PalmSecure Biometric Scanning for Cafeteria Use
Cordell Schools will soon implement the use of a near-infrared light scan which captures and stores a student’s palm vein pattern. Unlike fingerprinting technologies, the palm vein device can only recognize the pattern if the blood is actively flowing within the individual’s veins, which means that forgery is virtually impossible. The information cannot be shared with any other organizations outside of the school district. The patterns can only be used by the school district.
The device does not come in contact with the skin, making it extremely hygienic. It also makes it ideal for use with young people, who are often in a rush and are prone to forgetting or sharing, punch or swipe cards. This system ensures that parents can only be billed for meals provided to their children. Waiting times in line are also significantly reduced. Students who do touch the scanner are encouraged to use the hand sanitizer provided nearby.
Parents wishing to opt-out of the program may request that student id numbers continue to used.
School Meals are being Revamped to Enhance Nutrition.
In addition to new crayons, freshley sharpened pencils and new notebooks, Oklahoma children will be seeing something new in their school's cafeteria.
School meals impact millions of children every day, said Deana Hildebrand, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist.
“Many children eat two meals per day at school, so it’s imperative that schools become a place to make healthy food choices available to children,” Hildebrand said. “Obesity and food insecurity/hunger threaten many children, and the changes being made are consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.”
It is no secret healthier kids learn better and are more likely to graduate from high school and college. To help foster the effort of getting kids healthier, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service has partnered with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs, to assist school meal professionals in planning and preparing for new federal school lunch guidelines that go into effect during the 2012-2013 academic year. Breakfast guidelines begin in the 2013-2014 school year.
Hildebrand said these new standards are more focused on providing nutritionally sound meals to school children.
“Oklahoma school children will begin seeing increased daily servings of fruits and vegetables, in addition to a larger variety of vegetables, including red/orange, beans/legumes, dark green and other vegetables” she said.
“Students also will see a greater selection of whole grains, as well as have a choice of either flavored or unflavored fat-free milk or unflavored low-fat milk.”
Something that will be new this year is that students must take at least one-half cup of fruits and/or vegetables instead of it simply being offered as a choice.
Each school day in Oklahoma, approximately 367,000 students eat school lunches. This statistic makes it very clear that schools are an important source of nutritious food for children across the state.
“Not only will these meals help control nutritional elements that contribute to obesity, but they’ll also help ensure children who are missing meals at home are still getting nutritious food during the school day,” Hildebrand said.
About 33 percent of Oklahoma high school-age students are obese, and many children across the state go to bed hungry simply because their families cannot afford to put meals on the table every night.
In addition, more than half of Oklahoma students are eligible for free or reduced priced meals.
“Good nutrition is so important for our state’s school-aged children. The changes being made are good ones and will have a positive impact on the students’ future health,” she said.
More information can be found by clicking on this link.