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Distinguishing Features of the Class:

The incumbent of this position is responsible for the fiscal and nutritional operations in a school district with a student enrollment of 10,000 or more students and serves as the school district’s designee for this function to the New York State Education Department. The incumbent plans, directs and administers school foodservice programs while carrying out policies and establishing procedures for the efficient and economical operation of school foodservice programs. Work is performed under the direction of a school district administrator with leeway allowed for the exercise of independent judgment. Supervision is exercised over the work of School Lunch Managers and other school lunch program personnel. The incumbent performs related work as required.

Typical Work Activities:

• Plans and directs the operation of the school breakfast and lunch programs for all schools in the district in accordance with State and federal guidelines;
• Serves as technical advisor to the school administration in the formulation of policies, procedures and plans for the operation of school food service programs and carries out the established policies;
• Coordinates the purchase of foods, supplies and equipment;
• Selects, trains and supervises school lunch personnel, determines staff assignments and evaluates work performance and when necessary makes recommendations regarding discipline and dismissal;
• Directs the preparation of the school food service program budget for current and long-range expenditures and advises the administration of capital outlay for equipment;
• Develops cost-effective menus that maintain nutrition integrity and meet all local, state, and federal guidelines and regulations;
• Establishes budget control and accounting procedures and maintains and/or supervises the maintenance of financial records;
• Designs and or implements ongoing training programs for students on issues relating to the effective operation of the district's food service program;
• Ensures staff completes necessary continuing education requirements;
• Prepares and analyzes reports relating to school lunch program activities;
• Consults with architects and builders on layouts for alteration or construction of school foodservice kitchens and dining rooms;
• Consults with staff, students and community agencies to provide better understanding and more efficient operation of the program(s);
• Develops a safety program for the use of cafeteria facilities and equipment and implements a continuous program of inspection to insure the elimination of hazardous conditions in the cafeteria areas;
• May maintain employee time records;
• May research, file and monitor grant applications/grants designed to improve food service operations;
• Performs related work as required.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics:

• Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of managing a school food service program including program planning, budget preparation and control and purchasing;
• Thorough knowledge of large scale food preparation and menu planning;
• Thorough knowledge of sanitary food handling and storage;
• Good knowledge of the selection, purchasing and care of equipment;
• Good knowledge of institution administration in the areas of safety, personnel selection and training;
• Good knowledge of fundamentals of nutrition as they apply to a school food service program;
• Ability to plan, assign and supervise the work of subordinates;
• Ability to develop and direct effective training programs;
• Ability to express ideas clearly, to prepare reports and to keep records pertaining to a school food service program;
• Ability to express ideas clearly, to prepare reports and to keep records pertaining to a school food service program;
• Ability to develop and maintain good personnel and community relations.

Minimum Qualifications:

A. Bachelor's degree, or equivalent educational experience, with a major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, restaurant management, hospitality management, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or related fields and three (3) years of *management level work experience, or its part time equivalent, in **large scale food preparation; OR

B. Bachelor's degree in any academic major and State recognized certificate for school nutrition directors and three (3) years of *management level work experience, or its part time equivalent, in **large scale food preparation; OR;

C. Bachelor's degree in any academic major and at least seven (7) years of experience in *management of school nutrition programs.


*Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.

**Large-scale food preparation is defined as experience in the actual preparation of food, consisting of a variety of changing menus, by means of roasting, baking or broiling in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, hotels, restaurants, correctional facilities or military service.

Special Requirement:

Candidates must complete 8 hours of food safety training not more than 5 years prior to their starting date, or within 30 days of their start date.

Note: The Professional Standards for State and Local Nutrition Program Personnel are required by the federal Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 and corresponding rules which became effective on July 1, 2015.


Equivalent Educational Experience – (as referenced in options (a) above): means college credits completed by an individual who does not possess a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree. For example 60 college credits could be accepted as the equivalent of an associate’s degree.

Related Field – (as referenced in options (a) above): refers to other college majors that would provide an applicant specific knowledge and skills that are relevant for a school nutrition program director. Possible majors would include, but are not limited to, Food Science, Community Nutrition and Marketing, and Hospitality Management. Colleges and universities may use different names for similar majors.

A State recognized certificate for school nutrition directors (as referenced in option (b) above): means a certified dietician or a certified nutritionist per article 157 of NYS Education Law.

Relevant experience in school nutrition programs – (as referenced in options (c) above): is experience specifically having worked in any child nutrition program in a management capacity, but not necessarily in the food service director position. This includes the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The experience is relevant/acceptable if it provides the applicant with familiarity of the USDA’s school nutrition program.

4/2016 Original