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Special SLAQ Situations

I am working with a large number of sites (e.g., over 100 schools). Do I need to complete a separate questionnaire for each site? 

This depends on the nature of your work at the site itself. Is your engagement with the site "on-the-ground", working with site staff to implement PSE change? If the answer is yes, annual SLAQs should be conducted for each site. However, we realize that may not be feasible when we're talking about very large numbers of sites and can brainstorm with you some potential alternatives (e.g., sampling) and strategies for facilitating SLAQ completion. Please contact us about your particular situation, so that we can work with you directly.

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I am delivering a training to a group of sites and am not planning to follow-up with each site or work directly with each site to implement PSE change. Do these sites still need to do a SLAQ? 

If you are not engaged directly with each site, a SLAQ is not required. However, a training is an excellent opportunity to request that SLAQs be completed. One possibility would be to build in some additional time at your training so that site staff in attendance can at least begin to complete the SLAQs while they are there in person. This will also help ensure that you are assessing baseline, before they go on to make changes based on your training, and we recommend that you reach out to the same group of sites the following year and ask that they re-assess.

If you go on to provide assistance in implementing PSE changes for any of the sites that received your initial training, those sites are then required to conduct the SLAQ annually. 

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What if I’m working at the organizational level (e.g. a district), and not specifically at the site? 

If you are working with a school district to help revise policies, implement district-wide Farm-to-School procurement, etc., beginning in FFY 24, you and your district partners will need to complete the School District Organizational Assessment Questionnaire (OAQ). OAQ resources can be found in several places:

If you are primarily working at the organizational level for a non-school setting (e.g. an early care coordinating agency, YMCA headquarters, grocery store association) and not working with the individual ECE sites, OST programs, or stores at this time, neither an OAQ or a SLAQ is required.

For any of the organizations you are currently partnering with, if you decide later on to also implement site-level PSE interventions, the SLAQ would then become required. You may find it helpful to optionally use the SLAQ to identify areas for future PSE work. If there are opportunities to recommend or request that sites complete the SLAQ district-/organization-wide, this could be a mechanism for making sure SLAQs are collected and available for both needs assessment and evaluation purposes.

If you are uncertain about which assessments are required or recommended, please contact the SLAQ team to confirm whether SLAQs are needed in your situation.

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What are some examples of situations where something is “not applicable (n/a) due to COVID? What situations do not count as “n/a due to Covid”?

For schools, where the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to in-person student learning, on-campus meal service, physical activity practices, and practices around sharing food during celebrations or events, we have created a number of “not applicable due to COVID” response options. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • N/A: students are not on campus because of COVID-19
  • N/A: no on campus meal service because of COVID-19
  • N/A: no school events or celebrations because of COVID-19
  • N/A: there are no student activities because of COVID-19

These options are intended to capture COVID-related situations that have made certain practices completely not applicable. These options are not intended for situations where COVID has resulted in changes to a practice. For example, if a school is not offering any on-campus meal service (i.e., they are only offering meal pick-ups for off-campus consumption), questions regarding on-campus meals would be marked as not applicable. If COVID has changed or altered on-campus meal service, even if only temporarily (for example, school lunch service has expanded beyond 11am-1pm in order to meet physical distancing requirements), the question about when lunch is served is still applicable. The school should mark this question with the answer that most closely matches the practice in place at the time they are completing the SLAQ.

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