Cafeteria computers keep long lines moving

The district Child Nutrition Department implemented a new computer system for selling lunches at all schools in Castro Valley. The new system is called Point-of-Sale system (POS), which consists of touch screen computers that connect to an online database where parents can view purchases made by the student.

 Students are required to enter their 5-digit student ID number upon purchasing a lunch. The computer then shows the student’s picture, record and account balance.

“I like it because I don’t have to remember to bring money for lunch anymore because of the new online pre-pay account,” said senior Christy Lee.

Since this new system has been implemented, the cafeteria staff does not have to count as much money as before because many students use the online account. The new system also prevents students from losing their lunch money or lunch tickets. Parents can place funds in a student meal account, online at, and the money will be deducted each time the student makes a purchase. However, students still have the option to pay in cash instead of using the online account.

“I think it takes a while to get our lunch, but it’s effective. However, some people might find it tedious and think that the system we followed last year was not as time consuming,” said senior Ahryun Han.

“The new system will allow us to see which meals are most popular among the students and will help us in meal planning,” said Janet Roselius, cafeteria manager. “It also offers a less discriminatory way for students who have free or reduced-price meals.”  Students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals will be treated in the same manner as the full-pay students.

“The overall change has been the hardest part because many people tend to resist change,” said Roselius. The cafeteria staff had to go through a one-day training on the system prior to the start of school.

So far, the lunch lines have appeared to be longer, but it is unclear if it is due to the new system or the increased amount of students buying lunch at the beginning of the school year.

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