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Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education voted in January to take advantage of a mid-year offer by NC-DPI to participate/utilize the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). CEP has been approved for use in the following NCCS Eligible Schools - Conover School, Shuford, North Newton, and South Newton. Below are Frequently Asked Questions regarding CEP. If you have additional questions, you can contact our office .
PLEASE BE ADVISED: Parents of students at Conover, Shuford, North Newton, and South Newton that owed money for meals prior to February 1, 2024 will still be responsible for payment of outstanding balances accrued prior to CEP implementation.
Who is eligible for CEP? - Students that are enrolled in eligible schools that meet the set criteria can participate and receive meals at no cost.
What is CEP? - Community Eligibility Program (CEP) is a non-pricing meal service option for schools/school districts with high poverty areas. CEP permits eligible schools to provide meal service to all students at no charge, regardless of economic status, while reducing burden at the household and local levels.
What does this mean for my student(s) that attend these schools? - All students enrolled at the eligible sites (Conover School, Shuford, North Newton, and South Newton) are eligible to receive breakfast and lunch meals at no cost for the remainder of the 23-24 school year.
What if I have a student at a CEP school and another at a non-CEP school? - Students that are enrolled in eligible schools can receive meals at no cost for the remainder of the 23-24 school year. For other students at non-CEP schools, students can still purchase meals daily. Families can choose to complete a Free/Reduced Meal Benefits Application to see if they qualify for free or reduced meal status based on Household income. Applications need to be completed in their entirety and must have an income and income frequency to be processed. Benefits are determined by the eligibilty guidelines provided by the federal government.
What can parents do for their students? - CEP is based on the percentage of students that qualify for services through the state, which is based on Household income and size. Households that may be struggling can contact Catawba County DHHS to see if they qualify to receive services through the state, and potentially reduce the burden for a short time.
When will this program begin? - NCCS will begin CEP at the four eligible schools on Thursday, February 1, 2024.
When will this program end? - The CEP program must be assessed each year in April to see it if will be utilized for the next school year. Therefore, this program is not guaranteed each school year and must be approved on a year by year basis.
Where/which schools will CEP be available? - CEP will be available for the remainder of the 23-24 school year at Conover School, Shuford, North Newton, and South Newton. As this program is assesed on a year by year basis, there is potential for the program to be implemented in additional schools in the future, as long as the schools meet the set criteria.
How does a site become eligible for CEP? - CEP is based on the number of students at a site that have been identified as receiving services throught the state. This is the 'Identified Student Percentage' (ISP) and is what we look at to assess if a specific school site qualifies to run CEP, and determines the Federal Cash Reimbursement our department receives from USDA for providing meals at a low cost for students.
Why is this not available at all schools? - CEP is determined by the number of students at a specific school site that are identified as receiving services through the state. Not all families fall in a low income or high poverty rate category. Therefore, some schools may have a lower or higher ISP based on the individual school's household demographics.
Will other sites be eligible for CEP? - CEP is assess and approved on a year by year basis, and is determined by the number of students at a specific school site that are identified as receiving services through the state. Therefore, there is potential for other schools to be added at some point in the future. We will continue to assess other sites in the future to see if they will qualify.
This is a continually revolving and fluid situation that unfortunately we will be dealing with yet again for the 2023 - 2024 school year, although we expect to be less frequent this year. We will keep monitoring our distributor orders and make any and all necessary changes to ensure that we have items on hand.
We will try to inform everyone of the changes as they occur. As some of these changes may be made last minute or only specific to certain schools, we may not always be able to inform everyone in time, nor be able to make corrections to the menus, but will do our best.
Our goal is and will continue to be to make sure that we have product on hand to feed our students each and every day.