Foxborough Finds Fun at Work Using FISH!

Instructor Karen Alarie discusses the 4 components of FISH! philosophy.

Instructor Karen Alarie discusses the 4 components of FISH! philosophy.

Does the word “fun” come to mind when you think of your job? If not, our Finding the Fun at Work with FISH! Workshop to Go helps cultivate creativity, innovation, and fun in the workplace using four simple concepts.

On November 26th, 2019, school nutrition staff members at Foxborough High School gathered to participate in the Finding the Fun at Work with FISH! Workshop to Go presented by Karen Alarie, MEd, SNS from The John C. Stalker Institute. This workshop strives to promote creating passion and engagement in the workplace using the FISH! Philosophy.

Through this workshop, staff members learned how to use the FISH! Philosophy to build an energetic and innovative work environment through three primary objectives:

  1. Recognize the value of being engaged in the workplace.
  2. Identify the 4 practices of the FISH! Philosophy.
    1. Be There
    2. Play
    3. Make Their Day
    4. Choose Your Attitude
  3. Apply each of the 4 FISH! Practices to address issues in the workplace.
Foxborough High School nutrition staff members fill out stinky fish workshop activity.

Foxborough High School nutrition staff members fill out stinky fish workshop activity.

Together, the school nutrition staff members brainstormed ways to cultivate an energetic workplace in their school using methods that fit the FISH! Philosophy. Some suggestions from staff members included thanking and acknowledging polite students,  dancing along to music in the workplace, or holding competitions to invite students to name menu items.

You can read about further experiences with this workshop here. Learn more about how to bring the Finding Fun at Work with FISH! workshop to your school on the JSI website.

Coming in 2020! Back to Basics: Indian Fare

The team of culinary instructors at The John C. Stalker Institute gathered for a test run of the new Back to Basics: Indian Fare Workshop to Go which will be available in early 2020.

JSI Chef Brendan demonstrates key components of new Indian Fare culinary workshop.

JSI Chef Brendan demonstrates key components of new Indian Fare culinary workshop.

Like our other globally-inspired culinary workshops, Indian Fare is designed to spice up your menu with a taste of India and entice your students with a customizable Build-Your-Own Indian dish! This hands-on culinary workshop is designed to advance the culinary skills of school staff and give them the skills and confidence to make delicious recipes, such as tandoori chicken, chana masala, aloo gobi, and much more!

Here is a sneak peek of a few of the new, flavor-filled recipes to be featured in the new Indian Fare workshop.

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Keep an eye out in January for the new professional development brochure which will feature Back to Basics: Indian Fare and other new workshops for 2020! Request a culinary Workshop to Go on the JSI webpage and bring training directly to your staff this school year. Let’s get cooking!

Back to Basics Recipes Now Available Online!

Build Your Own Stir-Fry Bowl Signage

Build Your Own Stir-Fry Bowl Signage

Livening up school menus has just been made simpler with the addition of our Back to Basics Workshops to Go recipes to the JSI website! These student-approved, globally-inspired recipes are standardized and include nutritionals and meal component information. Each set of recipes creates a customizable meal, including a BYO Stir-Fry bowl, Street Taco and Pita Pocket, that your students will love and will fit into your OVS menu.

Would you staff benefit from an extra boost of confidence and culinary skill building? Request one of our Back to Basics culinary Workshops to Go and your staff will be ready to menu these customizable globally-inspired meals. These recipes can be used to freshen up school menus with peach salsa and a build-your-own street taco with the Back to Basics: Latin Cuisine Workshop to Go, feature student favorites such as vegetable stir-fry and chicken teriyaki with the Back to Basics: Asian Fusion Workshop to Go, or introduce new flavors such as tzatziki or shawarma with the Back to Basics: Mediterranean Flavors Workshop to Go.

To help support staff members in executing the new cuisine learned during the Workshops to Go, JSI also offers a Live-Setting Culinary Training which brings the JSI chef back to your school following one of our Back to Basics workshops to guide school nutrition staff during regular production hours. Find more information about requesting a Workshop to Go at your school.

NEW! Coming in early 2020, Back to Basics: Indian Fare Workshop to Go!

School Nutrition Managers Gather for the 2019 Management Institute

Managers and directors from across Massachusetts who attended this year’s Management Institute.

Managers and directors from across Massachusetts who attended this year’s Management Institute.

Massachusetts school nutrition managers gathered together this month to take their management skills to the next level at the Management Institute. This three-day program, which takes place every August, is specifically designed for the professional development needs of school nutrition managers to strengthen their leadership and management skills.

Over the course of three days of hands-on learning, participants were met with highly relevant topics like leadership, financial management, personnel management, communication, marketing, and nutrition. Learning to cultivate positive cultures in the kitchen, managing cost effectiveness, and developing strong communication among team members were some of the key learning points on the agenda.

Here is some of the feedback we received from participants at this year’s Management Institute.

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The cost to attend the Management Institute is $250 per person which covers all workshops, materials along with continental breakfast and lunch each day.

Click here to learn more about past Management Institutes and to keep an eye out for information on next year’s registration.

Advance Your Career with The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition program

In 2014, the USDA released updated rules for school nutrition professionals to emphasize minimum national professional standards and training requirements. If you’re looking for an opportunity to advance your education, The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition (JSI) at Framingham State University (FSU) offers the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program which is a  state-recognized professional development program that aims to increase the knowledge and skills of directors and senior management in school nutrition programs.

This program includes five undergraduate courses offered through FSU and blends face-to-face weekend classes with online conference sessions to meet the needs of a working professional. The goals of this Certificate Program are to help school nutrition professionals:

  • Apply the changing nutrition standards to improve the school nutrition environment
  • Meet the financial challenges of a self-supporting school nutrition program
  • Evaluate and implement the emerging trends in school nutrition programs
  • Lead the school district in the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative and join the USDA Healthier US School Challenge

The course Computer Applications in School Food Services is currently underway this semester. This class covers the role of technology and how to maximize its use in child nutrition programs and school food services. Students select a type of technology and identify how it can be applied to their school lunch programs which promotes real-life application for all coursework.

School Nutrition Professionals in The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition. Left to right in the front row: Nathan Langevin, Marilyn Haraden, Dawn LaVallee, Beth Simon, Crystal Andrade, Robert Shaheen; Left to right in the back row: Molly Brooks, Pam Whelan, Nadine Lorenzen, Karen McGrail, Mirella Santucci, Deborah Vaughn.

School Nutrition Professionals in The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition. Left to right in the front row: Nathan Langevin, Marilyn Haraden, Dawn LaVallee, Beth Simon, Crystal Andrade, Robert Shaheen; Left to right in the back row: Molly Brooks, Pam Whelan, Nadine Lorenzen, Karen McGrail, Mirella Santucci, Deborah Vaughn.

All courses that are included within The Certificate in Excellence program include:

To learn more about this program, please visit the JSI website. If you’re interested in The Certificate in Excellence program, complete the pre-registration form by December 16, 2016 at www.johnstalkerinstitute.org/cert/.