Administrative Reviews

Administrative Reviews (Formerly CRE)

Introduction to the Administrative Review

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requiring a unified accountability system designed to ensure that participating school food authorities (SFAs) comply with National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) requirements.  The new Administrative Review provides a comprehensive evaluation of school nutrition programs, and includes both Critical and General Areas of Review. Also, included in the review are the new HHFKA program requirements and other Federal programs.  The following is a breakdown of the review sections:

Meal Access and Reimbursement (Critical Area – Performance Standard 1)

Certification and Benefit Issuance

The USDA Eligibility Manual for School Meals is available at the following web address:

Direct Certification Resources are available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194535--,00.html


Verification resources are available on the MDE School Nutrition Program Eligibility Certification and Verification page at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194552--,00.html

Meal Counting and Claiming

Counting and Claiming resources and the link to the USDA Counting and Claiming manual are available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-200640--,00.html

Nutritional Quality and Meal Pattern (Critical Area - Performance Standard 2)

Meal Components and Quantities

National School Lunch Program Resources and Guidance available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194515--,00.html

School Breakfast Program Resources and Guidance available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144_73101---,00.html

Meal Component Tools available at the following web address:

Meal Component Tool Preparation video is available at the following web address:

Meal Component Tool Demonstration video is available at the following web address:

Production Record guidance and resources available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-201315--,00.html

Offer versus Serve

The Offer vs Serve manual is available at the following web address:

Signage resources from USDA Team Nutrition are available at the Team Nutrition Resource Library at the following web address:

Signage resources from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction “Breakfast and Lunch Editable Signage” available at the USDA Healthy Meals Resource System at the following web address:

Dietary Specifications and Nutrient Analysis

Review Dietary Specifications Assessment Tool (DSAT) Technical Assistance Resource. Additional resources and guidance available at the links listed under Meal Components and Quantities.

Resource Management (General Area)

Resource Management

Reviewed separately. Additional information is available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-336662--,00.html

General Program Compliance (General Areas)

Civil Rights

Civil Rights Resources and training information available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194532--,00.html

SFA On-site Monitoring

Policy memo and forms under development.

Local School Wellness Policy and School Meals Environment

Local School Wellness Policy resources available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194546--,00.html

Smart Snacks

Smart Snack resources available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-327975--,00.html

Professional Standards

Professional Standards Resources  available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-363405--,00.html


Water Access information available at USDA’s Healthy Meals Resource Center Water Access webpage at the following web address:

Food Safety

Food safety program, HACCP resources and planning guides at MDE School Nutrition Program Food Safety Page at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194536--,00.html

Reporting and Recordkeeping

Program records must be maintained for a period of three years after submission of the final Claim for Reimbursement for the fiscal year. If audit findings have not been resolved, the three year period is extended as long as required for resolution of audit issues. Records include but are not limited to:

  • Agreements and free/reduced-price policy statements

  • Approved and denied free and reduced-price meal applications

  • Procedures and documentation for direct certification for free meals

  • Procedures for alternate (POS) Point of Service locations

  • Claims for Reimbursement (including supporting documentation)

  • Verification records

  • Description of verification efforts

  • Documentation of verification

  • Results of verification

  • Verification reports

  • Meal count participation data by school

  • Documentation of edit checks, on-site reviews, internal controls, October enrollment, free and reduced-price eligible data

  • Menu and food production records

  • Nutrient analysis records

  • Resource Management documentation

  • Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool

  • Revenue from non-program foods

  • Documentation associated with Local School Wellness Policy

  • Food Safety and HACCP Documentation

  • Number of food safety inspections obtained per school year by each school

  • Records from the food safety program for a period of 6 months following a month’s temperature records

  • Records from the most recent food safety inspection

  • Documents demonstrating compliance with Civil Rights requirements

  • Audit reports, written responses and any corrective action

School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Outreach

SBP Resources and Guidance available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144_73101---,00.html

SFSP Resources and Guidance available at the following web address:

SFSP site locator available at the following web address:

Other Federal Program Reviews (Critical and General Areas)

Afterschool Snacks

After School Snack Program information, including requirements, forms and production records can be found at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194517--,00.html

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program resources including training and program operation materials are available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-200565--,00.html

Special Milk Program

Special Milk/Summer Camp Special Milk Program resources and guidance available at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194518--,00.html

Other Provision Options/Community Eligibility Provision

CEP (Community Eligibility Provision)

CEP resources and guidance available on the SNP home page under the heading Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) at the following web address:,4615,7-140-66254_50144---,00.html

MDE must conduct Administrative Reviews of all schools participating in the NSLP and/or SBP at least once during each three-year review cycle period, provided that each SFA is reviewed at least once every 4 years.  The first three-year review cycle starts with school year (SY) 2013-14.  In addition, MDE is required to conduct an administrative review early in the review cycle for any SFAs that have not applied for the performance-based certification (6 cents) or whose certification request was denied during the certification process or “turned off” during a validation review for significant meal pattern violations.

The Administrative Review process is designed to allow MDE to conduct specified aspects of the review off-site and other aspects on-site. Under an off-site component, MDE will collect information from what we have available or directly from the school. This process allows MDE to gain a better understanding of a school’s operations prior to the on-site review, thus providing for a more robust on-site review while decreasing MDE’s on-site review time.  The on-site portion of the Administrative Review is intended to validate the information collected off-siteand provide an opportunity for MDE to observe the operation of the school nutrition program in selected schools. The objectives of the new Administrative Review are the same as the former CRE and SMI objectives: determine whether the school meets program requirements; provide technical assistance; secure any needed corrective action; and assess fiscal action, if applicable.  MDE looks forward to this new approach to collaborative compliance.

In the fall, MDE’s School Nutrition Programs unit offer one-day regional trainings to those SFAs that are due for review during that current school year.