales, it is necessary to review the food and beverage standards set forth in the California Education Code (EC). EC 49430 provides the following definitions for school types:

Accordingly, under EC Section 49430, a K-8 school does not meet the elementary school or high school definition, but does meet the middle school definition.

Summary

In reference to competitive food and beverage sales (i.e., sales outside of the meal program), EC Section 49430 provides a definition of “elementary, “middle”, and “high” schools. The NSD and school districts shall use the definitions for elementary, middle, and high school provided under EC Section 49430 when determining all legislative and regulatory rules that govern competitive foods and beverages. While the requirements direct K-8 schools to follow the minimum food and beverage restrictions set forth for middle schools found in the EC and the CCR, the NSD strongly encourages a best practice approach used by a number of K-8 schools; specifically, applying the elementary school restrictions to the students in kindergarten through sixth grade while allowing the seventh through eight grade students the more flexible middle school restrictions.

If you have questions regarding this MB, please contact Mike Danzik, Nutrition Education Specialist, Education and Nutrition Policy Unit, at 916-445-7346 or by e-mail at mdanzik@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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