Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Statements Supporting Accommodations for Children with Disabilities in the School Meal Programs

Memo Information

Memo Number
CNU-18-023
Memo Date
10/30/2017
Memo Type
Regulatory
Unit
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
USDA FNS SP 32-2015; NSLP 210.10(m), 220.23(d)
Response Required
NO
Attention
Superintendents; Principals

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

ATTENTION CO-OP DIRECTORS AND CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTORS

 

The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is committed to ensuring that all children have access to healthy meals that meet their dietary needs.  FNS has facilitated access for children with special dietary needs through the School Meal Programs.  FNS instruction is provided in “Accommodating Children with Disabilities in the School Meal Programs:  Guidance for School Food Service Professionals,” which was published July 25, 2017.

 

The purpose of this memorandum is to expand the list of acceptable medical professionals that may sign a medical statement for meal modifications in the School Meal Programs and recommend alternate foods for children whose disability restricts their diets.

 

A broader list of medical providers will improve access to meal accommodations for children with special dietary needs while balancing the administrative burden placed on program operators and participants requesting meal modifications.

 

Regulations and guidance require program operators to provide reasonable accommodations for children whose disability restricts their diet for all meals and snacks when supported by a medical statement signed by a licensed physician.

 

FNS and the Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit have determined that along with licensed physicians, it is reasonable to also permit other recognized medical authorities to complete and sign a medical statement for meal modifications in the School Meal Programs and recommend alternate foods for children whose disability restricts their diet.

 

A state recognized medical authority for this purpose is a state licensed health care professional who is authorized to write medical prescriptions under State law. 

 

In Arkansas, those professionals meeting the guidelines are:

  • Physicians
    • Including those licensed by the Arkansas State Medical Board;
    • The Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners (Chiropractors); and,
    •  The Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine (Podiatrists).
  • Nurse Practitioners (APRNs in family or pediatric practice with prescriptive authority)
  • Dentists 
  • Physician Assistants (PAs who work in collaborative practice with a physician)

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist may make recommendations for alternate foods for children whose disability restricts their diet, but the medical statement must be signed by one of the professionals listed above.

 

Note:  Clinical Psychologists and Doctors of Naturopathy do not have prescriptive authority in Arkansas.

 

If you have questions or concerns, please call the Child Nutrition Unit at (501) 324-9502.

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