The last time I was in a high school cafeteria was when the Cub Scouts were having their annual Blue and Gold Awards Ceremonies.
Before that, it was either the time when
- there was a District 155 candidates’ night after which the superintendent said, “Why didn’t you come to speak to me about running?” or
- at the meeting my father called that led to the formation of McHenry County College.
But it’s time to visit District 155 cafeterias again.
Somethings happening that you might find of interest.
Let me first remind you of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to get kids to eat more vegetables and less food that turns into fat.
Maybe that has something to do with this and maybe it doesn’t.
District 155 is tracking what kids eat for lunch. Staff, too.
For those who pay for their lunch with money on a student identification card, not only the amount subtracted is recorded, but what they have purchased is saved in a computerized fashion.
What about those who pay with real money?
Their food purchases will also be tracked, because the student ID card must be scanned in order to buy lunch.
Eventually, District 155 will allow parents to find out what their teens are chowing down on.
District 155’s Jeff Puma explained the program:
The information you’re looking for is related to the new point-of-sale system, which is currently being implemented at our schools. This will allow parents to load money onto student IDs rather than sending cash with their children. This is a more secure option for our families because we can cancel an ID card and recover unused funds, but it is unlikely that cash would be returned if it is lost.
With regard to your specific questions, the system does record what is purchased by all individuals–students, staff, and guests. First and foremost, this allows the cafeteria staff to monitor inventory in order to optimize the purchasing process. It also allows the user–and in the case of a student, his/her parents–to budget more effectively by tracking purchases, if they choose to do so.
He also pointed me to what District 155 has on its web site about the change:
District 155 Introduces Point-of-Sale Lunch Purchases
System To Allow Cafeteria Purchases With Student IDs
District 155 will begin a point-of-sale payment system in the coming weeks. The system will allow students to use their student identification cards to purchase meals in school cafeterias without the need for cash. Parents will have the option to add credit onto the ID cards using the district’s Family Access website or by bringing cash or a check to the school’s designated account replenish area.
Point-of-sale purchases will be available in September once system testing is complete. At that time, parents will be able to add money to student accounts using Family Access. A tutorial and detailed instructions will be available through this website at that time.
Advantages of the point-of-sale system include:
- Allows parents to see their student’s lunch purchases.
- All account information can be viewed and managed through Family Access.
- Provides a secure alternative to cash:
- Student’s ID will work like a debit card.
- Reduces the need to send cash with your student each day.
- If a student loses his/her ID, the fund balance will be transferred to a new card.
- Auto-replenish option allows for automatic reloading when your child’s balance becomes low.
- Streamlines free and reduced lunch application process.