Continuing Education / Professional Development

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The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released the Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Programs Personnel final rule on March 2, 2015. This final rule establishes minimum professional standards for school nutrition personnel who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The final rule institutes hiring standards for the selection of State and local school nutrition program directors, and requires all personnel in the school nutrition programs to complete annual continuing education/training. These regulations are expected to result in consistent, national professional standards that strengthen the ability of school nutrition professionals and staff to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. The final rule is effective July 1, 2015.

Guidance & Resources

Welcome to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Administrator Leadership Academy! Our goal is to grow self-confident and high achieving School Nutrition Administrators in a nurturing teaching environment which encourages collaboration and continuous professional development.

The SN Leadership Academy is designed to provide on-going continuing education in areas critical to the administration and operation of high-quality School Nutrition Programs to include, but not limited to, Food Production and Operations Management, Food Safety, Leadership Development, Marketing, New Administrator Orientation, Nutrition, Procurement, Program Accountability and Resource/Financial Management.

Courses are planned for a variety of topics each year and will be offered on a rotating schedule with many subject areas being explored in greater depth in subsequent workshops.

Course Schedule – TBD

About Canvas

The Canvas LMS application was adopted by the NC Department of Public Instruction to provide online educational opportunities for North Carolina’s Teachers and Administrators across the state.  Canvas is an easy-to-navigate and powerful tool for developing and delivering online learning and professional development opportunities for learners at all levels.

School Nutrition is working to expand the selection of online professional development opportunities for School Nutrition program administrators across the state.  That includes full courses, microlearning modules (5-10 min) on specific subjects or processes, and resource repositories. The goal is for Canvas to be the primary platform by which the state agency will provide and manage all continuing education and professional development for school nutrition administrators and staff.

Already have a School Nutrition Canvas account?


Canvas Information & Resources

User Interface/Navigation Resource Guides 

Review the following Canvas User Interface resources for valuable information on the structure of the system and courses.  Click on the each resource to download it or bookmark it for future reference.

Dashboard View Homepage View Modules View

Canvas User Interface-Dashboard view

Canvas User Interface - Homepage View

Canvas User Interface - Modules View


Technology Requirements

Chrome is the recommended browser for the best experience while using Canvas LMS.


North Carolina CE & PD Opportunities

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2024 SNA-NC Pre-Conference Workshops

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction, (NCDPI), Office of School Nutrition will be offering three in-person pre-conference workshops at the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina (SNA-NC) Conference in Greensboro. The workshops will be held at the Koury Convention Center. See below for more information and links to register. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Katrina Perry, Professional Development Consultant,

  • New School Nutrition Manager

Dates: June 10-11, 2024
Day 1: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (Check-in begins at 12:30 pm)
Day 2: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm

This two-day workshop is designed for new and aspiring School Nutrition Managers. It will include introductory information and overviews for meal patterns and offer vs. serve, meal counting and claiming, cash management and accountability, Food Safety and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan, inventory management, production records, and customer service.

Learn more and register for New School Nutrition Manager workshop.

  • Safe Plates for Food Managers

Dates: June 10-11, 2024
Day 1: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Check-in begins at 9:30 am)
Day 2: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Exam - 2:45 - 5:00 pm on Day 2)

This two-day workshop is designed to help School Nutrition Administrators/Directors, School Nutrition Managers, and other Persons in Charge (PICs) obtain a Certified Food Protection Manager certification. This certification is required for School Nutrition Administrators/Directors as part of Professional Standards hiring requirements and is also required for PICs of food establishments per the North Carolina Food Code. A preparation course begins on the first day and ends on the second day. After the conclusion of the preparation course on the afternoon of the second day, participants will be given an opportunity to take the exam. The exam provided at the conclusion of this workshop meets the requirements for an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited exam option.


Safe Plates for Food Managers is an evidence-based, interactive food safety training course developed by NC State University (NCSU)/Cooperative Extension This pre-conference workshop is being offered by NCSU.  Learn more and register for the Safe Plates for Food Managers workshop. NOTE: There is a $70 registration cost for the workshop that includes participation in the course, training materials, and the ANSI-certified exam fee. The SNA-NC Safe Plates registration fee is a discounted rate compared to taking this course through your local N.C. Cooperative Extension agent.

The Administrative Review: An Approach to Collaborative Compliance

Dates: June 10-11, 2024
Day 1: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (Check-in begins at 12:30 p.m.)
Day 2: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

This two-day workshop is designed to provide important information about the United States Department of Agriculture’s Administrative Review. Participants will have a better understanding of the areas of review and process of the Administrative Review.

Learn more and register for The Administrative Review: An Approach to Collaborative Compliance. Please note, registration is currently open only for SFAs scheduled for an Administrative Review in SY 2024-2025. It will open for all SFAs on May 23, 2024.

Save the Date!

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Office of School Nutrition is thrilled to announce the return of the Annual Conference for School Nutrition Administrators! Please save the date for the 2024 Annual Conference, which will be held October 16-18, 2024, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Conference Center in Durham.

Further information, including registration, hotel reservation information, and other important details, will be forthcoming. For questions, please contact Katrina Perry, Professional Development Consultant,  We look forward to seeing you in October in Durham!

The Financial Management 101 course provides instruction on all aspects of School Nutrition finances under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, including revenues, expenses, the connection to the general ledger, and calculations for Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

Instructor:  Janet Johnson

Space is limited, so advanced registration is required. Both workshops will provide the same information - only register for ONE workshop to allow others an opportunity to participate. Lunch will be provided.

Financial Management 101 - Workshop #1

DATE: Monday, July 24, 2023
TIME: Check In: 8:30am - 9:00am, Workshop: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
LOCATION: Hickory Metro Convention Center, Hickory, NC

Financial Management 101 - Workshop #2

DATE: Wednesday, July 26, 2023
TIME: Check In: 8:30am - 9:00am, Workshop: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
LOCATION: McKimmon Center, Raleigh, NC

Fuel Up to Win Instructional Videos

Menu Planning and Daily Meal Production Records
Meal Patterns
Offer vs Serve
Food Preparation Skills and Tips
  • We Want Lunch
  • Using the Food Buying Guide
  • Developing Standardized Recipes
  • Measuring and Weighing Accurately
  • Using Knives Efficiently
  • Fruits and Veggie Cuts
  • Enhancing Flavors in Menus
  • New Salad Twists
  • Innovative Menu Ideas
  • Accommodating Special Dietary Needs
Positive Dining Experiences
  • It's All in the Presentation
  • Ways to Use Garnishes
  • Focus on the Customer
Nutrition in the Classroom & Beyond
  • Unique Classroom Activities
  • Promoting Nutritional Messages and Team-Building
Additional Resources
  • North Carolina School Nutrition Programs
  • North Carolina School Nutrition Breakfast is Brain Fuel Tool-kit
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service School Nutrition Programs
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service Nutrition Standards for School Meals
  • School Nutrition Association
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service Resources A-Z
  • National Food Service Management Institute
  • Food Buying Guide Calculator for Child Nutrition Progams
  • USFA Food Buying Guide
  • Food Safey for School and Community Gardens


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Office of School Nutrition Services, in cooperation with Chef Cyndie Story and K-12 Team, has developed the NC K-12 Culinary Institute, which features face-to-face and online instruction for School Nutrition personnel to enhance the following healthy dining objectives:

  • Improve student health, well-being, and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school
  • Increase participation in high quality, enticing School Nutrition programs
  • Expand capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce
  • Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain rich foods
  • Provide continuing education opportunities for School Nutrition personnel


NC Safe Plates is a CFPM course providing instruction and an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited CFPM examination for the Person in Charge (PIC) of a food establishment as specified in Paragraphs 2-102.12(A) and Section 2-102.20 of the NC Food Code Manual. The course is provided by NC Cooperative Extension agents.

Course Dates: TBD

The HACCP in Your School course has been updated and re-branded to the Safe Plates for School Nutrition Staff course. This online food safety course hosted by our North Carolina State Extension partners and offers several options for meeting annual food safety training needs for school nutrition staff. It is an alternative to the face-to-face workshop when it is not feasible to bring employees together for a in-person instruction.

The Safe Plates for School Nutrition Staff course is divided into two parts. Part 1 provides 4 hours of continuing education, divided into 6 essential modules. All 6 modules must be completed to earn Professional Standards credit for this course. For additional hours and to expand food safety knowledge and understanding, four 1-hour bonus modules are offered in Part 2. These can be taken individually, providing up to 4 more hours of continuing education in food safety. Part 1 and Part 2 combined provides a total of 8 hours of professional development approved by SNA as a food safety core course which can be used towards SNA certification requirements (

What is Smart Options?

Smart Options: School Meals Make a Difference in NC, developed by the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, is a continuing education course tailored for school nutrition professionals in North Carolina that covers the key components of:

  • nutrition and physical activity
  • school nutrition regulation requirements
  • methods for serving quality school meals
  • strategies for linking the cafeteria to the classroom with nutrition education
  • ways to promote school meals
  • and the components of school wellness. 

Smart Options also features local success stories from across the state.

Course Credit
Smart Options: School Meals Make a Difference in NC is an approved course for any School Nutrition professional seeking certification through the national School Nutrition Association. Smart Options is divided into ten interactive modules. Completion of the full course provides 12 hours of continuing education credit. 


Smart Options: Teach the Leader

Completion of the Teach the Leader workshop is required to be able to teach the Smart Options course.  Teach the Leader provides four hours of continuing education credit. Participants receive the Leader Guide, Study Guide and additional necessary materials needed to teach the Smart Options course.  Click the next workshop date below for details.

For additional information please contact Tracey Bates at

Course Dates: TBD

Verification: Guidance for Conducting the Annual Verification Process for SY 2023-24


  1. Please view ALL THREE videos their entirety.  
  2. Complete the evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete a certificate of completion will be sent to your email.  Please be sure your email is entered the Google form correctly.  If you do not receive your certificate please contact Donna Knight at
  3. Download the resources referenced in the presentations at the links below, as needed.  Please contact us if you need additional resources.
  4. If you have questions about the Verification process please contact your zone consultant or Jacquelyn McGowan at

*IMPORTANT NOTE*  A webinar is mentioned in the presentations however this was not a live webinar.  The information was pre-recorded.  

Download Resources for Verification sy2023-24


  1. INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO - Part One  (12:19)

Topics covered:

  • Introduction, Objectives, Key Terms
  • What is Verification?  
  1. INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO - Part Two (20:05)

Topics covered:

  • Initial Verification Process
  • Application Selection Procedures
  • Post Selection Procedures
  • Foreign Language Applications  
  1. INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO - Part Three (29:49)

Topics covered: 

  • Sources for Verification 
  • Direct Verification 
  • Continuing the Verification Process 
  • Common Misunderstandings 
  • Conclusion
*NOTICE* We have found that the link in the video for the evaluation is not working properly. You may access the evaluation at the link below.  Upon completion of the evaluation your certificate will immediately be sent to your email.  Please contact Donna Knight at for issues with the evaluation or the certificate.