Rockford Area Schools, located just outside of Minneapolis, had been using a third-party food service option, since 1999. The district was in need of an efficient way to replace its antiquated cafeteria management processes. In 2009, they chose Infinite Campus, a fully-integrated, Web-based student information system (SIS). When Rockford learned that Infinite Campus also had an integrated food service option, they couldn’t resist. They knew the seamless integration between their SIS and their food service functions would be instrumental.
The third-party food service system required Rockford’s staff and administrators to enter the same data on separate systems. Double data entry and duplicated maintenance efforts became a timely process. It generated inconsistent data between systems, and student information was not updated in real time.
Paula Wanous, Rockford Account Clerk stated, “Our old food service system was not user friendly. Parents needed two separate logins to see their student’s information.”
With two separate logins, it was a hassle for parents to check their student’s account information. They needed a system that was fully-integrated, so student data could be accessed from a centralized location.
“I worked closely with the setup of Campus Food Service. It was a simple step-by-step process. We were able to upload all current balances and keep existing student lunch numbers. It was quite easy and had very little setup time, which was extremely helpful for students,” recalled Wanous.
Campus Food Service streamlines cafeteria operations and improves efficiency of all food service employees. In addition, parents and students have immediate, secure access to cafeteria information via the Campus Portal.
Wanous markets the Campus Portal to parents through Campus Food Service. “With the real-time integration of the Campus Portal and SIS, parents can see their students’ lunch account, daily food purchases and deposits, which help persuade parents to login to the Campus Portal to keep current on their student’s activity. Once they’ve logged into the portal, they can see all of the other features it offers such as assignments, grades, schedules and school notices. With the Campus Portal, parents become more connected and involved in their student’s day-to-day experience,” said Wanous.
Additionally, Rockford eliminated transaction processing time with Campus Food Service Point of Sale (POS). The POS terminals use touch screen technology with a self-evident visual data entry screen. As a student or staff member goes through the cafeteria line, they enter a PIN into the touchpad and the POS terminal gives the cashier their photo ID, appropriate account and meal information. Rockford’s integrated system records the transaction and the data is immediately recorded in Infinite Campus.
“Campus Food Service POS has improved the speed and accuracy of our lunch lines. The POS screen is user-friendly, so it’s easy for our food service employees to understand and run on a day to day basis,” said Wanous.
The positive results of Infinite Campus and its food service solution are extensive. The district saves valuable time that is now available for other tasks.
Parents can monitor their student’s food purchases which give them an opportunity to encourage healthy eating. Also, they can make sure account balances are sufficient for their student’s needs.
“When parents view their student’s account activity and balance, it improves communication and cuts down phone call to the district regarding account information,” said Wanous. “I moved to Rockford 13 years ago and enrolled my son in kindergarten. As a parent and an employee, I can safely say Infinite Campus is the most user-friendly system Rockford has ever had. The ability to login to the Campus Portal and see my children’s grades, attendance, fees, lunch account information, and easily update my contact information all in one place is invaluable. As an employee, the intuitive interface of the system and the ease of data entry streamline my everyday tasks.”