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2009-10 Attendance Factor

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: National School Lunch Program Sponsors (including Residential Child Care Institutions)

Number: USDA-SNP-20-2009

Attention: Food Service Director, Business Official

Date: July 2009

Subject: 2009-10 Attendance Factor (93.6 percent) and Required Meal Count Edit Checks

Reference: United States Department of Agriculture Memo SP 30-2009 National Average Daily Attendance Factor for Coordinated Review Effort; and Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 210.2 and 210.8(a)(3)
Supersedes: Management Bulletin USDA-SNP-11-2008 (December)

This Management Bulletin provides the 200910 average daily “Attendance Factor” (93.6 percent) for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) sponsors. Each year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calculates the attendance factor using the latest available data from the United States Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.


Prior to filing a monthly claim for reimbursement, the USDA requires NSLP sponsors to perform daily meal count “edit checks” by multiplying an annual attendance factor [percentage] by the number of children enrolled in school.

Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Part 210.2 defines the attendance factor as “. . . a percentage developed no less than once each school year which accounts for the difference between enrollment and attendance . . . ” (i.e., the average percentage of enrolled students typically attending school on any given day).

In addition, 7 CFR, Part 210.8(a)(3) requires NSLP sponsors to perform daily meal count edit checks by multiplying the number of enrolled children approved in each meal eligibility category (free, reduced-price, and paid) by the annual attendance factor. The results, referred to as “attendance-adjusted eligible” figures, are to be documented by comparing the daily counts of free, reduced-price, and paid lunches served.  Recorded daily meal counts should not exceed the attendance-adjusted eligible figures in any meal eligibility category on any school day without a simple written justification to explain the overage (e.g., pizza day; special promotion; non-pricing event, etc.).

In addition, school meal counts reported on a monthly reimbursement claim must not exceed the number of children approved in any meal eligibility category when multiplied by the number of operating days within the month.

2009-10 Attendance Factor

For school year (SY) 200910, the USDA has calculated an attendance factor of 93.6 percent. Therefore, effective with the 200910 school year, NSLP sponsors must use the 93.6 percent attendance factor for each of their site’s daily meal count edits prior to the submission of their monthly reimbursement claims. As allowed in prior years, sponsors may also develop their own attendance factors using data that applies district- or agency-wide, or to individual sites. The California Department of Education will apply the 93.6 percent attendance factor (or the sponsor’s actual site or agency-wide attendance factor) to meal counts during Coordinated Review Efforts (CRE) conducted for SY 200910.

In order to develop your district/agency’s actual attendance factor, you will need to determine your student population rate of attendance each month or each year by site or agency-wide. To do this, calculate the percentage of average attendance by dividing the average number of students who attended school each month or each year by the average number of students enrolled in school each month or each year (but do not include excused absences in the average attendance figure). This process will give you an actual attendance factor by month or by year. Keep records to demonstrate how you calculated your average attendance factor.

All schools on Provision 2 or 3 must also complete daily meal count edit checks. During non-base years and streamlined base years, schools must compare each Provision 2 or 3 school’s total daily meal counts to the school’s total enrollment, multiplied by the attendance factor or have a system in place for oversight.

Residential Child Care Institutions

Please note that Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCI) must also complete daily meal count edit checks. Daily meal counts cannot exceed the number of residents enrolled each day. The attendance factor for RCCIs is 100 percent. RCCIs with day students must use the current national attendance factor of 93.6 percent (or their own actual site or agency-wide attendance factor).

Sample Meal Count Edit Checks

Sample meal count edit check worksheets for traditional or year round school sites, schools on Provision 2 or 3, and RCCIs are available for download from our Web site at

While the use of these sample worksheets is optional, documentation of your edit checks is required. All edit check forms must incorporate the data requested on the sample worksheets posted on our Web site.

The following worksheets (posted at the Web site mentioned above) may be used for traditional or year-round school sites:

Schools on Provision 2 or 3 non-base years may use the sample Provision 2 and 3 Meal Count Edit Check Worksheet.

Any one of the following meal count edit checks may be used for RCCIs:

If you have any questions regarding edit checks or this year’s attendance factor, please request contact information for your Field Services Unit Child Nutrition Consultant at 916-445-0850 or 800-952-5609, or you may contact your School Nutrition Programs county specialist at 916-322-1450.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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