Hopkins Public Schools, located near Minneapolis, Minn., realized the limitations of their stand-alone third-party food service and online payments software. Long recognized as leaders in Twin Cities’ educational technology, Hopkins made the decision to add Campus Food Service and Campus Online Payments to their fully-integrated Infinite Campus student information system (SIS).
Prior to using Infinite Campus, Hopkins experienced the normal frustrations with stand-alone software including frozen terminals, malfunctioning pin pads, and the need to continually synchronize data between systems.
Using separate systems for the SIS and the point of sale required Hopkins to do duplicate work in maintaining both systems during the school year. When rolling data forward for the next school year, their tasks were likewise duplicated. Hopkins needed the ability to maintain and roll-forward student data in one system to save staﬀ time and eliminate the potential for data entry error. To round out their solution, Hopkins desired the ability to manage fees and payments via an SIS-integrated online solution.
Food service in a school cafeteria is one of the most time-sensitive operations in any district. Transactions must be quickly and accurately processed. With Campus Food Service cashiers process transactions quickly and students enjoy a more eﬃcient lunch room experience. With fewer issues during service time, end day reports are more accurate.
“Campus Food Service is the best solution for Hopkins because of its full integration with our SIS,” said Barb Machura, Hopkins Food Service Manager. “We’re now spending more time on nutrition and wellness activities because we aren’t bogged down with the information management activities we had with our previous system. We had a lot of comments from our cashiers after the first couple days saying ‘I love the system. It’s absolutely great.’”
Campus Online Payments is a secure electronic payment processing solution for both food service and fee transactions. Hopkins quickly found that it eliminated cash handling, reduced lost checks, improved
cash flow, created oﬃce eﬃciencies, and enhanced internal controls.
Hopkins parents use Campus Online Payments with the highest level of confidence. All transactions go through Payment Card Industry (PCI) Level 1 compliant payment vendor, Vanco Serices, LLC. Infinite Campus has formed a strategic alliance with Vanco for the highest security rating available.
“The most frequently asked question by parents and guardians concerns the security of their account information,” said Sid Voss, Hopkins Director of Information Technology.” After we explain the safeguards for security and confidentiality put in place through Infinite Campus, they feel comfortable using it.”
Because Campus Food Service and Campus Online Payments directly use the data stored in the secure, district-wide Campus database, no data conversion was necessary and Hopkins stakeholders were able to realize the many advantages of these modules almost immediately. Within a few months, Hopkins found the integrated Infinite Campus solution to be more eﬃcient and easier to use than their former food service and online payment software. And parents love it.
The integration of Campus Food Service and Campus Online Payments with the student data and reports available within the Campus SIS enables Hopkins to save staﬀ time that is now available for other duties.
Parents have expressed appreciation for the real-time accuracy of account information available through the Campus Portal. Monitoring their student’s food purchases gives parents an opportunity to encourage healthy eating and ensures that account balances are ample for their student’s needs. Online fee payments eliminate the possibility of lost checks or a delay in posting and uploading fee receipts in a third-party system that could jeopardize a student’s eligibility for trips and activities.
With Infinite Campus as their SIS, food service provider, and online payments system, the information that is critical to so many customer-facing business processes is handled in the most efficient and secure manner currently possible. Staff have fewer checks to handle. Cash flow is improved by eliminating slow uploads from a third party online payment system. Office staff efficiency is improved. Audit information is accurate and available in real time.