Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Information on Meal Status Eligibiles for Cycle 2

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Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; General Business Managers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; Bookkeepers; School Counselors; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers; District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster)

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2021-2022 Free/reduced eligible numbers will be reported with the submission of Cycle 2, in October 2021. Due to the continuation of the Seamless Summer Option meal applications are not required for students to receive a meal at no charge; however, meal status information is necessary to determine school eligibility for several funding opportunities and for federal accountability calculations and reporting. Districts are advised to carefully review meal status data prior to the Cycle 2 certification deadline, which is October 15, 2021. Districts cannot make changes after data are certified. 

  • Per the guidance issued in Commissioner Memo CNU-21-027, individual student meal status for School Year (SY) 2020-21 should have rolled forward into SY 2021-22.
  • Meal eligibility updates from Direct Certification matches, Homeless, Migrant, Foster, Runaway notifications or meal forms submitted by new students should be compared with the district’s eSchool data prior to the submission of Cycle 2 to ensure all active: Enrolled = ‘Yes’ status, eligible students are coded correctly.
  • Districts may also conduct sibling matches with the current list of Direct Certification matched eligible students to capture students living in the same household.If a district/school operates under a special provision (Provision 2 and Community Eligibility Provision), it is also important to check the 2021-22 Direct Certification matches, Homeless, Runaway, Migrant, and Foster lists and verify those students are coded correctly in eSchoolPlus for 2021-22.
  • To review meal status data prior to the submission of Cycle 2, districts should run the APSCN Building Meal Status List eSchoolPlus Cognos report.This report will list students by building with their meal status and also list the students who do not have a meal status. There are a variety of additional reports in Cognos under SMS SIS Content>Cycle 2 that can be used to verify data elements that are included with the cycle 2 submission, including homeless status and migrant student counts. Please contact your APSCN field rep if you have questions about reviewing reports.
  • Due to the lower rate of return of meal applications last fall, some districts saw significant reductions in their October eligible students in the 2020-2021 school year. This may result in current students having an incorrect meal status code due to the gap in information. To identify potential students who may be eligible based on meal application information, districts may also need to review eligible student data from the 2019-2020 school year to identify a student whose status changed during the 2020-2021 school year and ensure that the student has a meal application updated for the current school year. Districts can locate prior-year meal status information in the Child Nutrition Point of Service list or in the meal status screen in eSchoolPlus.
  • As a reminder of the benefits to students, Free/Reduced eligibility qualifies students for Pandemic EBT benefits, ACT fee waivers, and a free/reduced cost for concurrent credit opportunities.


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