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


SNA Keys to Excellence

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 profession development opportunities for learners at all levels.

School Nutrition is working to expand the selection of online professional development opportunities for School Nutrition programs 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.

New to Canvas? New to School Nutrition?

Already have a School Nutrition Canvas account?

  • Forgot your Password?  Please email Donna Knight at to have your password reset. 
    *IMPORTANT* Please DO NOT click on the Reset Password button.  That feature is not activated in the School Nutrition instance of Canvas.


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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    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
    REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  Wednesday, July 19 

    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

    Meal Patterns

    • Meal Pattern - INTRODUCTION
    • Meal Pattern - BREAKFAST_K-5
    • Meal Pattern - BREAKFAST_K-12
    • Meal Pattern - BREAKFAST_6-8
    • Meal Pattern - BREAKFAST_9-12
    • Meal Pattern - LUNCH_K-5
    • Meal Pattern - LUNCH_K-8
    • Meal Pattern - LUNCH_6-8
    • Meal Pattern - LUNCH_9-12


    The 4-hour HACCP in Your School food safety curriculum is an online course. In addition, the on-line course now has a Part 2 and, when combined with Part 1, 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 (

    This online course, hosted by our North Carolina State Extension partners, provides

    an alternative to the face-to-face workshop when it is not feasible to bring employees together for a course.

    *IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER* this HACCP in Your School course and related quizzes cannot be used to achieve the Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certificate required by the NC Food Code for a Person in Charge (PIC), although it could be used as a review to help prepare for the CFPM exam. There are now 5 organizations offering American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved CFMP exams:

    • ProMetrics, Inc.
    • National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
    •, Inc.
    • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

    The NC Safe Plates course uses the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals exam and the ServSafe© course uses the exam from National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. administers exams online.


    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

    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.