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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    Fuel Up to Win the Race to the Top is an on-line continuing education course consisting of several modules that may be accessed individually any time the learner has access to a computer. 

    Log on with name and email address to access a variety of topics such as meal pattern, offer versus serve, merchandising, food preparation, production records, and more! 

    Successful completion of each module including a short quiz makes the learner eligible for a certificate providing credit on one of the USDA Professional Standards learning topics of Nutrition, Operations, Administration, or Communications and Marketing.  Print your certificate as each module is completed because the information is not stored for later retrieval.  Certificates may be used to satisfy School Nutrition continuing education and professional development needs required by the USDA Professional Standards Final Rule.

    List of Modules with Learning Codes

    Fuel Up to Win the Race to the Top Modules

    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.

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    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