Local Wellness Policy Surveillance System Cooperative Agreement

The Local Wellness Policy Surveillance System will allow us to monitor, collect, and analyze state law and local district policy data and their effects on the implementation of HHFKA legislation and rules and student health outcomes.

This competitive cooperative agreement solicits applications
for a national-level surveillance system that will address the current gaps in surveillance by current federally and non-federally funded systems and surveys.



Three major federal-level surveillance systems and surveys are currently in place and are scheduled to continue for at least the next 2-3 years, if not indefinitely.

Each of these surveillance systems and surveys is funded by a government agency, and each collects detailed data on the breadth and depth of existing state laws, district policies, and related school practices; the implementation of said laws, policies, and practices; and their effects on student health outcomes.

The next section describes the strengths, primary areas of focus, periodicity, and other key characteristics for each of three major national surveillance systems and surveys.

In so doing, it also highlights important gaps in what they cover, individually and collectively, and areas where linkage with other relevant surveys or research efforts would provide a more detailed picture of school wellness policies and their effects.

1.

School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study/School Nutrition Dietary Assessment
The School Nutrition Dietary Assessment (SNDA) is administrated by the USDA s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) every 5 years and collects and analyzes nationally representative data on school meals and the school meal environment (including competitive foods) at the district- and school-levels, with individual-level dietary information collected every 10 years.14 SNDA-V will be administered as the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (SNMCS) in SY 2014-2015 and will include SNDA-type, meal assessment data as well as data on meal cost, dietary recall, plate waste, and meals compliance with standards.

SNDA/SNMCS is the only assessment that examines specifically the nutritional quality of school meals, how and if those meals are meeting the new standards, and meal cost.

Examining SNDA/SNMCS data together with state law and district policy data, which SNDA does not currently collect, has the potential to demonstrate how the laws and policies at the state- and district-level are being implemented in, or affecting, lunchrooms (with regard to meal planning and meal environment) and students (with regard to meal cost and diet).

2.

Classification of Laws Associated with School Students
The National Cancer Institute s Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (C.L.A.S.S.) is a policy classification system that can be used to evaluate state-level codified laws for nutrition and physical education in schools across all 50 states and the District of Columbia by grade level.

C.L.A.S.S.

uses state law as the data source and scores the concordance between state laws and national school wellness policy mandates.

Currently, C.L.A.S.S.

measures are collected annually, with the next cycle beginning in 2014.

C.L.A.S.S.

data are publicly available for use by researchers, policy makers, and school administrators to obtain information on state laws associated with childhood obesity, track policy changes over time, test relationships between law and behavior, associate C.L.A.S.S.

scores with state- and school district-policies, and link to information about obesity and other cancer-related behaviors.

C.L.A.S.S.

also offers two data visualization tools: (1) a map function that depicts the strength of specific policy areas by grade level across states, and (2) a profile function that depicts policy scores across grade levels within each state by year.

While C.L.A.S.S.

is the only classification system that objectively scores state laws on nutritional and physical activity, it does not identify specific elements of the state laws.

Therefore, additional, complementary research is required to parse out and examine relationships between individual policy components (e.g., addressing sugar or fat content in school foods) and related school practices and student outcomes (e.g., diet, physical activity, BMI).

3.

School Health Policies and Practices Study
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention s School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) is a national, comprehensive survey conducted to assess school wellness at the state-, district-, school-, and classroom-levels.

SHPPS surveys cover health education, physical education, health services, mental health and social services, nutrition services, healthy and safe school environments, and faculty and staff health promotion.

Due to the comprehensive design of SHPPS, wellness policy data may be linked with other school health data.

SHPPS data are collected every two years, alternating school- and classroom-level data collection with district-level data collection.

In its next cycle (2014), SHPPS will collect school- and classroom-level data, and in the following cycle (2016) it will collect district-level data.

Beginning in 2016, SHPPS will no longer collect state-level data.

SHPPS is unique in monitoring both school health policies and school wellness policies, which is essential for linking LWPs to student health outcomes such as services received, safety, and environments.

The multi-level aspect of SHPPS assessments presents the opportunity for linking this data with state law data in order to show the effects of state laws on LWPs, and the effects of LWPs on overall health.

However, SHPPS data are not collected annually.



Great progress has been made in adopting school wellness policies and in developing surveillance systems to monitor their implementation and impact.

Yet continued progress in school wellness, school wellness policy development, and positive impacts will require surveillance that provides a fuller understanding of the strengths and limitations of current policies, and that chart the course for evidence-based improvements.

This competitive cooperative agreement solicits applications for a national-level surveillance system that will address the most important gaps in the coverage of the existing school wellness policy surveillance systems and surveys.

Applicants seeking funding under this School Wellness Policy Cooperative Agreement should consider, at a minimum, the following specific capabilities when developing their proposals:
• The capability to link enacted school district wellness policy and related state law data with data being collected through other existing surveillance systems (e.g., SNDA, CLASS, SHPPS) in 2014-2015 (i.e., data collection occurring at various levels as outlined above);
• The capability to conduct a nationwide evaluation of the scope of "on-the-books" (enacted) school district wellness policies and related state laws;
• The ability to collect and analyze qualitative data that can explore the implementation of and compliance with HHFKA policies across various stakeholders (e.g., administrators, school food authorities, parents, children, etc.);
• The capacity to develop and disseminate timely policy briefs, fact sheets, and other translation products (e.g., infographics) to inform the USDA, Congress, and the research field of key school wellness policy surveillance results and gaps as well as to produce papers for peer-reviewed publication; and

The focus of single or multiple-entity agency funding for the winning proposal(s) should be minimally to compile "on-the-books" wellness policy data for a nationally representative sample of public school districts and concomitant state laws using an innovative approach that encompasses the above-listed potential areas of focus and other policy opportunities.

The Grantees (Recipients) shall work cooperatively with FNS on the study design and evaluation.

Grants for this Program


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.



Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The funds can be used for an implementation study around school wellness policies (see RFA for more details).



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Blank.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Blank.

Credentials/Documentation

No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program.

Award Procedures

FNS will pre-screen all applications to ensure that they contain the required documents and information. Application will need to be submitted by eligible applicants, meet all other eligibility requirements stated in this RFA, submitted on or before the required deadlines, are completed and are in the required format. If an application does not include all appropriate information, FNS will consider the application to be non-responsive and will eliminate it from further evaluation.

Following the initial screening process, FNS will assemble a peer panel group to review and determine the technical merits of each application. The peer panel will evaluate the proposals based on how well they address the required application components. The peer panel members will recommend applications for consideration for a grant award based on the evaluation scoring. The selecting official reserves the right to award a grant to meet agency priorities, program balance, geographical representation, or project diversity. FNS reserves the right to use this solicitation and competition to award additional grants in future fiscal years should additional funds be made available through future appropriations.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 added Section 9A to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) (42 U.S.C. 1758b), Local School Wellness Policy Implementation, in order to strengthen wellness policies of LEAs by placing greater emphasis on implementation and evaluation efforts.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The total time period for which a grant or cooperative agreement is awarded may not exceed 60 months. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funding will be made to successful recipients as specified in the terms of the grant or cooperative agreement with Food and Nutrition Service or as applicable under federal regulation requirements. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: quarterly.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

The project description shall address what types of final deliverables will be submitted and/or published for each researcher-initiated project.

The project description shall address what types of deliverables will be submitted and/or published at the end.

It shall also describe what types of deliverables will be submitted and/or published by the Recipient during and at the end of the Cooperative Agreement.

For internal use informational purposes, FNS shall be provided an electronic copy of all manuscripts resulting from this grant at the time of submission for publication and in final form when published.

The project description shall address how the findings will be disseminated to School Wellness stakeholders and the academic community.

Grant funding may be used to cover travel expenses and other expenses associated with this presentation.

A final presentation shall be held at FNS headquarters or another location agreeable to FNS.

No cash reports are required.

The recipient will be responsible for managing and monitoring the progress of the grant project activities and performance.

The award document will indicate the reporting schedule for submitting project performance/progress reports to FNS.

Any additional reporting requirements will be identified in the award terms and conditions.

The award recipient will be required to enter the SF-425, Financial Status Report data into the FNS Food Program Reporting System (FPRS) on a quarterly basis.

In order to access FPRS, the grant recipient must obtain USDA e-authentication certification and access to FPRS.

More detailed instructions for reporting will be included in the FNS Federal financial assistance award package.

See RFA.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

Records (financial/administrative/grant) are to be maintained according to the time requirements specified in the terms of the grant, or cooperative agreement with Food and Nutrition Service or as applicable under federal regulation requirements.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-3539-0-1-605.

Obigations

(Salaries) FY 13 Not Available; FY 14 est $1,700,000; and FY 15 Estimate Not Available - The award funds will be distributed incrementally over the grant award period.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Karen A. Castellanos-Brown 3101 Park Center Dr., Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: Karen.Castellanos-Brown@fns.usda.gov Phone: 7033052732

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Scoring for Grant Applications

Need, Readiness and Likelihood of Success 25 points
• The applicant is appropriate for the grant, i.e. the applicant can demonstrate support and readiness for starting (or adapting and continuing) a school wellness policy surveillance system.

Alignment with School Wellness Policy Surveillance System Program Goals 25 points
• The project goals and objectives are in line with the School Wellness Policy Surveillance System Cooperative Agreement focus areas and purpose of the funding described in this RFA.
Project Design and Management 30 points
• The qualifications of the staff involved with the proposed project and/or organizational leadership reflect the expertise necessary to carry out the proposed project and reporting requirements. (Resumes of key staff are required).
• The management approach indicates that the applicant has the capacity to manage and execute the planning project successfully to meet the goals of the project.

Sustainability and Transferability 10 points

Budget Plan 10 points
• The total funding amount requested is appropriate for the scope of the project.
• Project costs are reasonable, necessary and allocable to carry out the project s goals and objectives.



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