DEBIT SYSTEM / POS
Dear Parents & Student;
Troy City Schools Food Service has implemented a computerized debit system in all of our buildings. This system will benefit you, your child, and the district in many ways.
The system will allow you to pay in advance for meals and/or ala carte foods (juice drinks, ice cream, cookies, etc.) if you choose to do so. Students will still be able to pay cash on a daily basis, as they have in the past. The system works with a twelve key PIN pad (located near the end of the serving line) that is similar to an automated teller machine (ATM). It will allow your son or daughter to enter their 4, 5 or 6 digit personal identification number (PIN) to access their account. Your child must memorize this number. The PIN number will stay the same throughout the remaining years your child is enrolled at Troy City Schools. Please note that this system is very confidential. All students will be required to enter their PIN number regardless of meal status or payment method, thus insuring your child’s privacy.
All students will have an established debit account, although you will not be required to make advanced payments because the system has the ability to act as a cash register and can accept cash payments on a daily basis. However, for your convenience, you may wish to choose one of the following options for making advanced payments. To prevent fraudulent use of student accounts all registers have been downloaded with that particular schools' student picture file, as well as, being equipped with a digital camera. The camera has the ability of taking a digital image of your son or daughter, which can be added to the file, if no picture exists. This digital image will appear on the monitor for the cashier to view every time your child accesses his or her account, therefore insuring that no other student uses your child’s account.
Money will only be deducted from an account when the student uses the account to purchase meals and/or ala carte items. The system will know the meal status of your student (full-pay, free, or reduced) and will deduct the correct amount from the account. There is no limit on the amount of money that can be deposited into a debit account. When account balances begins to fall into the negative, the cashier will remind the student by providing him or her with a preprinted envelope. The new EZPay system also has the ability to email you with a low balance alert, if you select that option on their website. To make an advanced payment, fill out the information on the outside of the envelope, enclose payment, and return the envelope with payment to cafeteria in the morning.
Advance Payment Options:
OPTION #1: CASH ON ACCOUNT – A cash debit account is created by making a payment of a certain dollar amount ($5.00, $10.00, $20.00, etc.) to the cafeteria. These funds, which can be either cash or check, are then deposited into your son or daughter’s debit account and are available to your child when purchasing meals and/or ala carte foods in the cafeteria. There are no limitations as to what may be purchased or how many purchases can be made. The account balance simply decreases as purchases take place.
OPTION #2: PREPAID MEALS ONLY – Monies put on account can be designated for student meals only. No snacks or ala carte items can be purchased with this payment. To calculate, determine the number of meals you wish to purchase then multiply by price of the meal ($2.25 for lunch at THS/TJHS, $2.00 for elementary lunch, and $.40 for reduced meal plan). Any number of meals may be purchased at one time.
To make a deposit, use the Advanced Payment Form. Make checks payable to: Troy City Schools Food Service Program. For safety purposes, we recommend that advanced payments be sent in the form of a check. If you are paying for more than one student in the same school with one payment, please note how much money is to be designated to each student’s account. If you do not specify, the deposit amount will be divided equally between siblings’ accounts. If you do not select a payment option, all monies will be deposited under "OPTION #1 – Cash On Account". Thank you for your cooperation and your participation. We are very excited about this new system and hope you will take advantage of all the convenient options.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is this food service program?
A: It is a computerized debiting system that allows parents to pay for student lunches in advance, in essence giving your child an electronic lunch ticket.
Q: How does it work?
A: Quite easily, in fact. You can pay for as many lunches in advance for your child as you wish up to an entire school year. These funds will be deposited into a debit account for your child to use at lunchtime.
Q: How does my child use his account?
A: Computer terminals/registers have been installed at the end of each line. When your child selects his lunch, he punches in his 4, 5 or 6 digit PIN code into a key pad right at the terminal. His name comes up with a balance amount available. The cashier enters what has been purchased and the program automatically subtracts and computes the new balance for the following day. Free Lunch students simply enter their 4, 5 or 6 digit PIN codes (this is a confidential system).
Q: What happens when my account runs low?
A: There are a few procedures we have for informing parents of student's low balances:
1) The cashier will give your child a printed PREPAY envelope when the student's
accounts begin to reach a negative balance. Simply return it to school the
following day with a new check or cash to be deposited to the account.
2) We have placed an Advanced Payment Form for your convenience here on our
webpage. Just print it at home on your personal printer and send it in with your
child with payment - either staple a check to the form or place it in a plain envelope
with your child's name printed plainly on the front of the envelope.
3) We also now offer online account balances. You can access this thru the main Troy
City Schools webpage by clicking on the icon for "Parent Sign In". If you need
assistance with this please do not hesitate to call or email the Director of Food
Service (Sharon Babcock) or her Administrative Assistant (Michele Copas).
As always you are encouraged to call or email us with any questions or issues you
may have. We will be happy to assist in any way we can.
Q: Does my child have to use this system?
A: Yes - all students have to use the system! They must enter their PIN code no matter how they are paying as they come through the line. However, it is strictly up to you whether they use the debit system or continue to pay cash at the register each day. The system has been installed as a convenience for children who no longer will have to tote money to school each day and lose all or part of it. It reduces the hassle for parents to remember to give kids their lunch money each day as well.
Q: What happens if my child’s account has no balance and we have forgotten to send in a check to replenish the account?
All Troy City Schools cafeterias have a "No Charge" policy.
Students should have funds available on their accounts or pay for their purchases at the register at the time of purchase. If a student does not have money and needs to eat, we will offer them a peanut butter sandwich and white milk at no charge.
Q: What happens if someone else uses my child’s PIN number?
A: Students may use ONLY their assigned codes. Using someone else’s or trying to randomly generate a number will be considered THEFT and dealt with according to school and district Policies and Procedures.
Q: What should my child do if they forget their PIN number?
A: The cashiers in every building have the ability to look up student's PIN numbers.
Q: What if my child brings home another Prepay envelope, but I think it is too early to see one?
A: The cashier will give your child a PREPAY envelope when the account balance begins to fall into the negative. The system can recall any transaction for any time period during the school year. If you are curious, just contact the Director of Food Service and we can check for you.
Q: So, do I as a parent have any control over what my child purchases?
A: Yes, you have some control. You can indicate if you want your student's account to be “cash on account,” which gives freedom to your child to use any funds for lunches, extra milk, entrees, etc. The other more controlled option is to indicate that your child is permitted to purchase "meals only", which you can calculate in advance. If this option is selected, we will not permit your child to purchase any extra items. Parents can place this restriction or remove it with a phone call to the Food Service Director's office or by indicating your wishes on the payment envelopes. Your student’s screen will flag the cashier when the PIN code is entered.
Q: My child receives lunch at a “reduced rate”. Does the system know?
A: Yes, all information regarding students receiving free or reduced lunches has been downloaded into the system and accounts will be handled the same as others. Students will need to enter their PIN codes just like everyone else, which helps to insure they are not singled out in any way. Only the cashier knows who are receiving federally subsidized lunches.
Q: What if I move and have money in the system?
A: You may request a refund by contacting the Director of Food Service.
Q: What happens at the end of the school year?
A: Funds in the system can be rolled over to the next year except for students transferring to another school district.
Q: Can I send money electronically via the Internet?
A: Yes, we have now added the SPS EZPay system to our site. Parents may register for this service (at no charge) and put money on their child's lunch accounts, as well as, pay for their school fees, etc.
Q: Can my child pay for breakfast items using the debit system?
A: A student can pay for breakfast using "Cash on Account" funds. Breakfast is only offered "ala carte".
If you have any more questions about this new debit program, please e-mail Sharon Babcock, Director, or Michele Copas, Administrative Assistant, or call the office at 332-6041 or 332-6053.