Standards of Excellence

Organizations are faced with changing environments and require information about functioning and ways to improve. There is a need for assessment in critical areas of concern; achieving long range goals, public image, implementing government regulations, financial and budget control and general scrutiny of programs. There is an increased need for accountability, and evaluation is the means to achieve it. The use of effective standards is the building block for evaluation, and measuring accountability may best be achieved through peer review.

The Texas Association for School Nutrition takes cognizance of the needs of the membership and realizes that the accountability concerns nation-wide may also apply to this association. Therefore, the Texas Association for School Nutrition under the leadership of Melbagene Ryan developed the first Standards of Excellence (SOE) to include standards, criteria, procedure manual and an evaluation procedure. The SOE Handbook was intended for use by local school districts on a voluntary basis for self improvement, and the evaluation is intended to determine excellent school nutrition programs and accredit those who have one. The ultimate goal will be better school nutrition for school children.

Throughout the state there are some excellent school nutrition programs but there has been no yardstick to measure them. Most school nutrition employees give unselfishly to the health and well being of the children in Texas and to the development of our young people-the leaders of tomorrow. The dedicated efforts of the membership in the past have been a catalyst to those who followed. Times have and will continue to change, and new challenges present themselves. School nutrition employees want to do a good job if they know what to do and excellence is a top priority and will be an on-going goal. It is for this reason the project director Melbagene Ryan accepted the challenge of original Standards of Excellence program-a legacy to school nutrition employees.

Since the original program, many changes have necessitated the update of the criteria for evaluating child nutrition programs. The School Nutrition Association (SNA) created a Task Force that included Texas representation. The SNA Keys Classic and online Self-Assessment tool reflect the current needs of the country and Texas. This document will be the tool used to help guide school districts in improving their child nutrition programs and facilitate the recognition of excellent programs in the state of Texas. This will also bring recognition of Child Nutrition Programs at the national level. The original document of the TASN Standards of Excellence will be archived at the TASN office.

Download the Standards of Excellence Handbook PDF »