702 A – Meal Charges

In accordance with state and federal law, the Urbandale Community School District adopts the following policy to ensure school district employees, families, and students have a shared understanding of expectations regarding meal charges. The policy seeks to allow students to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day, prevent the overt identification of students with insufficient funds to pay for school meals, and maintain the financial integrity of the nonprofit school nutrition program.

Payment of Meals: Every student has a computerized meal account.   The computer register will debit and record purchases from the student’s meal account.  The account may be funded the following ways:

  1. Money may be deposited in a student or staff account online with RevTrak at: http://urbandaleschools.revtrak.net/tek9.asp
  1. E-mailed balance alerts may be set-up on-line at the RevTrak site.

Money may be deposited in a student or staff account at the school you attend, by using cash or checks made payable to: Urbandale Schools Nutrition Services.

  1. To ensure money is available for your student(s) to obtain a meal, all on-line deposits must be made no later than 10:30 a.m. on the day of purchase.
  2. Middle and High School students may also pay cash at the register.

Secondary School Students: (High School and Middle School)

  • Students must have their Identification cards to access their accounts or download the app from “SchoolCafe’.”
  • Middle School Only: There may be access to a “Pin Pad” for students who cannot download the SchoolCafe’ application. (Students must be 13 years of age to download the app.)
  • Students are encouraged not to share their ID card or their account from the application.
  • Students may provide their name to the cashier if no other process, listed above, is used.
  • No Ala Carte items will be allowed to be charged. You must have cash on-hand or money in your account to purchase Ala Carte items.   

Elementary Students:

  • Elementary level students will go through a line, state their first and last name and the computer operator will record the meal or milk purchase your student is making.
  • No Ala Carte milk, juice or breakfast items will be allowed to be charged. You must have money in your account to purchase Ala Carte items. 

All Schools:  

  • No student shall be denied a meal, no matter his or her outstanding balance or qualification for assistance.
  • Free or reduced-priced meals shall be provided to those students whose parents or legal guardians are unable to pay the full cost of the meals as provided by law. Families/students shall be notified of the availability of applications for free and reduced-priced meals and eligibility requirements at least twice per year.
  • Students who cannot pay for a meal or owe meal debt shall not be subjected to any of the acts prohibited by law relating to free and reduced-priced meals and unpaid meal charges.

Adults:

  • Adults will not be allowed to charge meals or ala carte items.
  • Adults must have cash or money in their account to make a purchase. 

Menu Items and Personal Considerations: As much as the district strives to meet the needs of all families, we’re aware that meeting the needs for one set of families may directly contradict the needs of another set of families. Therefore, our meal program will continue to follow USDA nutritional guidelines and allergy-specific guidelines; however, no other special considerations will be integrated into the meal planning process. With menus being made available to families in advance, families are able to identify meals that don’t meet their particular needs, and provide a lunch from home on those specific dates. The district will accommodate special dietary needs when a child’s disability restricts their diet.

Negative Account Balances: The student’s parent or guardian will be notified of low and negative balances ($5.00 or less) through an automated email system used by Nutrition Services, as long as their email address is up to date at the district administration office. If no email address is on file, the parent or guardian will receive notification through the US Postal Service.

Additionally, the school district will make reasonable efforts to collect unpaid meal charges classified as delinquent debt. The school district will coordinate communications with the student’s parent or guardian to resolve the matter of unpaid charges.

Negative balances not paid prior to the end of a school year may be sent to a collections agency or any other legal method permitted by law. Meal account balances will carry over to the following school year.

Unpaid Student Meals Account: The district will establish an unpaid student meals account in a school nutrition fund. Funds from private sources and funds from the district flexibility account may be deposited into the unpaid student meals account in accordance to law. Funds deposited into this account shall be used only to pay individual student meal debt.

Communication of the Policy: The policy and supporting information regarding meal charges shall be provided in writing to:

  • All households at or before the start of each school year;
  • Students and families who transfer into the district, at time of transfer; and
  • All staff responsible for enforcing any aspect of the policy.

Records of how and when the policy and supporting information was communicated to households and staff will be retained.

It is the responsibility of the Director of Nutrition Services and the superintendent to develop administrative regulations for implementing this policy.

Date of Revision: March 11, 2019

Legal Reference:          42 U.S.C. §§ 1751 et seq., 7 C.F.R. §§ 210 et seq., U.S. Dep’t of Agric., SP 46-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies (2016). U.S. Dep’t of Agric., SP 47-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments (2016). U.S. Dep’t of Agric., SP 57-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&A (2016). Iowa Code 283A., 281 I.A.C. 58.

Cross Reference:

702      School Meal Program

706      Vending Machine

 

 

 

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