Professional Development Opportunities
Current federal regulations require minimum annual training hours for school nutrition professionals, based on job category. This is a great opportunity to grow hands-on kitchen skills, financial management savvy, menu planning expertise, and more. The professional development opportunities that take place across Vermont can also provide meaningful information for folks outside of the kitchen, including principals, superintendents, and business managers.
Program directors- 12 hours
Program managers- 10 hours
Program staff- 6 hours
Part-time staff (<20 hours/ week)- 4 hours
*Note: Mid-year hires, starting January 1 or later, must met one-half of the training requirement for their respective job category
Benefits of supporting professional development for school nutrition staff
With ongoing professional development, school nutrition staff can be vital resources to families, teachers, administrators, and other school stakeholders, offering knowledge and expertise in the many facets of child nutrition and nutrition education opportunities which impact student growth and educational success.
How to Meet Professional Development Requirements
Vermont Agency of Education Child Nutrition offers annual conferences including the CACFP-SFSP Conference, Tri-State Child Nutrition Conference (in conjunction with state agencies in New Hampshire and Maine), and Summer Institute. Visit their website or contact Cheryl Rogers (Cheryl.Rogers@vermont.gov) to learn about upcoming opportunities.
School Nutrition Association of Vermont supports professional development opportunities, including annual conferences and TeamUp. Supervisory unions or school districts can purchase memberships for all of their employees, connecting these individuals to the many resources and benefits provided by this professional organization.
Vermont Foodbank offers ServSafe certification classes at various locations around the state each year.
USDA Food and Nutrition Service maintains an online database which school nutrition staff may utilize to find training opportunity to meet their needs.
VT FEED offers a range of professional development opportunities, including farm to school courses and culinary workshops for child nutrition professionals.
Staff can also work towards meeting training requirements through in-house learning opportunities during regularly scheduled in-service days. This may be facilitated by other staff members or led by an outside guest, like a neighboring school's food service manager.