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The Carroll County School District is offering another option for paying for students’ school breakfast and lunch. The district is partnering with My School Bucks (www.myschoolbucks.com) to process credit and debit card deposits online.
“This opens up a whole new avenue for payment,” Chief Financial Officer Jon Conrad said. “While the schools are happy to continue accepting cash and checks for breakfast and lunch money, we are excited to offer the credit and debit card options as well.”
Anyone can set up an account on My School Bucks, which means that grandparents, extended family members and even family friends can help pay for a student’s school breakfast and lunch.
Users go to the website (www.myschoolbucks.com) and create a free account, just like they would for Facebook or another online service.
Users then add students to their account with the student’s name, birth date and/or student identification number. Student identification numbers are on Infinite Campus, but parents and guardians also can call the student’s school to find the number.
Making a deposit is as simple as setting the amount and entering credit/debit card information. There is a $2 processing fee for each transaction. My School Bucks charges that fee for handling the payment. The $2 fee is the same regardless of the amount.
Users have several email features that they can use through My School Bucks.
A “low balance” notification will send an email when the student’s balance drops below what the user sets. For example, a parent could set up the system so that a “low balance” email is sent when the student’s account drops below $10. Users also can receive email receipts of processed deposits for personal records.
Another feature on My School Bucks is the “Cafeteria Purchases” tracking system. From the My School Bucks website, users can see a list of purchases the student has made in the last three months.
This feature allows the account holder can see how students are managing their lunch money.
My School Bucks also has a free mobile app that will allow account holders to load funds and see purchase histories on the go. For example, a working parent might receive a “low balance” notification while at work and be able to immediately load more funds for the student to use. According to the company’s website, funds are generally available by the next school day.
For students, their experience at breakfast and lunch will not change. Students will go through the line, and a cafeteria employee will log the purchases in the district’s computer system. This experience is the same for all students, regardless of their method of payment. Students do not need a special card to swipe to use funds. Everything is stored in the district’s computer network.
“We want to make paying for breakfast and lunch more convenient,” School Nutrition Director Lisa Gault said. “Parents have busy schedules, and they don’t always have time to come to the school to make a deposit. Also, our new payment system will not require students to handle cash or checks.”
With this new payment system, the district is expanding options, and, as always, striving to put students first.
Carl Roberts is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.