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Blackboard Connect Webinar Slides: Cut District Costs and Collect Unpaid Lunch Balances
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Blackboard Connect Webinar Slides: Cut District Costs and Collect Unpaid Lunch Balances


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View these slides from a recent webinar about ways in which schools and districts can collect unpaid lunch balances. Read information from two school districts that are using their mass notification …

View these slides from a recent webinar about ways in which schools and districts can collect unpaid lunch balances. Read information from two school districts that are using their mass notification tool, Blackboard Connect with their food service POS to send automated messages to families. Schools are keeping their lunch balances down and informing families about nutritious meal options

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  • 1. Cut District Costs and Collect Unpaid School Lunch Balances   The Public Schools of Robeson County, NC The Public Schools of Brookline, MA
  • 2. Cutting Costs and Increasing Funds
    • District
    • Opportunities
    District Challenges Adoption Outcomes Administrators are responding to the current and anticipated funding and staff shortfalls with remarkable speed, creativity and precision. Many schools and districts are harnessing technology to overcome their challenges to increase student success and maximize efficiencies.
    • Fiscal challenges and funding cuts
    • Staff reductions - school districts are cutting all types of jobs, from instructional teaching positions and librarians to nurses and support
    • Negative public perceptions of acquiring new technology
    • Need to meet/exceed state and federal performance assessment
    • Automated technology– increases attendance, improves staff efficiencies, recovers funds, reduces paper and printing costs
      • Technology is a strategic resource for entire district:
        • Delivers significant, tangible cost savings and revenue enhancements
        • Serves as an updated and modern communication vehicle
        • Improves teaching, learning and many daily district functions
  • 3.
    • Open lines of communication amongst parents, students, teachers and administrators
    • Increase parent participation in academic, district and school level activities
    • Streamline communications to reduce costs
    • Deliver real-time performance assessment
    • Overcome language barriers by communicating in native languages
    How Can You Effectively Respond to Today’s District Challenges? COMMUNITY
  • 4. Our Business
      • We provide the software and services that K-12, Higher-Ed and other education institutions use to build a better education experience for their students and teachers.
  • 5. Our Community
      • •   4,800 K-12 SCHOOL DISTRICTS
      • •  1,200 CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT
  • 6. Our Platforms Web Based Teaching & Learning Campus Commerce & Security Multi-Modal Alerts & Notifications Mobile Access & Connectivity Synchronous Classrooms & Collaboration Education Analytics & Reporting Strategic Consulting Student Services & Support Hosting
  • 7. Integrated Solutions Blackboard Mobile Learn Multi-Modal Messaging Blackboard Learn + Collaborate Blackboard Mobile District
  • 8. Blackboard Connect
    • Fully-hosted notification and alert solution for reaching millions in minutes through Voice, Email, SMS, Text, TTY, Wireless, and PDA capabilities.
    • 2,600 clients in K-12, Higher Education, and Government.
    • 800 million messages delivered in 2010. 99.99% uptime, 24/7/365 client care.
    Multi-Modal Alerts & Notifications
  • 9. The Public Schools of Robeson County Child Nutrition Program Craig Lowry Nutrition Director
  • 10.
    • District Size: 42 Schools
    • 23,971 Student Population
    • 81% Free/ Reduce
    • Demographics:
      • American Indian—41%
      • African American—29%
      • White—15%
      • Hispanic—10%
      • Other—5%
  • 11.
    • County participates in multiple food programs
      • The National School Lunch Program ( NSLP )
      • National Breakfast Program ( NSBP )
      • Kindergarten Breakfast, and After school Snack Program
    • Our schools receive a USDA Grant for reimbursement of meals
    Child Nutrition Programs
  • 12.
    • Participation in the fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Program
      • 5 schools participating in this program
      • Introduces students to all fruits and vegetables
    • Back Pack Program
      • This is a food take home program on the weekends for students
      • We have 4 schools participating in this program
    Child Nutrition Programs
  • 13.
    • Average daily Breakfast/Lunch attendance is 22,741 students.
    • Average daily After School Snack attendance is 881.
    • Average daily Kindergarten Breakfast attendance is 1,337.
    Meal Data
  • 14.
    • Previously using letters and phone calls to inform parents of past due balances for student meals.
    • Ineffective for our district - letters were not received by parents.
    Notifying Parents of Balances
  • 15.
    • In April of 2010, we began sending school lunch balance messages to parents via Blackboard Connect
    • Reduced the districts charges for meals by 40% for 2009-2010 school year.
    • Currently calling parents on a weekly basis for overdue charges
    • Expecting charges to be reduced by additional 20% for the 2010-2011 school year with the continue by calling parents directly
    Reducing School Lunch Balances with Blackboard Connect
  • 16.
    • Informing parents about activities:
      • School activities, PTA meetings, and more.
      • Parent involvement meetings held monthly.
    • Inclement weather
    • School emergencies
    Other Uses
  • 17.
      • Sonya Elder, PhD
      • Director of Food Services
    The Public Schools of Brookline Brookline, Massachusetts Using Blackboard Connect in Food Services
  • 18. District Information
        • Town of Brookline, Massachusetts
          • Just west of Boston
          • Approximately 60,000 residents
        • School District Size = 9 Schools
            • 8 K-8 Schools
            • 1 High School
        • Student Enrollment = 6,627
  • 19. District Information
        • 11% Free and Reduced Meal Eligibility
        • Diverse Population
            • 7.2% African American
            • 18.0% Asian
            • 9.3% Hispanic
            • 58.5% White
            • 6.9% Multi-Race
  • 20. Department of Food Services
        • Breakfast and lunch served at all 9 schools (plus lunch at 1 satellite school)
        • Fully-functioning kitchens at all 9 schools
        • Our Mission
        • Our Service
        • Our Food
        • To provide healthy, tasty, high-quality, affordable meals to the students and staff of the Brookline Public Schools
        • Focus on scratch cooking and good nutrition
        • Including more locally-produced foods: produce, all-natural hamburgers, pasta, bagels
        • Incorporating nutrition education: Make It Meatless initiative, Visits from celebrity chef Ken Oringer, etc.
  • 21. Department of Food Services
        • Participation rate:
          • Approximately 10% for breakfast
          • Approximately 40% for lunch
          • Financially stable for past 3 years
          • Revenue comes from:
            • Meal sales (student and adult)
            • Federal and state reimbursements
            • Some catering and vending
  • 22. Outstanding School Lunch Balances
        • Average of $25,000-$35,000 in outstanding school lunch balances, representing 1000-1500 accounts
        • Prior to using Blackboard Connect, Food Services used a number of methods to remind families about negative lunch balances:
          • Letters from Food Services or school administration
          • Notices/calls from Kitchen Managers
          • Switched to using Blackboard Connect approximately 3 years ago
          • Now use Community Outreach, as a Blend-It Phone call
            • Phone calls made every 2-3 weeks
  • 23. Outstanding School Lunch Balances
        • What we communicate:
        • Hi, this is Sonya Elder, the Food Service Director for Brookline Public Schools. Your child currently has a negative lunch account balance. Please deposit money in your child's lunch account and maintain a positive balance. Please wait for your child's balance at the end of this message. Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please call 617-730-2415.
        • As of today, the balance for:
        • Text-to-Speech:
        • [FIRST_NAME] is [FLEX_FIELD].
  • 24. Outstanding School Lunch Balances
          • See burst in payments immediately after phone calls
          • Benefits of using Blackboard Connect:
            • More efficient
            • Consistent message
            • Control at district level
            • Works well in combination with other reminders
  • 25. Marketing
        • We need to publicize our program!
        • We use Blackboard Connect for:
          • Monthly email announcements of menus
          • Email announcements of special events in Food Services
          • Email distribution of Food Services newsletters
  • 26. Q and A
  • 27. Thank you for joining us today! For more information from Robeson County: [email_address] For more information from Brookline Public Schools: [email_address] To learn more about increasing funds and ways to improve district efficiencies, contact Blackboard Connect: or 800-213-7168