Tips for Closing the School Year

The 2017-18 school year is quickly coming to an end.  Since the last day of school is fast approaching, we wanted to let you know that Meals Plus has an easy check list to follow for both closing the school year and starting next school year.

Year-end instructions are available via the System Management component’s online help files as “Appendix A: Close School Year, Begin Next.” To access online help (in any module), click Help, and then “Content” from the menu across the top of the page. These instructions are also available in an easily printable format via the support page of MealsPlus.com.

This appendix will walk you through the steps you will want to take prior to closing the year in Meals Plus, as well as steps to start the next fiscal year. Please note that one of the requirements for closing the year is a backup of the Meals Plus database (within the last 24 hours). If you are notified during the process that a backup is required, we can assist. Please call the help desk with access to your Meals Plus database server, at (800) 541-8999, option 1. Hosted customers may also call at their convenience to request a backup when they are ready to close the year.

Please especially take note of the following:

1. We highly recommend that the end of school year database backup be saved off of your server, and not routinely deleted.  As a best practice, we would recommend that ALL Meals Plus backups be saved on a device outside of your network. We have seen many instances of ransomware this year, and having backups off of your server is critical. If this is a concern, please contact our sales team for options for Meals Plus to monitor and perform your backups through the cloud, or host your data.

2. If you use our Free and Reduced component, and your Meal Benefit Expiration is set to 6/30/2018, and you do not plan on closing the school year prior to that date, please contact us with access to your Meals Plus database (or let us know if we host your data) so we can make sure your student statuses are not set back to full pay. This setting is found in the Free & Reduced module, under Administration, Meal Benefit Expiration.  If you have multiple Meal Benefit Expirations set up, please be sure to check each one.

3. We can disable LunchApplication.com over the summer if you do not wish to accept applications. This will give you time to update your contact information, Non-Discrimination Statement, FAQs, Site information and meal prices for the next school year as needed. Also, if you are looking for state compliance statements, they are now available on the MealsPlus.com website after logging in; simply search by state.

4. We recommend that you disable your automatic student imports when you close the school year so that your student information is not updated incorrectly. We recommend you not enable imports again until the Student Information System is updated with data for the new school year. This is done in System Management from the Administration menu. To disable, simply select “Auto Transfer Settings.” Note: If we host your data and your imports, 

  • For customer using our hosted/cloud database solution, please stop placing a file on the ftp server, or call the help desk so we can disable the auto import.
  • For nightly auto imports of a flat file imports from your own server, uncheck the days of the week on the General tab. This function should be disabled until your Student Information System has been rolled over to the new year.
  • For PowerSchool Connector, uncheck “Enable PowerSchool Integration” until your Student Information System has been rolled over to the new year.
  • For VendorLink, uncheck “Enable VendorLink Integration” until your Student Information System has been rolled over to the new year.
  • For Aeries Connector, uncheck “Enable Aeries Integration” until your Student Information System has been rolled over to the new year.
  • For North Carolina customers using either of the Linker file imports, uncheck the days of the week on the General tab prior to the “enroll until” date in the file. This function should be disabled until your Student Information System has been rolled over to the new year.

For more detailed information, please see the System Management component’s online help files “Appendix A: Close School Year, Begin Next.” Also, there is a webinar on the Meals Plus Support website. To watch the webinar, login to the site and click the “webinars” tab. Scroll to “Close the School Year” and watch at your convenience.

We hope everyone has a wonderful summer break! We’ll be here if you need us, getting ready for the 2018-19 year ahead.