Cafeteria Tracking at District 155

The Prairie Ridge High School cafeteria was filled with Pack 158 Cub Scouts this Sunday. They could eat anything they wanted and no one would know.

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.


Cafeteria Tracking at District 155 — 4 Comments

  1. It’s getting to the point of wondering if Big Brother is also tracking bathroom visits and the reasons for said bathroom visits.

    Doing non-cash transactions makes sense. Forcing the kids/adults to reveal what they ingest is over-the-top.

  2. Seriously? companies like have offered this service for quite a while, and many districts do outsource their lunch money program.

    But I got a good laugh knowing that Cal is so paranoid that he thinks a worthwhile program to encourage kids to eat healthy is somehow now linked to “tracking” kids.

    So…… conservatives DON’T want parents to know what their kids ate at school? But most support the Patriot Act and all the intrusions there?

    it is just LUNCH, dude. and this service has been around for a while. Just because you didn’t know about something doesn’t mean it hasn’t been around for a while, lol

    seriously dude, don’t you have kids in school too?

  3. America is becoming the biggest “nanny state” on the planet. Perhaps people need to decide if they are giving up too much information in the name of political correctness, data bases, and so on.

    People need to take responsibility for themselves. The latest calories (and whatever) on the vending machines for the candy bar you might select is ridiculous. People know that smoking isn’t healthy, they do it anyway and will continue to do it if they can afford the products.

    If the scream is that “It’s ONLY lunch!”, then don’t worry so much about what the child has at school, “It’s ONLY lunch.” – worry more about what “you” the parents feed them. Parents supply the money, the trips to the store, the cooking at home and teenagers will do whatever they want when set loose from the protective and overprotective home folks.

    The new trend is for recess to be regulated with guided activities. How about we do that for water cooler chats, coffee breaks, bathroom breaks? People have to learn to interact without someone constantly holding their hand. They need to learn how to play well with others and to be creative. Being tied to an apron string doesn’t encourage thinking, it encourages clinging.

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