A Sneak Peek into the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition

On Saturday March 4, 2017, the students in the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program gathered at Framingham State University to take their Food Service Systems in School Nutrition Programs course. Through projects and planned case studies, this course is designed to expose students to current trends and practices in school food service to better prepare them to run their own school nutrition programs. During this hands-on Saturday class, students created a week-long sample menu using NutriKids as part of one of their course projects. Other topics in the course include food safety, procurement, marketing, and customer service.

Students in the program work full time, as either directors or managers aspiring to be directors in school nutrition programs across MA and the USDA New England Region, while taking one course per semester in the program. Courses in the program utilize a blended learning environment with online conferencing classes scheduled on most Wednesdays during after school hours and one to three on-campus Saturday classes. Students love many aspects of this program- check out what some of the students in our current program have to say!

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Advance your career with the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition, the state- recognized certification for school nutrition directors and senior management in school nutrition programs. The next course in the program starts Fall 2017. Apply at no cost TODAY! Click HERE to apply and discover if the program is right for you!

Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice with Help from the Massachusetts Smarter Lunchrooms Movement

The 25 schools currently participating in the Massachusetts Smarter Lunchrooms Movement are implementing many changes to get students excited about school lunch. From improving food displays to including students in menu feedback surveys, these schools are seeing great results in sales and overall student feedback. Big and small changes can make a huge difference in our schools.

At Wareham High School in Wareham, MA, Food Service Manager Christine Laperriere and her school nutrition team added bright new milk coolers with bottled milk (instead of cartons) to appeal to the more mature high school students. The high school has already noticed a 30% increase in milk sales and by placing the white milk in the front of the chocolate milk, sales almost doubled for white milk.

Wareham High School also added clear fruit bowls in an accessible location for students and started to serve canned fruit in clear cups to make fruit more appealing to students. The school added a cart stocked with condiments and silverware that allows for easy relocation to minimize congestion at the school registers.

According to Laperriere, “…having the Smarter Lunchrooms Program come to my school was a great success!  Having fresh eyes with new ideas is always a plus.” She is also working with the Vice Principal to implement a school survey to gather feedback from students and generate new exciting menu ideas for the school.

Wareham High School in Wareham, MA added bright new milk coolers with bottled milk and displays clear fresh fruit bowls

At Locke Middle School, April Laskey, Director of School Nutrition for Billerica Public Schools is implementing exciting changes in the school lunchroom with the help of Framingham State University Intern, Courtney Torres and the Smarter Lunchrooms team. Laskey said, “…. Courtney has been working on sampling fruit with students, engaging students for input, creating healthy information areas within the cafe and assisting the cafe team in creating visually appealing service lines.”

Locke Middle School added special menu days to have staff and students inspire the school’s menu and the team is now updating the labeling and food signage to encourage students to actually read the information on display.

Torres shared, “I’ve been working with the middle school to help try and promote an exciting environment for our students. As a student, I remember that lunch was something that was looked forward to during the day as a nice time to take a break and be with friends. I’m trying to capture that in the students to make them more excited about school lunch.”

Locke Middle School also started using social media to engage students with a #mealonpoint challenge which encourages students to Instagram a meal that includes a vegetable, grain, protein, dairy and fruit and enter to win a fun prize.

Locke Middle School in Billerica, MA created the #mealonpoint Instagram challenge to encourage students to eat a well-balanced meal and Instagram a photo of their healthy choice for the chance to win a prize.

Locke Middle School in Billerica, MA dresses up the lunchroom environment with banners and updated posters to make it fell more student-focused.

To find additional information about Smarter Lunchrooms, please visit these useful links to the JSI’s Smarter Lunchrooms category in the JSI Resource Center.

The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is a research-based initiative focused on creating sustainable lunchrooms that help guide students to make smarter choices. The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement was established at the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program and is funded by the USDA ERS/FNS.

Three Graduates Complete The Certificate in Excellence Program at Framingham State University

The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition (JSI) celebrated the graduation of school nutrition professionals Nadine Lorenzen, Elizabeth Simon and Deborah Vaughn on January 11th for their completion of the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program offered by JSI at Framingham State University (FSU). After two and half years of hard work and dedication, these three graduates were honored by representatives of FSU, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and their loved ones.

The afternoon began with congratulatory greetings and reflections on the program by both faculty and graduates. The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program is the state-recognized certification that includes five comprehensive undergraduate courses over five semesters in topics designed to increase the competencies, knowledge and skills and advance careers for directors and senior management in school nutrition programs. Classes focus on important topics for school nutrition professionals which include computer applications and operating Food Service systems. Among the many benefits that come from participating in this program, students work on projects that are designed to provide real-life applications to bring back to their schools.

After receiving their certificates of completion, the three graduates shared their experiences from the program and what they took away from their 2.5 years of dedication.

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The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition graduation ceremony program.

If you’re interested in applying to the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition program, please visit the JSI Website for more information.

Pursue a Graduate Degree in Nutrition Education at Framingham State University

If you’re interested in pursuing a graduate degree that complements your current role, advances your career goals and offers flexibility in your schedule, Framingham State University offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a concentration in Nutrition Education, specialization in Nutrition Education Specialist degree. The M.Ed. is 100% offered online and was created for the convenience of a working professional. The program includes the advanced study of education, applied nutrition and nutrition education, and requires three electives which allows students to select topics that matter most to their individual career.

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The M. Ed. program requires a minimum of ten courses which include: three education core courses, four nutrition core courses and three specialization courses.

M.Ed. students that complete this program at Framingham State University (FSU) walk away with the ability to:

  • Develop effective nutrition education curriculum for a variety of audiences.
  • Integrate current science-based nutrition issues into food, nutrition, and wellness policies.
  • Design and interpret nutrition education research.
  • Select and utilize appropriate technology for nutrition education.

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree, at least one year of professional experience and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. A timed online comprehensive examination is required as the culminating experience.

If this program interest you, please visit the FSU website to understand all required coursework and to learn more about the admissions requirements for The M.Ed. If you have further questions about the program, please contact Graduate Admissions.

 

 

The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program Graduation Ceremony

CAKEOn Wednesday December 16, a ceremony was held at Framingham State University to commend the students who graduated from the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program! The state-recognized certification includes five undergraduate courses over five semesters in topics designed to increase the knowledge and skills of directors and senior management who wish to advance their school nutrition careers.

Above: Graphic representation encapsulating what the program is all about.

The fifth session of the program will begin in January 2016. Visit our website to learn about the program or check out past blog posts about the program: Certificate in Excellence Tech Project Leads to an Innovative Approach to Nutrition Education, Advance your School Nutrition Career with JSI and FSU, JSI Leads the Way to meet the NEW! Professional Standards.

Congratulations to the graduates, oh the places you’ll go!

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Graduate Reflections Final

Advance Your School Nutrition Career with JSI and FSU

JSI can help you advance your school nutrition career! A variety of advanced learning opportunities are available including multi-day worklaptopshops, and credit bearing undergraduate and graduate programs.
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a concentration in Nutrition Education, specialization in Nutrition Education Specialist is designed for school nutrition directors as well as other professionals from many related fields who have already completed their bachelor’s degree. The M.Ed. degree is conveniently offered entirely online. Coursework includes the advanced study of education, applied nutrition and nutrition education, and allows students to broaden their individual expertise through elective courses. Applicants must have at least one year of professional experience and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Certificate-of-Excellence-The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program is specifically designed for directors of school nutrition programs and managers who wish to advance in their school nutrition careers. It is a state-recognized certification for school nutrition directors and it includes five undergraduate FSU courses over five semesters. New students are currently being accepted for the January 2016 spring semester. To apply, complete the online pre-registration form, no later than December 1, 2015. Space is limited and based on a first come, first serve basis.

The Management Institute is designed especially for school nutrition managers. The three-day workshop totals 21 hours of professional development and covers leadership, financial management, personnel management, communication, merchandising, and nutrition. The Management Institute is an excellent option for those who do not wish to commit to an academic degree. Be sure to check back on our website soon for August 2016 dates and registration information.

Consider JSI and FSU to help you move your career to the next level!

JSI’s Fall 2015 Brochure for Professional Development is Here

boy with carrotsTwice a year The John C. Stalker Institute releases a Professional Development Brochure to Massachusetts schools via mail and online to share the professional development offerings available to school nutrition programs across the Commonwealth. Take advantage of the economically priced, high quality professional development available for school nutrition directors, managers and staff.

Workshops to Go

JSI offers professional development in both online and face-to-face formats. Request a Workshop To Go and bring training to your school on a day and time that is convenient for you and your staff. A variety of Workshops to Go are available in the key topic areas of operations, nutrition, and communications/marketing. JSI has already received many Workshop to Go requests for the 2015-2016 school year. Don’t miss out, request one today!

SNA of MA Chapter Meetings

JSI is partnering with the School Nutrition Association of MA by offering two workshops at Chapter Meetings across the state. Contact your delegate for the date and location scheduled near you.

Online

Online workshops and courses offer the convenience of online learning for relevant school nutrition topics. Food Allergies, a 2-hour online training has 3 sessions available starting October 19, 2015, November 9, 2015, or December 7, 2015. For more advanced learning, the 4-week online Framingham State University Graduate Courses are also available and include the following topics, Exploring Food Allergies, Growing Your School Garden, Preventing Eating Disorders in Schools, and Shake the Sodium! Starting on October 5, 2015.

Training Series

The 2015 Nuts & Bolts of School Nutrition Programs Ongoing Training Series is a once monthly training intended to increase your knowledge about and ability to implement the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. This training series is a combination of face-to-face and online sessions.

Certificate Program

Also available is The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program, a state-recognized certification for school nutrition directors designed specifically for directors of school nutrition programs and managers who wish to advance in their school nutrition careers. New students are being accepted for the January 2016 semester.

Be sure to take advantage of JSI’s professional development!

The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program is Accepting New Applications!

The John C. Stalker Institute at Framingham State University is pleased to offer the fifth session of The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program, which is now the state-recognized certification as described in the hiring standards for directors detailed in Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The certificate prograCertificate of Excellencem includes five undergraduate FSU courses over five semesters. Courses are designed specifically for directors of school nutrition programs and managers who wish to advance in their school nutrition careers. Courses utilize blended learning, including both face-to-face and online meetings making it an attractive option for working professionals. Courses meet face-to-face at Framingham State University 1-3 Saturdays per semester, and online on Wednesdays from 4:00- 7:30pm.

Relevant projects and assignments allow students to improve their school nutrition program, and prepare for career advancement. Read about a current student of the program, Chef Brendan Gallagher, who was able to successfully apply what he learned from The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program in the school lunch program where he works.

New students are being accepted for the January 2016 spring semester. To apply, complete the online pre-registration form, no later than December 1, 2015. Space is limited and based on a first come, first serve basis.

Click here for more information regarding admission requirements, scholarship opportunities, and course specifics.

NEW LIFE for School Nutrition Directors

The first of seven sessions of JSI’s NEW LIFE: Nutrition, Education & Wellness: Leadership Institute for Excellence was held at Framingham State University this past Wednesday, April 29th.  NEW LIFE sessions focus on knowledge and skill-building programs to change the way school nutrition directors think and act as leaders.  Running from April 2015 to June 2016, participants use online discussions and networking, combined with bi-monthly meetings to gain a better understanding of how to advance leadership skills in order to improve the nutrition culture within the school district.

JSI Director Karen McGrail, MEd, RD, LDN welcomes the group of school nutrition directors to the first NEW LIFE session.

 

Over this 15-month span, seven sessions will be covered by various school nutrition speakers and instructors:

  • Lead Simply…Model.Connect.Involve
  • Communication and Team Building
  • Marketing and Conflict Resolution
  • Improving the School Nutrition and Wellness Environment
  • Workplace Diversity
  • Time Management
  • Public Speaking and Professional PresentationsJanet Schwartz reads from one of the first books on the school lunch program, "School Lunch" written by Emma Smedley in 1920.

Janet Schwartz, MS, RD got things rolling with a little history of the school lunch program, reading from one of the first books about school lunches, called “School Lunch” written by Emma Smedley in 1920 (pictured to the right).  She then celebrated school nutrition directors as leaders, spokespeople, educators, and the connectors between so many different people, departments, and communities.  This session emphasized the importance of school nutrition directors as leaders in the school community and the need to embrace the new release of the USDA Professional Standards in order to educate their school nutrition staff further.

 

 

Maureen Gonsalves leads the discussion on "Lead Simply...Model.Connect.Involve."

Maureen Gonsalves, MEd, RD lead the discussion on “Lead Simply…Model.Connect.Involve.”

The second portion of the session focused on leadership in the workplace.  “Lead Simply…Model.Connect.Involve” is a framework for leadership to create a special team of employees that are actively engaged at work.  This framework revolves around modeling the behavior you want to see, connecting with the people you lead, and involving them as much as possible.  It is essential, as a school nutrition director, to care to make things better and to create meaningful work in the school cafeteria.  Leading by example, which most of these directors already do, is an important way to create a better experience in the workplace for everyone.  Talking and listening with staff members can also foster a more honest and conscientious workplace, as staff feel respected and appreciated.  Most importantly, school nutrition directors were told to keep it simple and treat others how they want to be treated.  Activities and discussions were empowering, as school nutrition directors shared common thoughts and stories from their school kitchens, all exposing their roles as leaders.

If you are interested in other professional development opportunities, check out JSI’s Professional Development page, or if you are looking for resources for your School Nutrition Program, visit the SNP Leadership and Management page in the JSI Resource Center.

 

Dedication Ceremony for NEW! FSU Experimental Foods Lab

On February 3, 2014, the Department of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University held a dedication ceremony to celebrate the newly remodeled experimental foods laboratory.

FSU food and nutrition students demonstrate using the impinger conveyer oven by making flat-bread pizzas.

FSU food and nutrition students demonstrate using the impinger conveyor oven by making flat-bread pizzas.

The new lab is furnished with state of the art commercial grade ranges, convection ovens, a tilt skillet, impinger (aka conveyor oven), steam jacketed kettle, and combi oven. Administration, faculty, staff, and students enjoyed a tour of the lab and learned about the different equipment while tasting a vast array of delectable foods prepared by the food and nutrition students.

FSU food and nutrition student, Stephen Poirier, demonstrates the use of liquid nitrogen to make raspberry crystals.

FSU food and nutrition student, Stephen Poirier, demonstrates the use of liquid nitrogen to make raspberry crystals.

During the ceremony, the audience enjoyed the student-led food demonstration using liquid nitrogen to make raspberry crystals from fresh raspberries for a delicious ice cream topping.  This proved to be a perfect demonstration of the food science principles that students gain in the Experimental Foods lab.

The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition will be holding culinary trainings for school nutrition professionals in the new foods lab with the first training, Healthy Breakfast for Kids, over spring break.

The new foods lab is an excellent addition for Framingham State and is sure to be well utilized!