Elkin City Schools introduced new technology in the form of a payment portal that will allow parents to balance school meal payments in addition to tracking what their children are purchasing in the school cafeteria.
ECS Director of Business and Finance Jan Zachary said it would allow a convenience in that kids would not have to carry checks or cash to school.
The portal called K12PaymentCenter.com will have enhanced monitoring options for managing low account balances on a round-the-clock basis, in addition to the ability to monitor child nutrition and cafeteria food choices, according to ECS Child Nutrition Director Debbie McCoin. Purchasing history also may be found on the site.
McCoin said, “Good nutrition is essential to learning. If parents stay involved with nutrition the way they do with grades, it benefits the child.”
McCoin said the Child Nutrition Services is a nonprofit operation employing 14 people, and operates two cafeterias in Elkin City Schools serving more than 956 meals per day — about 217 breakfasts and 738 lunches.
“We operate the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program in all of our schools. In conjunction with providing healthy, nutritious meals at a reasonable cost, we provide nutrition education for students as we seek to introduce our students to healthier meal time choices for a better way of life,” said McCoin.
In order to access the site, parents will need student ID numbers.
Zachary said Elkin Middle School and Elkin High School students have their ID numbers and can share with their parents. In addition, letters with student ID numbers will be in each Elkin Elementary School student’s folders on Friday, said Zachary.
ECS School Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe said, “What I love about the concept is how we are trying to make it more convenient for parents to prepay for their child’s lunch and not have to worry about daily and weekly money.”
Bledsoe said the format parallels of what is done when going online to make a house or car payment. It is bringing accessibility to parents, he said.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.