Paperwork Hurdles Left Behind as Texas School District Streamlines Meal Application Processing

Vivianne Lasala remembers when meeting the 10-day deadline for processing meal applications often meant chasing down parents for a bit of last-minute information missing from their paper forms.

Among her other duties, the child nutrition accountant for the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District had to ensure that no box was overlooked as school nutrition officials raced against the clock to get all the applications for the free and reduced meal program completed.

“We used to send the paper applications back because the parent or guardian would forget a significant date or income,” Lasala said.

Today, the district uses RocketScan software and an online application option that has the advantage of directing users to any fields that have been overlooked. Lasala has more time for things like budgeting and paying invoices.

“We really love the new system because it walks the parents and guardians through the process to be sure that all of the information is included.”

The district has also given parents and guardians access to computers at the school when they register the children each year. Today, the district processes the overwhelming majority of its applications  online.

“It has saved a lot of time and it is more efficient,” Lasala said. The school district serves parts of Bexar and Guadalupe counties, with 16 campuses and an enrollment of 15,925, according to the district website.

RocketScan: A Labor-Saving Solution that Pays for Itself

RocketScan is a cost-effective solution for districts that process 300 applications a year or more for the free and reduced lunch program.  In many cases, the software – which can extract the data from 4,000 to 6,000 paper applications in a day – pays for itself within the first year of use in labor savings. It’s 10 times faster than the best of manual efforts, with 100% accuracy.

The software can match applications to student records within seconds and automatically checks for student numbers, valid SNAP/TANF numbers, the preparer’s social security number, and the child’s status.

Comprehensive reporting capability also streamlines auditing processes and automatic eligibility calculations means no eligible students are overlooked.

RocketScan software has helped nutrition departments in more than 350 school districts across the country recoup hundreds of hours of time, with streamlined processes for scanning, processing, filing, and reporting meal program data.

To learn more about what RocketScan can do to streamline meal application processing for your school nutrition program, give us a call or click on the link below.