Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lunch point-of-sale system confusion.

Received this email from the Ridgewood Public Schools tonight:

Hello Parents of Ridgewood Middle Schools and High School,
As you may know, we have implemented a Point-of-Sales system in the cafeterias at the Middle Schools and High School.  In order to make the lunch period run quickly and efficiently, we ask that you remind your students that they will require a Key Pad number for purchasing items from the cafeterias, either on account or in cash.  Your students key pad number can be found in Skyward Family or Student Access under Food Service.  If you need assistance, please email skywardhelp@ridgewood.k12.nj.us.Thank you for your patience during this transition period.

I do encourage everyone to be patient (and nice) during the transition, but I have to agree with some of my friends who find it utterly baffling that students must enter a PIN number in order to purchase something with cash. Makes no sense to me. (Not to mention -- if you don't use Skyward to pay for lunch in advance, then you don't have a PIN...or you don't know you have a PIN.) I'm hoping this is something that can be tweaked and corrected. I don't understand why a Point of Sale system needs to track cash purchases. 

I'll let you know if I hear about anything changing.


Anonymous said...

I am told cafeteria lines are very slow at RHS.

Laurie said...

I have heard that, too. I'm sure it will take awhile for everyone to get used to the new system. I am told that there are new federal reporting requirements regarding reporting what HS kids are purchasing for lunch...it has to do with the National Free/Reduced Lunch program, in which Ridgewood has kids qualifying/participating. I have not been able to get any more detail as of yet.

I believe a BOE member will be at the RHS HSA meeting tomorrow night to explain and to answer questions. I'll report what she/he says here tomorrow.

Leigh w said...

I have heard that my child has been using the account as a personal charge account. I feel for whoever has to pay for this, since I give him only cash and have NEVER authorized a charge account for him!

Laurie said...

Hi, Leigh. You can check to see if there are any unauthorized or incorrect charges in Skyward. (There are instructions and FAQs for accessing the food service accounts on the District website.)

If your child mistakenly thought that giving a PIN meant the food he received was "free" or if there are charges that you did not authorize, you should contact the Business Office. I know they are reversing mistaken charges during the "learning curve" time.

The system (at least at RHS) seems to be going much more smoothly, from what I've heard from my son and other students.

Interestingly, I did some informal research of my own and called four neighboring districts. Everyone I spoke to is doing some sort of POS system like this, although some use swipe cards instead of PIN and there are some other slight differences. We are not alone even though it sometimes seems like we are blazing our own trail. Not true in this case!

Thanks for the comment!