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710.4 Meal Charges

In accordance with state and federal law, the Tipton Community School District adopts the following policy to ensure school district employees, families, and students have a shared understanding of expectations regarding meal charges.  The policy seeks to allow students to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day, prevent the overt identification of students with insufficient funds to pay for school meals, and maintain the financial integrity of the nonprofit school nutrition program. 

Payment of Meals

For those students in grades PreK-6, when a balance reaches $0.00 students may charge 1 breakfast and 1 lunch per day.  Ala Carte charges are not allowed.  This includes the purchase of milk or juice individually.

For those students in grades 7-12, meal purchases are to be prepaid before meal service begins.  Deposits can be made online at a designated website,  or money can be brought to any building office, for deposit.  Students who do not have sufficient funds shall not be allowed to charge meals or Ala Carte items until additional money is deposited in the student account.  Students may access an emergency principal account for up to 2 meals total.  Once a student has a positive fund balance, that account will reimburse the principal account.

Students who qualify for free meals shall never be denied a reimbursable meal, even if they have accrued a negative account balance from previous purchases.  

Students with negative account balances shall be allowed to purchase a meal if the student pays for the meal when it is received.

Employees who have a negative account balances shall not be allowed to charge meals or Ala Carte items.


Negative Account Balances

The school district will make reasonable efforts to notify families when meal account balances are low.  Access to automated reminders will be provided to families to set up a low balance dollar amount alert of their choice.  Additionally, the school district will make reasonable efforts to collect unpaid meal charges classified as delinquent debt.  The school district will coordinate communications with families to resolve the matter of negative account balances.  Families will be notified of outstanding negative account balances on Tuesday each week during the school year via e-mail, phone, or letter mailed home.  Once the negative balance reaches $20.00 families will receive a letter mailed home and a phone call.  Negative balances of more than $50.00 will be turned over to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee for collection.  Options may include: collection agencies, small claims court, or any other legal method permitted by law.


Communication of the Policy

The policy and supporting information regarding meal charges shall be provided in writing to:

  • All households at or before the start of each school year;
  • Students and families who transfer into the district, at time of transfer; and
  • All staff responsible for enforcing any aspect of the policy.


The superintendent may develop an administrative process to implement this policy.


Approved:   May 14, 2018                                             Reveiwed:                                                             Revised: