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

Set Up Your Lunch Account - Turn in Paper Tickets!

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;
Just a friendly reminder that we are moving to a new POS lunch system with online student account access for balance history and payments using  We are very excited about this enhancement to our program and are certain that you will find it much friendlier than our current paper ticket system!
As a reminder you should have received account setup information and a question and answer sheet about the new system.  You should have also received your student’s unique ID number that will allow you to setup his or her account.  If you need this information again, please reach out to me. Also, as an additional reminder, please bring in those paper tickets as they can be converted to a cash value and added to your child’s account.  I urge you to do this before the summer and before they get lost!
The unipay online payment system will no longer be used for lunch payments but will be used for sports, field trips, etc.  The payforit system is the only online system we will use for lunch going forward.  I will leave the unipay system active for the remainder of the year for lunch payback only, but there will no longer be an option for purchasing tickets only via unipay as we only have a few days of lunch left and tickets can only be purchased for a full week.  Thanks for your attention in making a smooth transition to this new system. 

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


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?
ID_Card.pngStudents 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! Students can start by trying to locate their current ID card. Students receive new ID cards in the fall each year but the barcodes/numbers do not change from year to year; which means that all returning students will be able to use their 2016-2017 ID card in the fall until new ones are issued (which usually happens in early October). The more kids with their cards ready, the smoother the transition will go.

How do I create my student’s nutritional account?
In the coming days parents and guardians will receive separate emails that will provide links to the on online payment system as well as an email that will furnish your child’s ID number. 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 do not get an email with the ID number in the next week or lose the ID number please reach out to Michelle McKenna or Cathy Pearlman.

What happens to old paper tickets?
tickets.jpgIn June, we will ask 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?
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.

What if my child has lost their ID card?
As stated, students will now need to have their IDs on their person each day. However, if an ID card is lost, students will need to seek out Nicky Dudensing in order to have a new card issued. Until a new card arrives the cashier at each register will be able to look up your child’s account via their last name. 

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 (banks accounts) and 4.75% for credit cards per transactions.  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 9pm 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.

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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