WVBE/WVDE

January 31, 2020 - Volume 40 Issue 4

WVBE / WVDE News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is seeking partnerships with organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities during the summer months. When school is out during the summer months, community programs and organizations are vital to ensuring children in West Virginia are still receiving the nutrition they need, especially in low-income areas.

County boards of education, local government agencies and other nonprofit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which ensures children (ages 18 and under) in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer when they do not have access to the programs that are available to them during the school year, like the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program. Feeding sites often include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, libraries, housing complexes and summer camps.

“With most schools out during the summer months, it is vitally important that community partners and organizations participate in the Summer Food Service Program to ensure no child goes hungry,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine. “Providing consistent, quality nutrition throughout the summer helps children return to the classroom ready to learn and succeed.”

In West Virginia, 198,435 school children (about 76 percent) depend on free and reduced-price meals at school, yet only about 18,000 receive the free meals provided by the SFSP.

“In 2019, 537 Summer Food Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2020,” said Amanda Harrison, Executive Director of the Office of Child Nutrition. “New organizations in communities all across the Mountain State are invited to join so that more children have access to healthy meals than ever before.”

Organizations interested in becoming a 2020 summer sponsor should contact Cybele Boehm or Samantha Reeves with the Office of Child Nutrition at cboehm@k12.wv.us or snsuffer@k12.wv.us or by calling 304-558-3396. Summer sites will be announced in June 2020.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Policy 2510 is currently out for public comment. The comment period is vital to the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) in making informed policy decisions. While the comment period is open until January 24, 2020, this review has brought a vigorous response from the public and, most importantly, our educators. The majority of these comments are centered around proposed changes to the social studies credits. This level of response is a reflection of the importance of this issue. Due to this overwhelming response, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine plans to recommend to the West Virginia Board of Education to keep the number of social studies credits for graduation at four.

The WVBE and Dr. Paine are committed to being responsive to the concerns of the public and respect the expertise of our classroom teachers. As with all policies, the comment period process is critical to ensure all stakeholders have a voice in WVBE policy decisions that affect the students, families and educators of our state.

For more information regarding each article, please contact West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications 304-558-2699