IB-AR: Meal Charging Procedure

  • West Fargo Public Schools recognizes that a child’s nutrition is very important to a successful learning experience. Students are encouraged to participate in school breakfast and lunch programs to receive healthy and nutritious meals that meet USDA standards.

    Parents are expected to have funds available in their student’s meal accounts, or pay cash for all meal purchases. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to keep adequate funds in their student’s accounts.

    To ensure that students have access to meals, the following procedure has been established to address low balances, meal charges, and alternate meals.

    LOW BALANCE / NEGATIVE BALANCE NOTIFICATIONS

    Elementary students (K – 5) receive notification when they reach a low balance. Full-pay students are sent reminders when their balance is $8.00 or less and reduced-price students are sent reminders when their balance is $2.00 or less. Low balances are communicated by email, letters sent home with children, and/or phone calls. Negative balances receive daily reminders.

    Middle school and high school students with low balances are given verbal reminders at the cashier station only. Cashiers provide reminders when a student’s balance is $5.00 or less. Negative balance accounts receive daily verbal reminders at the cashier station. Low and negative balances are communicated to parents/guardians by email and/or phone calls.

    If a pattern of meal charging continues, parents are encouraged to complete an application for free and/or reduced meals.

    MEAL CHARGING

    Elementary students (K - 5) who are full-pay are allowed to charge breakfast and lunch meals up to $12.00, after which no charging is allowed. Elementary students who qualify for reduced-price meals are allowed to charge up to $2.00, after which no charging is allowed. After reaching the limit on charges, an alternate meal may be served; there is no charge incurred to the student for the alternate meal. Administrative assistants call the parent/guardian to inform them that an alternate meal was served and request immediate payment.

    Middle school and high school students who are full-pay are allowed to charge breakfast and lunch meals up to $6.00, after which no charging is allowed. Middle school students who qualify for reduced-price meals are allowed to charge up to $2.00, after which no charging is allowed. No ala carte or additional items are allowed to be charged, including second entrees or extra milk. After reaching the limit on charges, an alternate meal may be served; there is no charge incurred to the student for the alternate meal.

    Students who qualify for free meals may receive one breakfast and one lunch per day. These students must have money in their account to purchase additional items such as second entrees, ala carte, or extra milk. No charging is allowed for second entrees, ala carte, or extra milk.

    ALTERNATE MEAL DEFINITION

    Alternate meals are given to the student discreetly in the school cafeteria.

    Breakfast

    An alternate meal consists of cold cereal and milk.

    Lunch

    At the elementary level, an alternate meal consists of a Sunbutter sandwich and milk.

    At the secondary level, an alternate meal consists of a peanut butter sandwich and milk.

    ADULT MEALS

    Adults are not allowed to charge any meals; there is no exception to this policy.

    MEAL PREPAYMENTS

    Parents/guardians are encouraged to pre-pay for school meals. The district uses MySchoolBucks to accept online meal payments. Parents/guardians have the ability to set up a secure online account at myschoolbucks.com. This allows for parents to make deposits by credit card, view balances, and view transaction activity. Parents can choose to receive balance notifications or set auto-payments. There is no fee for using the online payment system. Instructions for setting up an account are posted on our website.

    Meal prepayments can also be made by cash or check directly at your child’s school building.

    If a student brings money for a meal on a given day, the student will be allowed to eat that day with no regards to the negative balance.

    ACCOUNT BALANCES AND REFUNDS

    Positive account balances will be carried over to the next school year. Parents may request a refund of their student’s meal account upon transferring out of the district. Parents have the option to transfer funds to a sibling’s account, request a refund, or place remaining funds into a donation account to help students in need. All requests for refunds should be made prior to June 15 of the recently completed school year. Requests can be made by an online form on the district website, or by calling Nutrition Services at 701-499-1984.

    For graduating students with $25.00 or less in their account, cash refunds will be given at the cafeteria registers during the last week of classes.

    For graduating students with over $25.00 remaining in their account, refunds will be issued by checks which are mailed home.

    Inactive accounts with more than $25.00 will be contacted by Nutrition Services to determine if a refund is desired.

    Funds remaining in all other inactive accounts after June 15 will be automatically placed into a donation account to help students in need.

    FREE AND REDUCED MEAL APPLICATIONS

    Free and Reduced Meal Applications are available on the WFPS website and in school offices. Applications are accepted anytime during the school year. For assistance with completing an application, please contact the Nutrition Services office at 701-499-1984.

    COMMUNICATION TO FAMILIES / COLLECTION OF DEBT

    This policy will be communicated to families in back-to-school packets, in student handbooks, and on the district website.

    Parents/guardians are expected to keep their student’s account balances current and are responsible for all debt incurred from meal charges.

    All meal accounts are expected to be paid in full at the end of each school year. Negative account balances at the end of the school year will be carried over to the next school year, and collection attempts will continue.