Thursday, August 28, 2014

Additional Benefits Available for Eligible Students



The federal Child Nutrition Program allows schools to provide school lunch and other meals to children who are eligible free or at a reduced cost.  When you apply for this benefit, we are required to keep information about your student’s eligibility for free or reduced lunch programs confidential.  This information can be released to others only with your consent, except in limited circumstances.
We recently discovered information about eligibility was available to some school employees who should not have had access.  We have fully investigated this problem and are working to ensure breaches of this nature will not occur in the future.
At the same time, we do not want your child to miss out on other benefits for which they may qualify.  A child who is eligible for free or reduced lunch prices may also qualify for programs or reduction or waiver of other fees and costs.  To ensure your child does not miss out on these opportunities, we have added benefits to the Child Nutrition Program Waiver of Confidentiality form. 
When this form was provided to you at enrollment time, there were only three program benefits, those that apply to all eligible students on the waiver. We’ve just recently increased those benefits to a total of seven for secondary students in our district.  The program benefit options will allow families who qualify for free or reduced lunches to also qualify for these programs or waiver or reduction of accompanying fees for the following:

All Students:                                                                      Secondary Students:
1 – Textbooks and Supplemental Fees                   4 – Post-Secondary Preparatory Classes & Exams;
                                                                                   for example, ACT, SAT, and PSAT testing
2 – Musical Instruments                                         5 – Post-Secondary Registration & Class Materials Fees
3 – Summer School Tuition/Books                         6 – AP Testing Fees
                                                                             7 – Post-Secondary School Application Fees

By signing the waiver, you are giving the TPS Nutrition Office Staff permission to share your lunch eligibility status with these other specific programs for which your children may qualify.  Your information will be shared only with the programs you check.  Topeka Public Schools staff who will use this information to help your child with these opportunities will be trained in confidentiality and will be required to sign off that they will not misuse the information. 
In order for your children to be considered for all seven benefits, we encourage you to check the “yes” box and all seven options on the enclosed waiver form.  It is very important that the Waiver of Confidentiality form be completed and mailed back to the TPS Child Nutrition Office in the self-addressed, stamped envelope provided as soon as possible.  Several programs your children may qualify for will occur in September, 2014.  

The Waiver of Confidentiality can be found at http://topekapublicschools.net/assets/Homepage/2015-Waiver-of-Confidentiality.pdf
 
We appreciate your consideration and if you have any questions/concerns, please contact Nicole Jahnke at 785-295-3037.