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Direct Certification for Free or Reduced Lunch(FRL)

Procedure for Data Managers

1. Perform DC3 upload to edfusion

Here are the steps to perform a DC3 upload, which lets us know your enrollment information so we can tell you who is directly certified for FRL.

Only 3 files are required to be submitted to get your Direct Cert information:

Please prepare the above files based ontheir specifications.

  1. Log into edFusion
  3. Please contact if you need an account to login
  4. Navigate via the top menu to Integrate › Data Transport › Submission Upload
  5. Select "Submission" for the domain dropdown: Screenshot of Data Submission Form
  6. Click the "Choose File" button and select your files
  7. The files will upload and the indictor next to them will turn from orange to green when they are ready
  8. Click upload files and wait for a success message.
  9. Important: Click the Schedule now button in the right column to schedule your submission for processing
  10. When edFusion has processed your submission, it will notify you via email.
  11. Wait overnight
  12. The next day, you can download the Public School Reporting Group that has this information

2. Download Reporting Group

To download the Reporting Group that now contains direct cert information for your previously submitted enrollment data in DC3.

  1. Head to Insight › Data Marts › Reporting Group›Generate File(s)
  2. Selection Criteria
    • Source – Analysis Data mart
    • Reporting Group – ~~Public School Student~~ we recommend you use the Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Lunch located at the bottom of the list
    • Filter Criteria - Please make sure:
      • you have submitted DC#03_NightlyCollection_Unofficial for your SU/SD for the year you want data
      • a DC#06_FALL_ADM_Official submissions are certified in the state for your SU/SD for the year you want data.
    • Select Year, SU/SD
    • Hit create button and wait for file to be generated in export history table below
  3. When file is ready, a download link will appear in the right most column.

NOTE if desired year is not visible, you must submit a DC#03 unofficial collection. The Information box will show you what source data the export is derived from.

In Depth Notes and explanations

The direct cert reports will be available in edfusion after the SU/SDs have submitted their DC#03 nighlty unofficial. Once an official collection is state certified, the reporting group will pull from the most recent official state certified data submission, below are instructions to pull your report;

The export will appear in the export history window below.

Columns BP-BV populates the following field names;

  • DCERT_RUFA Student
  • DCERT_SNAP Student

All YES values in either of the fields below, identify these students are directly certified to receive free lunch.

  • DCERT_RUFA Student
  • DCERT_SNAP Student

Each month AOE receives a file from DCF that lists names of all directly certified persons less than age 22. On (or around) the 20th of each month, AOE will upload a new Direct Cert list into the edfusion system.

Reporting Groups information/details

If your source data is from DC#06_FALL_ADM_Official, DC#07_Spring_Official or DC#04_YearEndCollection_Official, the reporting group will not populate until all data is certified from every SU/SD in the state.


DC#03_NightlyCollection_Unofficial source data will process overnight.

In order to obtain your Direct Cert information, you must upload the following 3 files. The DC#03 Unofficial Submission is the only submission that does not require you to load all templates with each submission. However, if the files you load contain relationship dependencies you will receive errors.

Procedure for Food Service Directors


Vermont Agency of Education Child Nutrition Programs has been working with AOE's Data Team to create a new Food Service Directors User Role for EdFusion. This user role will allow Food Service Directors to run the Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Lunch reporting group.

We hope this new user role will improve ease of access to the Direct Cert information for Food Service Directors and simultaneously improve communication between Food Service Directors and Data Managers within an SU/SD.


The DC #03 Unofficial Enrollment is the enrollment list that Data Managers upload monthly in EdFusion from which the Direct Certification reporting group gets matched. The Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Lunch Report will only be as accurate as the most recently uploaded DC #03 Unofficial Enrollment. Only Data Managers have the ability to upload an updated DC # 03 Unofficial Enrollment. Food Service Directors should communicate with the Data Manager in their SU/SD in order to be sure that the enrollment is up to date monthly, and when any new student enrolls. AOE Child Nutrition Programs and Data Team will continue to communicate to Business Managers, Food Service Directors, and Data Managers through their respective ListServs about when the monthly Direct Certification information has been updated.

Access for New Users

Food Service Directors must connect with Data Managers in their SU/SD in order to request user access to this new Food Service Director User Roll in EdFusion. Data Managers will then contact the AOE SLDS Support Group to request access on behalf of the Food Service Director.

Once the request is received, SLDS Support Group will send Food Service Directors an email with login information to access EdFusion.

When users receive the email with their username and temporary password, they should navigate to the EdFusion login page in order to change their password and begin accessing the site.

Downloading the Direct Certification Reporting Group

Before running a report be sure to remember: the Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Lunch Report will only be as accurate as the most recently uploaded DC #03 Unofficial Enrollment. Check with your data manager that the DC #03 is up to date before running this report. Additionally, a quick edit check could be performed by comparing your total monthly enrollment number against the number of students listed in the Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Lunch Report. For example, if you know that there are 1,705 students currently enrolled in your SU/SD but the report only shows you 1,696 students this may be an indicator the DC #03 is not up-to-date.

To create a reporting group:

  1. From the landing page, hover over the "Insight" tab in the top left corner.

  2. Select "Reporting Group" from the options that appear.

  3. You will not be able to customize the first row, entitled "Selection Criteria." This is preselected to Source: Analysis Data Mart, Reporting Group: Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Lunch, and Columns: all selected. Under "Filter Criteria" choose the most current year as your School Year and select your LEA ID as the Submitting Org.

  4. Underneath the "Information" section, and to the right, click "Create."

  5. Wait a few moments for the request to process before scrolling down to "Export History" to view the report.

  6. Click "Download" to view the file of the reporting group.

Reading the Direct Certification List

Once you run the Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Lunch reporting group and export the file to excel, you will be looking at a list of every student who is currently enrolled in your SU/SD along with their identifying information and relevant Direct Certification information. Put another way, this is a list of Directly Certified children and not-Directly Certified children.

Column Headers

Column headers of the report are defined below:

Column Description
SY School Year; school year 2021-2022 is denoted as '2022'
ENRORGID School ID Number
ORGNAME School Name
LCLSTUNUM School/LEA's Internal Student ID Number
PERMNUMBER State-Issued Student ID Number
FNAME Student First Name
MNAME Middle Name
LNAME Last Name
DOB Date of Birth
GRADE Grade; KF = Kindergarten, PK=Pre-K, AW= ,EE=Early Education
DCERT_TANF_RUFA_REACHUP YES or NO, Directly Certified through ReachUp (known nationally as TANF, previously referred to as RUFA)
DCERT_SNAP_3SQUARESVT YES or NO, Directly Certified through 3SquaresVT (known nationally as SNAP)
DCERT_OTHER This column is blank. It is currently a placeholder for a possible future Direct Certification Reporting Group category.
DCERT_STATEPLACEDFOSTER Every student should be listed as "NO" in this column, at this time. We are working on adding State Place Foster as a Direct Certification Reporting Group, but it is not yet live.

Formatting the File

When you first open your downloaded file in excel it will look similar to the below screenshot. Some columns may show the symbol '#' where the column is not wide enough to display all of the data (circled in red, below). Where that is the case, you must expand the column to see the full set of data.

Since this is a list of every single student currently enrolled in your SU/SD, you must sort the list if you want to view only the students who are directly certified (have a YES in either the ReachUp or 3SquaresVT columns).

To sort the data, select the entire sheet using the triangle in the leftmost corner of the sheet. Then click the "Sort & Filter" button in the top ribbon and select "Filter." These buttons are circled in purple in the below screenshot. Selecting the Filter option will result in the addition of dropdown arrows on each of the column headers. Click the dropdown button to sort the column by any of the header categories.

Screenshot of excel using the filter tool

To sort by multiple levels (e.g. Sort first by School, then within each School sort further by 3SquaresVT and again by ReachUp) select the "Sort & Filter" button in the upper ribbon, choose "Custom Sort." Be sure "My data has headers" is selected in the upper right corner of the pop-out window before selecting your "Column," "Sort on," and "Order." Click the green plus sign in the upper left corner of the pop-out window to "Add Level," and when you're finished click "OK."

Interpreting the Data

The most important headers in this reporting group are those which indicate if a student is Directly Certified for free school meals, DCERT_TANF_RUFA_REACHUP and DCERT_SNAP_3SQUARESVT. A "YES" in either of these columns indicates that the student in that row is Directly Certified. If a student has a "YES" in both the ReachUp and 3SquaresVT columns on the report, the 3SquaresVT classification takes precedence in categorizing the student in your eligibility lists or Point of Sale (POS) system.

Data Background and Limitations

The Direct Certification list is matches student ID numbers with enrollment data for ReachUp and 3SquaresVT that the VT Department for Children and Families (DCF) shares with the Agency of Education for use in determining Direct Certification. This data is not a complete list of all directly certified children. The definition of Direct Certification includes determinations of eligibility for free meals where the determining information comes directly from a state agency or other authority. Ways that children can be Directly Certified, in additional to being listed in the Direct Cert Report, include if the child is homeless, enrolled in the Migrant Education Program, in state-placed foster, or runaway.

Protecting Personal Identifiable Information (PII)

The information in the Direct Certification list is on a need-to-know basis and should never be shared with anyone that is not directly involved in the eligibility determination for school meals. This list should not be shared with inquiring parents, school staff, or any other inquiring part who is not a determining official or school food service program administrator. Take care not to email the Direct Cert list and save and view it only from your work computer.

Forgot Password Process

Users who have login credentials for EdFusion must follow these steps to set a new password:

  1. Go to the EdFusion login page.

  2. Enter your username as it was initially established in the email from AOE SLDS Support Group.

  3. Click on the "Forgot Password" link.

  4. Enter your username and click "Retrieve Credentials."

  5. A one-time temporary password will be sent to the email address associated with your account. Copy the password exactly as it appears in the email, without any additional spaces at the beginning or end.

  6. Return to the EdFusion login page and follow the prompts to reset your password, pasting in the temporary password from your email and creating a new password.

  7. You will then have an opportunity to review your security questions and either click "Update" to change your answers, or "Go Home" to navigate to the landing page.

Forgot Login Process

  1. Go to the EdFusion login page.

  2. Click on the "Forgot Login" link.

  3. Enter the email associated with your EdFusion account and click "Retrieve Credentials."

  4. Your Username will be emailed to you, as well as a link to reset your Password.

    Please be sure to check your SPAM folder just in case the Password reset email was filtered out by your SPAM filter.

Accessing Help

In the event you are unable to complete either of the Forgot Password or Forgot Login processes, or if you need technical assistance with EdFusion please contact the AOE SLDS Support Group at