State & Federal School Standards
Where are these new regulations being generated from and when do they go into effect?
Obama’s Child Nutrition & WIC Reauthorization “Health, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010”. MA DPH (Dept Public Health) and DESE (Dept Elementary & Secondary Education) created the “Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods & Beverages” and was signed into law on July 13, 2011. The USDA’s proposed the changes to the meal patterns. Both laws are to be implemented by August 1, 2012.
Why do we have these new regulations?
The goal of the standards is to ensure that public schools offer students food and beverage choices that will enhance learning, contribute to their healthy growth and development, and cultivate life-long healthy eating behaviors. They are part of a collaborative initiative to reduce childhood obesity and prevent its complications in childhood and later in adulthood.
What are competitive foods?
ALL foods and beverages sold in public schools (in cafeterias, classrooms, hallways, school stores, snack bars, vending machines, fundraising activities etc) during the school day and including 30 minutes before school begins and until 30 minutes after it ends. Foods and beverages sold in vending machines must comply with the new standards at ALL times (24/7/365).
What control does a school district have in the oversight of the school lunch program? Does the Wellness Policy have any impact?
The USDA and DESE oversee all public schools (including the meals programs). Therefore, all Massachusetts Public School Districts must comply with these new standards. They are not optional. The Wellness Policy determines what foods and beverages may be served in classrooms (as part of celebrations) and sold before or after the restricted times of the school day. Meaning the wellness policy determines if candy bars, cup cakes, cookies, ice cream etc. can be brought in for class parties or sold as fundraisers.
Why can’t my child purchase snacks during lunch at the middle/high school?
In conjunction with the new regulations and in an effort to promote balanced nutrition, healthy lifestyles and overall wellbeing, the a la carte snacks at the secondary schools have been eliminated and replaced with new and more nutritious menu options.
Will my child be able to buy flavored milk if he/she comes to school with a packed lunch?
No. Starting in August 2013, all milk with a sugar content greater than that of plain white (12 gm) will not be allowed to be sold a la carte.
Will flavored milk still be a part of school meals?
Triton’s Wellness Council will have made a decision on whether or not flavored milk will be offered with school meals by August 2013, as this is not restricted by the new regulations, only flavored milk that is sold a la carte.
Will my child be able to buy drinks from the vending machines?
Yes, water and only water (unsweetened, unflavored -except natural flavorings, plain or carbonated). No artificial sweeteners (including Splenda) are allowed.
Will my child be able to buy snacks from the vending machines?
Yes, but only those snacks that comply with the new standards and not during the hours of 10:30-1:00 (when school lunch is being served).
Are foods sold at bake sales, special events, and after school programs still allowed?
Yes, however, if they are sold during the school day (including 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after) they must comply with the new nutrition standards. If they are sold 30 minutes before or 30 after the day ends, they must comply with the standards put forth in the wellness policy.
Cafeteria Point of Sale (POS) & NutriKids
How does the cafeteria POS system work?
Each child will be given a unique PIN number which will be entered into a key pad at the cafeteria registers to purchase meals. The new system incorporates student photos for those who forget their PIN, and to verify that PIN’s are only being used by the students they are assigned to.
Do I have to use the mySchoolBucks.com to make payments?
No. We will continue to accept cash and checks as methods of payment. Paying online incurs the $1.95 “convenience fee” as NutriKids has to pay a bank to transact the purchase. While paying at any time of the day, from anywhere, is indeed more convenient, you can continue to make pre-payments on your childs account by sending a check into school, or paying cash at the register. The deposit for pre-payment by check into the account will be recorded at the register and will take effect immediately.
You should create an online account for your child EVEN IF you continue to pre-pay by check or cash. Students will always enter their PIN number at the point of purchase, which will allow you to track the exact food purchases your child is making on a daily basis.
MySchoolBucks Frequently Asked
How do I get started?
Getting started is a simple three-step process.
1. Create a user profile by clicking on the Start Here button on the home page.
2. Add students to your household – you’ll need the child’s name and birth date and student ID.
3. Now you’re ready to make payments!
What if I forgot my Login ID or password?
On the right side of the login page, click on “Forgot Your ID or Password?”. The system will ask for your login name or your email address. If a match is found, you must answer your security question correctly before you’ll be prompted to enter a new password. If you can’t remember your security answer you may alternatively choose the option to receive a password reset request by email.
How do I know my information is secure?
Transaction information is encrypted and sent from your PC to the mySchoolBucks.com server via a secure gateway. Look for the “https” in the address field of your web browser window, and the closed lock in the bottom tray of the browser window.
How can I request notification via email when my child’s balance is low?
In the left navigation panel, click the ‘Email Preferences’ link, then check the box to request low balance notifications and fill in the amount. When your child’s balance goes below that amount, an email message will be automatically sent to the email address in your user profile.
Why did I receive another notice that my child’s balance is low?
If your child’s balance changes, the email notification is reset to send a new message. You should receive only one notification each time the balance goes below your selected minimum dollar amount. If your child has more than one account, you may receive messages for each account.
How can I request a receipt via email when I make a payment?
In the left navigation panel, click the Email Preferences link, then check the box to request a confirmation receipt via email. Each time you make a payment, a confirmation will be sent to the email address in your user profile.
How can I see a list of all the payments I’ve made?
In the left navigation panel, click the My Payment History link. A list of all credit card payments made from your user account is shown.
How can I see what my child has purchased in the school cafeteria?
Choose ‘My Household’ from the menu, then click the ‘View Cafeteria Purchases’ link to the right of the child’s name that you are interested in. A list of purchases made in the cafeteria will show.
What credit cards/methods of payment are accepted?
mySchoolBucks.com can take a number of payment methods, however, your school district sets up which types of payments they will accept. Please refer to your school district’s website or literature. Once you have a user account, you can see which payment types are accepted by your district while placing your order.
How long does it take for a payment to be added to my child’s account?
Credit card payments are authorized during the order process on mySchoolBucks.com, and your credit card account is immediately charged. Payments made with a credit card are collected nightly and will normally show up in your child’s account on the very next school day. However, this can vary depending on how frequently your school district posts payments to your child’s school.
Is there a fee for using mySchoolBucks?
There is a $1.95 service fee for each payment made on mySchoolBucks.com. You will be notified on a screen prior to completing the payment transaction of the service fee and is required for each payment you make using mySchoolBucks.com. For more information, please see our Terms of Service.
Why does my online bank statement show a *pending* charge after my payment was declined?
If you receive a message when processing your payment that indicates the billing address or the three digit card verification code doesn’t match the bank records your credit card provider will place a temporary hold of funds on your credit card. The *pending* charge may temporarily appear on your online bank statement but the charge will be automatically removed in 2-3 banking days. The ‘authorization hold’ is a normal banking industry practice. Please click here for more information.
What happens if my child changes schools?
If your child moves to a new school in the same district, you can continue using your mySchoolBucks.com account as long as that school is a mySchoolBucks.com participant. When the school district updates their enrollment records prior to the start of school mySchoolBucks will also be automatically updated with the new enrollment information. Please check with your school district for a list of participating schools. If you move to an entirely different school district, you must create a new user account. mySchoolBucks.com will provide a list of available school districts during the New User sign up process.
Note: Scheduled payments for cafeteria meals always apply to a specific school. When the student transfers to a new school the scheduled payment for the old school is no longer valid and must be canceled. Please setup a new scheduled payment for your child at their new school.
Why did my child’s balance not update when I made my payment?
Payments made through the website transfer to the school site and update your child’s account balance in the school site Point-of-Sale computer. Once the payment travels to the school site and updates the balance it will transfer back up to the website so you can see the updated balance. Generally this process takes 2 school days.
Who should I contact if…My payment didn’t show up at the school?
First, check ‘My Payment History’ to make sure the payment was completed and approved. If the payment appears there, go to ‘Cafeteria Purchases’ and check the student’s purchase history. If the payment shows in the Cafeteria Purchases, it has been successfully received at the child’s school. If not, make sure you have allowed at least 2 school days for the payment to transfer to the school. If the payment does not appear after that, contact your school district administrator for help.
How do I setup a future scheduled or recurring payment?
Choose ‘Make A Payment” from the menu. Choose the item to purchase and enter the amount to pay for your child then add the item to the basket. Once the item is in the basket, if recurring payments are enabled you’ll find the option to “Setup A Payment Schedule’ just under your child’s name. Click the link to enter your schedule options.
How do I cancel or change an existing scheduled payment?
To cancel a scheduled payment, choose ‘View/Edit’ on the ‘My Household’ page next to the payment description and choose ‘Cancel This Order’ from the next window. If you wish to change an existing scheduled payment, follow these same steps to cancel it and then create a new one with your new options.
Can other people make payments on my child’s account?
Other adults can make payments on your child’s account if they know the child’s name and either birth date or student ID. Multiple users can have the same child added to their profile. Remember that mySchoolBucks.com is intended to be used by adults who can purchase with a credit card, and that you are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of your password and should not permit any other person to use your password
Can I pay for my child’s meals in advance?
Yes. You can pay weekly, monthly or even by the year. Starting August 9, 2012 you can register at mySchoolBucks.com and pay for your child’s meals on-line. Links to this site and instructions are available on the left hand menu.
What is in place to prevent someone else from using my child’s PIN number?
The PIN numbers are linked to the student’s pictures within the NutriKids system. Each time their PIN number is entered into one of the registers, the student’s picture will appear on the screen. The cashier will verify the student matches the picture on the screen. If they don’t match, the cashier will not allow the meal to be purchased.
Can I prevent my child from purchasing multiple school meals daily?
Yes. Please contact the food service director directly if you would like to set limits on your child’s account. Lucinda can be reached most effectively by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if my child is absent? What happens to the money in his/her account?
All money paid in advance for school lunch stays in your child’s account until he/she uses it.
Menus and Meal Cost Questions
How much do school meals cost?
Breakfast is available daily for only $1.75 for grades K-12.
Lunch is available daily for only $2.85 for grades K-8 and $3.10 for grades 9-12. Reduced-price breakfast is only $0.30 and lunch is only $0.40 for grades K-12.
What is included in a school meal?
Breakfast consists of:
- Two servings of Meat/Meat Alternate OR two servings of Grains/Breads OR one serving of each
- One serving of Fruit or Vegetables
- One serving of Milk.
Lunch consists of a minimum of:
- One serving of Meat/Meat Alternate
- One serving of Grains/Breads
- Two (different) servings of Vegetables OR two (different) servings of Fruits OR one of each
- One serving of Milk
What if my child doesn’t drink milk?
Lactaid milk is available upon request. Juice is available daily for those children who don’t drink milk. Please contact the food service director to have this option available for your child.
Can my child just purchase milk?
Yes. The cost for milk at all schools is $0.50.