2022 Registration Now Open!

Note:  For 2022, the first and last session of the academy will be in person at our Fairfield, CA location, the rest of the classes will be 100% on-line. In person sessions may also be attended on-line if student is located in Southern California. The program features live on-line instruction as well a few select self-paced classes.

Class Schedule for 2022 (8am to 3pm)

  • February 4, 5
  • March 4, 5
  • April 1, 2
  • May 6, 7
  • June 3, 4
  • September 9, 10
  • October 7, 8
  • November 4, 5

The United States Department of Agriculture has become more stringent on academic requirements for Child Nutrition Directors and requires specialized training and ongoing instruction.   This academy is designed as a complete program to meet state training requirements and prepare directors for the demand of leading one of the largest departments in any school district.

Comprehensive Curriculum

The ACSA/TSS Director of Child Nutrition Certificate Academy has been created as a comprehensive program designed to produce new or improve the existing skills of experienced Child Nutrition directors.  The class consists of a broad base of education and training that occurs both in the classroom setting and by practical application. The Academy situates the Child Nutrition directors in his or her role within the organization, the structure of school districts, and the critical function of a school district’s nutrition services division and its impact on the educational program. Instruction will revolve around several major themes including Child Nutrition funding, Special Provision options, preparing for the administrative review, meal access and reimbursement, menu planning, resource management, food safety, procurement, human resources / personnel, collective bargaining, and other federal programs and reviews.

The course will provide an opportunity for participants to expand their skill-set in a challenging yet encouraging environment.  Specialized assignments and class projects are done individually and as part of small teams, and learning is evaluated with monthly assessments and a final exam.  Participants who successfully complete the course will be issued an ACSA/TSS Director of Child Nutrition Certificate.


The lead instructor for the program Jose’ Alvarado who has worked for 34 years in education, most recently as the Food Services Director for Fresno Unified School District.  Jose Alvarado has obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree and Master’s in Business Administration from California State University Fresno along with a Chief Business Official Certification from a SB352 State Board of Education certified training provider. He has also presented for the California Department of Education and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on various school nutrition topics at local, state, and national workshops and training venues.


Other presenters for the program are amongst the highest caliber professionals in the state, and include current and retired school administrators as directors from agencies such as the California Department of Education Child Nutrition Division. The Director of TSS Classified Training Programs is TSS Executive Vice President Dr. Joseph Pandolfo who brings over 30 years of educational industry experience and who oversees the program and moderates many sessions to ensure the continuity of the curriculum.

Note:  For 2021, the academy will begin 100% on-line and will meet towards the end of the program if it is safe to  do so.   The program features live on-line instruction as well a few select self-paced classes.

Remaining Class Schedule for 2021-22 (8am to 4pm)

October 8, 9
November 5, 6

Course Curriculum

Introduction to Child Nutrition and Director of Nutrition Services as a Leader
Unit 1 – Introduction to Child Nutrition 00:00:00
Director of Child Nutrition Inventory Skills Assessment 360, 00:00
District and Nutrition Services Funding
Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Unit 2 – Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 – Special Provision Options / State Meal Mandate 00:00:00
Director of Child Nutrition Month 1 Assessment 2 months
Special Provision Options / State Meal Mandate
Director of Child Nutrition Academy Assessment 3+4 Unlimited
Preparing for the Administrative Review (A/R)
Unit 3 – Preparing for the Administrative Review (A/R) – Meal Access and Reimbursement 00:00:00
Meal Access and Reimbursement
Director of Child Nutrition Academy Session 5+6 Unlimited
Meal Pattern and Nutritional Quality
Unit 4 – Meal Pattern and Nutritional Quality / Resource Management 00:00:00
FUSD Food Services Non-Program Foods Procedure 00:00:00
Resource Management
School Nutrition General Program Requirements – Section A
Unit 5 – School Nutrition General Program Requirements / Section A-B 00:00:00
CNA Session 7+8 Quiz Unlimited
DCN Session 9 + 10 Quiz Unlimited
School Nutrition General Program Requirements – Section B
Food Safety
Unit 6 – Other Federal Programs and Reviews / Food Safety 00:00:00
DCNA Session 11 + 12 Quiz Unlimited
Other Federal Programs and Reviews
Food Services Procurement and Ethics
Unit 7 – Food Services Procurement & Ethics / Program Marketing & Promotion 00:00:00
Food Allergies and Special Diets / Program Marketing and Promotion
Human Resources / Personnel, Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration
Effective Public Speaking / Personal Goals / Working with the District Team / Professional Growth / Graduation

Course Reviews


4 ratings
  • 5 stars4
  • 4 stars0
  • 3 stars0
  • 2 stars0
  • 1 stars0
  1. 5

    “I would highly recommend your Director of Child Nutrition Academy to anyone who hasn’t attended it yet. I was so new at that time and learned so many things that have helped me along the way ever since! I also felt like the makeup of our class was so diverse in terms of time on the job so that the input was incredible!! I cherish the friendships we made and always look forward to seeing my colleagues at events and hearing from them!”

    Debbie Anderson
    Food Services Supervisor
    Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District

    Debbie Anderson
  2. 5

    “I’m happy to recommend the academy – I found the experience to be a great networking opportunity that allowed for peer-to-peer learning and engagement!”

    Micha James, M.S.
    Nutrition Services Director
    Monterey Peninsula Unified School District

    Micha James, M.S.
  3. 5

    “As for the course it was a learning experience that allowed me to network with others who work in similar positions. Whether they were seasoned or new to the position, a big district or small district we all have to follow the guidelines. Being able to talk and ask questions openly was helpful for me. Plus, I value the friendships I made with my classmates. I would definitely recommend the course.”

    Lisa Ludwig
    Food Service Supervisor
    Atwater Elementary School District

    Lisa Ludwig
  4. 5

    “The class was very informative for a new director and also an excellent review course for the experienced Director. It also was great for networking and sharing ideas with other Directors.”
    Angela Baxter, RD
    Director of Food Service
    Saint Helena Unified School District

    Angela Baxter, RD
  • $4,950.00
  • Profile photo of Donna Vaea
  • Profile photo of Joseph Pandolfo
  • Profile photo of Jose Alvarado
  • Profile photo of Aaisha Ahad
  • Profile photo of Jacqueline
  • Profile photo of Dylan Hatami
  • Profile photo of Candice Crump
  • Profile photo of Amanda Thomas

Contact Info

Northern California: 4751 Mangels Blvd. Fairfield, CA 94534

(866) 923-6393
(707) 422-6393
(707) 422-6494 (fax)

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