May 15, 2015
Education Roundup for the Week Ending May 15, 2015
SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education (CDE) today issued this week's roundup of education-related announcements of public interest.
Fed Issues New Standards for School Nutrition Personnel
Starting July 1, 2015, school nutrition programs participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs will have to meet higher professional standards to ensure their employees have the knowledge and skills to administer federal school nutrition programs. These federal nutrition programs are designed to ensure low-income children receive quality, nutritious meals they need to grow and support their learning.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) new professional standards establish minimum hiring requirements for school nutrition directors, provide flexibility in the hiring requirements based on student enrollment, and require continuing education and training for all nutrition personnel.
The CDE was among 14 state educational agencies that submitted comments to the USDA about the new standards because of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson's A Blueprint for Great Schools initiative. The Blueprint addresses the importance of meeting the needs of the “whole child,” including their social and emotional needs. California is a diverse state where more than 59 percent of its students are low-income.
To fulfill these new professional standards, the CDE offers more than 18 hours per year of continuing education and training for school nutrition personnel. The new standards are part of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, and may be viewed through
The Office of the Federal Register [Note: this Web page is no longer available].
Labor History and Safe Jobs for Youth Month
Throughout May, schools are encouraged to commemorate the month with appropriate educational activities that make pupils aware of the role the labor movement has played in shaping California and the United States.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson's 2015 Career Readiness Initiative helps prepare students with the critical skills they need to understand and actively participate in the work environment. An important goal of the initiative is to promote healthy and safe jobs for young people who wish to work.
Every six minutes, somewhere in the United States a teenager is injured seriously enough on the job to go to a hospital. YoungWorkers.org [http://youngworkers.org/safe-jobs-month/] is hosting a social media campaign to protect young workers from injury by raising community awareness about child labor law protections and workplace health and safety issues.
This all takes place during an exciting time of change in the state as education leaders work diligently to promote the new California state standards and critical thinking skills that will help prepare students to understand and actively participate in the world of work.
To further assist in the distribution of this information Torlakson sent a letter encouraging county and district administrators to participate in this educational effort by outlining a series of helpful resources about the labor movement.
The initiative is also supported by the California Partnership for Young Worker Health and Safety [http://www.dir.ca.gov/youngworker/YoungWorkerPartnership.html] , a statewide working group representing government agencies, educators, parents, employers, job trainers, labor unions, and others.
Join the effort online by posting a picture of you holding a sign with the name of your first job and the hashtags: #firstjob #safejobsforyouth.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100