District introduces SchoolCafé for online meal payments
Guilderland Central School District is pleased to offer SchoolCafé, a safe and secure way for parents to make online cafeteria meal payments via credit or debit card and view student meal account activity.
"This is something that our parents have been requesting for quite a while," said School Lunch Director Linda Mossop. "Not only is the system convenient for families but it also reduces the risk of lost or forgotten money and allows parents to see exactly what their child is purchasing from the school cafeteria."
Once a SchoolCafé account is established, parents will be able to:
• Prepay for student meals using a Visa or Mastercard
• View account balances and student purchase history
• Receive e-mail notices when account balance is low
• Set-up automatic payments
• Access the website 24 hours a day, 7 days per week
Students will not need to maintain swipe cards in order to use the service; instead, children will use their student ID number in order to access their account balance in the school cafeteria. Food service workers will have a copy of all student ID numbers in case a child forgets his/her information.
In addition, as an added security feature, all school cafeterias will also utilize the district's student management system to match student faces and given ID numbers at check-out. By doing so, cafeteria workers will be able to confirm that students use only their own, individual accounts when purchasing food items.
How do parents sign-up?
To create an account, simply visit www.schoolcafe.com from any Internet-enabled computer.
Once registered, parents will be able to add their child(ren) to their account and make online payments and/or add money to their child's account balance. You will also need to know your child's Student ID number in order to link your account to your child. Please note: There is a convenience charge for using SchoolCafé. Parents will be charged $1.75 for up to every $100 placed on their child's account. This fee does not go to the school district; it is paid directly to SchoolCafé.
Families who do not wish to establish a SchoolCafé account for payment may still pay for school meals using cash or check. Money can be paid into a student's account at the register with no fees attached. At the elementary level, all cash and checks are collected from students and processed through the main office. The money is then placed directly on a student's account. At the middle and high school levels, students may continue to pay at the register as they have done in the past. Please note that all checks should be made out to "School Lunch Fund".
Frequently asked questions about SchoolCafé accounts
Q. I do not know my child's Student ID number. Where
can I get that information?
A. If you do not know your child's Student ID number, please contact Tammy McGill at the District Office at 456-6200, ext. 3108, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Middle and high school Student ID numbers may be located on student schedules or on any previous school report card. Elementary parents should contact either their child's school main office or Mrs. McGill for their child's Student ID number.
Q. Does my child need to know his/her Student ID
number in order to purchase food from the cafeteria?
A. Yes, all students at the high school and middle school purchasing food from school cafeterias will now need to punch in their Student ID number at the register--regardless of whether or not they are using the SchoolCafé system for payment. Food service workers will have a copy of all Student ID numbers in case a child forgets his/her information. In the elementary schools, food service workers will do a classroom picture/name look up to assist younger students.
Q. How long does it take an
online payment to show up on my child's account at school?
A. Online payments typically post within 24 hours.
Will I be charged a transaction fee for each
A. If a parent puts money on their children's (2 or more) account at the same time, only one convenience fee will be charged for each payment up to $100.
Q. Can I set-up a SchoolCafé account just to
track my child's meal selections?
A. Absolutely. All parents can sign-up for a SchoolCafé account free of charge, even if they are not planning to add money to a student account using the service. (A convenience fee is only applied when you actually use your credit card to place money on a student's account.) Once you have established an account, you can view and track your child's meal selections.
Is there a way to be notified when my child's
account is low?
A. Yes, parents may sign-up to receive an e-mail alert when their child's account balance is low. Login to SchoolCafé; the "My Student Account" page is the default page. From there, choose "Low Balance Alert" from the section on the left and set the balance level at which you would like to be alerted for each child's account.
What happens to the money in my child's account
at the end of the school year?
A. For your convenience, your child's account balance will move with them from grade to grade and school to school within the district.
I was trying to make a payment and it locked my
account. What happened?
A. For security purposes, after three failed payment attempts a user's payment function is locked. You will need to contact SchoolCafé Support to have the lock removed.
Is there a Joint Account option?
A. You can use the "Add Student" button to manage all of your children’s accounts from one SchoolCafé account. When you make an online payment simply enter how much of that payment should go to each child.
Who can I contact for more information?
A. For more information on the Guilderland Central School District School Nutrition Program, please contact School Lunch Director Linda Mossop at 456-6200, ext. 3110. For technical support with the SchoolCafé website, please contact SchoolCafé Support or call (866) 442-6030.