School Nutrition STAR FAQs2020-07-17T13:57:09-05:00

School Nutrition STAR FAQs

What is the STAR Initiative?2020-12-09T12:25:13-06:00

To meet the unique training, technical assistance, and professional development needs of site-based school nutrition managers/supervisors, the School Nutrition STAR initiative has been prepared to help schools develop goals and best practices to improve program administration and operations. STAR is an innovative and comprehensive approach to providing education, training, and ongoing professional development opportunities specific to school nutrition managers/site-level supervisors through the five elements:

  1. A 2 ½ day workshop will provide face-to-face research-based trainings, best practices strategies, peer “teach-back” and feedback opportunities, action plan development, and resources.
  2. One-hour virtual instructor-led trainings (VILTs) will offer ongoing mentoring and support along with educational resources and/or trainings.
  3. Monthly webinar series will feature school districts that have implemented creative strategies and best practices for common school nutrition topics, as well as allied organizations who develop and offer free resources to support school nutrition programs.
  4. STAR Spotlights will showcase and celebrate the STARs of school nutrition through ICN’s website, national newsletters, social media platforms, and other resources to promote success stories within school nutrition.
  5. The School Nutrition STAR exclusive certificate and designation will provide an incentive and special recognition for those participants completing all components of the initiative and their action plan goals, as well as conducting a set number of trainings with their staff.
How long is the face-to-face workshop?2018-08-15T10:35:29-05:00

The face-to-face workshop will last 2 ½ days.

Who will serve as ICN’s Consultants/Mentors?2018-08-15T10:38:22-05:00

ICN will work with experienced or recently retired school nutrition directors and will ensure they are thoroughly trained in all aspects of STAR. Consultants/mentors’ post workshop responsibilities include providing ongoing support and guidance and checking in with their assigned participants at least three times throughout the year (three-, six-, and twelve-month) to ensure they are following through with the action plan goals and are providing staff trainings. The mentors’ post-workshop responsibilities would be to also provide a level of ongoing support and guidance for managers.

Are there any prerequisite requirements for attending?2018-08-15T10:58:56-05:00

Yes, selected attendees will be required to take two online courses as workshop prerequisites: 1) Effective Facilitation Techniques which will provide tools and tips for how to effectively facilitate trainings and 2) Effective Goal Setting which will provide guidance on how to develop goals and strategies for an effective action plan. ICN feels these two courses will provide a foundational knowledge base that would be helpful in the overall success of workshops and would assist with the timing of the workshop activities.

What topics will be covered in the face-to-face workshop?2019-11-19T14:20:14-06:00

ICN developed a new training curriculum specifically designed for managers/site-level supervisors on the following topics: Meal Preparation and Service; Procurement and Inventory Management and Nutrition; Menu Management.

What is required for the action plan development?2019-11-19T10:30:49-06:00

Following each training topic, the ICN consultant/mentor will facilitate breakout sessions to discuss the topic area in more detail. The ICN mentor will work with the participants to help them to identify their challenges within the topic area, set goals to address their specific challenges, and develop action plans. The mentors will follow-up with the attendees at 3, 6, and 12 months to see how they are implementing their action plan goals.

What type of peer networking and training development will be available for managers/site-level supervisors?2018-08-15T10:47:21-05:00

Participants will spend time on the first day working in small groups of peers to demonstrate their training and facilitation skills by teaching the Managers’ Corner curriculum amongst each other. The goal of this concept is to have them apply the techniques of their training and facilitation skills while receiving feedback from peers and the ICN coach/mentor on their strengths and areas in need of improvement. ICN plans to emphasize the train-the-trainer approach during the workshop to ensure managers are well equipped to provide trainings, as part of the professional standards requirement, to their frontline staff by utilizing ICN’s existing curriculums.

ICN also plans to use this session as a way to encourage relationship building and provide constructive feedback and insight. Participants will recap what they discovered during the workshop, share their action plans, and discuss ways they intend to integrate some of the resources identified within their program operation. During this session, participants will also share contact information, at their own discretion, for continued relationship building.

What is required after attending the face-to-face workshop?2019-11-19T10:35:32-06:00

Managers/site-level supervisors selected for the STAR program will be required to develop an action plan, follow through with the goals in their action plans, conduct trainings to front-line staff utilizing ICN’s Manager’s Corner curriculum series, participate in the 3, 6, and 12-month follow up with their mentors, and participate in and/or view the virtual instructor-led trainings and webinars.

Will ICN provide travel reimbursement for participants?2018-08-15T10:55:17-05:00

Yes, ICN will provide travel reimbursement according to ICN’s travel reimbursement policies for all attendees participating in the face-to-face workshops. Specific details will be provided to attendees. If selected to attend, ICN will reach out with travel details. Please do not make purchases or reservations without ICN’s approval. Please contact Darcy Rhynes at for travel related questions.

What is the State Agency’s role?2019-11-21T08:57:30-06:00
  • Market the program to Directors
  • Request training for state from ICN
  • Partner with ICN on logistics – date and location
  • State agency has the option to send a representative to attend the workshop – ICN cannot provide travel reimbursement
  • Allowable participant travel expenses will be reimbursed by ICN
  • Receive updates from ICN throughout the 12 months

STAR Testimonials

View these testimonials from attendess of the STAR Pilot Workshop

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