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April 1 CEP ISP Calculation Waiver

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a California Department of Education (CDE) waiver request to support the establishment of Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) cycles while schools are responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to facilitate the adoption of accurate CEP Identified Student Percentages (ISP) for School Year (SY) 2022–23, the USDA acknowledges that program operators require flexibility in data used to calculate their ISP.

This waiver makes the following adjustment to the ISP data calculation timeline:

CEP Requirement: Data Used to Calculate ISP

Annual Deadline: April 1

New Extended DataDeadline: Anytime between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022

Please note that direct certification and enrollment data must be reflective of the same time period to establish an accurate CEP ISP. For example, if a program operator uses student enrollment data as of October 2021, then direct certification reports used to calculate the ISP should also be reflective of October 2021 data.

The CEP is a four-year alternative meal counting and collection procedure. Participation in the CEP reduces paperwork and other administrative burdens at the local level by simplifying the traditional operating procedures for meal eligibility and meal counting while eliminating the meal application process. Operating under the CEP also maximizes federal reimbursements that support National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program operations at school sites, which supports the intent of the California Universal Meals Program. For more information on the CEP, please visit the CDE CEP web page.

Beginning in SY 2022–23, public school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools with an ISP of 40 percent or greater are required to apply for a federal feeding provision such as the CEP. For more information on the application process and to calculate your local educational agency’s ISP, please refer to Management Bulletin SNP-02-2022, which is posted on the CDE CEP Application and Increasing ISP web page.

Additionally, the CDE hosted a Universal Meals Listening Session webinar that discusses the effects Universal Meals will have on federal provision requirements, provides an overview of best practices for applying for a federal provision, and answers some frequently asked questions regarding the CEP. You can view the recorded Listening Session on the CDE’s Universal Meal web page.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your county’s School Nutrition Program (SNP) Specialist. A list of SNP Specialists is available in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment SystemExternal link opens in new window or tab., Form ID Caseload. You can also contact Jeremy Partsch, SNP Unit Office Technician, by phone at 916-322-3005 or 800-952-5609, Option 2, or by email at to be directed to your SNP Specialist.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 9, 2022
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