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49 Antietam St, Devens, MA 01434    (978) 772-3293    (978) 772-3295

Lunch Program Milestone Approaches!

Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School
& Theodore R. Sizer Teachers Center
49 Antietam Street, Devens, MA 01434
Telephone (978) 772-3293 Fax (978) 772-3295

Dear Parents and Guardians;

I would like to thank you all for your support and patience during the transition to our new lunch payment system.  The students are getting much better at carrying their IDs and having balances on their accounts, which greatly reduces the time in line.  I wanted to take a minute to point out an item from out FAQ on our website.  The milestone in our transition plan described below is quickly approaching, and I want to be sure that all families are prepared for this change.   

Will cash be still be accepted at the registers?  What about change given at the registers?
Yes, to allow time for parents and guardians to set up their child’s account, cash will be accepted through the months of September and October only. After this timeframe it is expected that you will have funded your child’s nutrition account.  In addition, to assist with the transition to no cash at the registers, beginning on October 1, all change at the registers will be added directly to your child’s account and not given to the child.

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Michelle McKenna ext. 113
or Cathy Pearlman ext.111


Lunch Program Registration Reminders:

  • After October 1, 2017, no change will be refunded. All change will be added directly to your child's account.

  • Starting November 1, 2017, we will no longer accept cash transactions during snack/lunch service.

  • All students will need their cards regardless if they have money on account OR cash. If they have lost their card, please ask them to see Nicky to be issued a new one.

  • Please check balances regularly and be sure you have money on your account. We will only allow a negative balance up to $10.

  • If you would like to put funds on your student's account, you can have them bring a check or cash to the Business Office. Otherwise, please visit

  • All other information/details may be read BELOW

Questions and Answers about our new Point of Sale
and Online School Nutrition Account System

What is the new Point of Sale System (POS)? Parker is implementing a Point of Sale system (POS) that will allow students to have accounts. This system will likely look and feel similar to that of the system your children had in elementary school. It integrates with Rediker, our current student information management system.


Why are ID cards going to be important? Students will be using their ID cards to pay at the register. It will be important for the students to carrying their ID cards on their person on a daily basis! All students were issued temporary ID cards on the first day of school. In the fall new ones are issued (which usually happens in early October). The more kids with their cards ready, the smoother the transition will go.

What if my child has lost their ID card? They should see Nicky Dudensing in the Principal's office immediately for a replacement and should also let the Business Office know as soon as possible. Until a new card arrives the cashier at each register will be able to look up your child’s account via their last name. It is essential to let the Business Office know because the cards do have balances on them. When the cards are swiped at the registers, the photos on the account matched to the person making the purchase, however we can also flag the account for a lost card so by doing so we are trying our very best to assure that the account is only being accessed by the proper student.

How do I create my student’s nutritional account? You have been provided your child’s unique ID number.  Please reach out to the Business Office if you need it again. This number will be needed to create your child’s nutritional account. Once these emails are received parents and guardians will be able to set up the nutrition accounts, put money onto their student’s nutrition accounts, setup reminders, and setup auto refill options.  If you did not get an email with the ID number or if you lose the ID number please reach out to Michelle McKenna or Cathy Pearlman.

tickets.jpgWhat happens to old paper tickets? We have asked that families turn in any surplus tickets that they may have. These tickets will then be converted into a deposit for their child’s nutrition account. If you have more than one student please inform the Business Office how you would like the returned tickets allocated to your child’s accounts. Each lunch ticket has a value of $3.75 and each breakfast ticket a value of $2.00. Please note: If your child owes money to the lunch program, tickets turned in will be used to pay IOUs before they are converted to funds for their new student account.

How much are school lunches? In the 2017-2018 school year, Parker’s nutrition program costs will be lunch $4.00 and breakfast $2.00.

Will cash be still be accepted at the registers? What about change given at the registers? Yes, to allow time for parents and guardians to set up their child’s account, cash will be accepted through the months of September and October only. After this time it is expected that you will have funded your child’s nutrition account.  In addition, to assist with the transition to no cash at the registers, after October 1, all change at the registers will be added directly to your child’s account and not given to the child.

Can one pay for their Sibling or their Friend with their nutrition account? No. Students cannot and will not be allowed use their ID card to pay for a friend’s lunch. In addition, they are not allowed to pay for their sibling’s lunch either due to the fact the cashier cannot identify in the POS system who are siblings. If funds are needed to be transferred between sibling accounts please contact the Business Office to assist you.

Is there a transaction fee for using the service? Yes, the fee is $1.75 for ACH (bank accounts) and 4.75% for credit cards per transaction.  You can still chose to send a check in to school, if you wish to avoid these fees.

How long will it take for my deposit to be reflected into the system? Payments processed before 9:00 PM ET should post to the student’s account the next morning, in most cases. Payments made the same morning will post to the student account the following day.

Can I still fund my child’s nutrition account with cash? Yes. Checks and cash will still be accepted to be deposited into your child’s nutrition account. Checks and cash should be brought to the Business Office not the Front Office.

Will I be notified if my child’s balance is running low? Yes. When creating your child’s account, parents and guardians are able to set up recurring deposits and set up e-mail notifications when their child’s account falls below a certain dollar amount. In addition, the Business Office will be sending notices home as well.

What if I forget to add money to my child’s nutrition account and the balance is too low to pay for a breakfast or lunch? The system will allow account to go slightly negative for just these types of situations. It is expected that the account be funded as soon as possible. Parker will no longer be allowing negative balances that have been in the range of $50-100 to the program as it violates federal guidelines. Please be aware that if the balance on your child’s account becomes excessively low, they will not be allowed to purchase breakfast nor lunch until their nutrition account is funded. As always, please reach out to the Business Office or Parker’s website for the Free and Reduced lunch application at any point during the school year.

What if my child or children currently qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch and Breakfast? Their free and reduced lunch status is automatically built into the system. When your child is at the register, they will still need to present their Student IDs. In an effort to maintain confidentiality, no one, not even the child, will be aware that a purchase is part of the free and reduced program other than the cashier handling the transaction.  Also please be very aware that the Free and Reduced lunch program also only covers one full lunch and one full breakfast per day.  If your child on free or reduced lunch wishes for more than what comprises the meal, they will be required to pay full price for the additional items.

What if my child withdraws or graduates from Parker and has a balance on their nutrition account? All balances will be refunded, OR, parents or guardians may choose to transfer the balance to an enrolled sibling’s nutrition account, or to donate the balance back to the school. 

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