A New School Year Unlike Any Other | A message from Jeremy Loch

Posted by Jeremy Loch on Jul 7, 2020 10:30:00 AM

We know that for many of you, this upcoming school year may be one of the most challenging years you have ever faced. There are likely a number of new guidelines you need to adhere to, changing or fluctuating schedules for students and staff, as well as a number of decisions that have yet to be made. “Overwhelmed” is probably an understatement.

I want you to know that we are here for you, and we will do our very best to provide the tools, knowledge, and support that you need to meet the challenges ahead. Here at Heartland, we’ve spent the past several months talking through the particular obstacles you may face in the new year, and as your technology partner, what we can do to help you overcome them. By coupling our internal efforts with feedback we’ve received directly from our customers, we’ve created a number of tools to help you face the new year confidently and meet any challenges head-on. 

What we've heard from you

A few weeks ago, we reached out to a number of our customers asking folks to complete a survey so we can better understand your needs in the coming year. Many of you shared concerns about meeting social distancing guidelines, changing the way your schools serve meals, and how you will communicate program changes to parents and students. 

Top 3 concerns for school nutrition staff:

lunch (1)Serving meals in the classroom - 73%

social_distancingMaintaining social distancing guidelines in the cafeteria - 67%

mobile_orderCollecting meal orders and tracking meal counts - 61%

Top 3 concerns for business office staff:

cash_handledReducing the amount of physical cash/checks staff need to handle - 60%

notificationNotifying parents when specific fees are due - 30%

registrationManaging paperwork associated with registrations - 27%


We dug into your feedback and I’m excited to share a few things we’ve been working on to help you adjust to new guidelines and changes to your program in the coming year: 

  • Online Meal Orders - Whether you’re planning to serve meals in the classroom, at grab-and-go stations, or for students to take home, it will be important to stay safe and plan ahead. We have multiple meal pre-ordering options where parents can order meals for their students or teachers can order for their entire classroom.

  • Start of School Playbook - If you want to learn tips on completing your start of year tasks or just need to order new hardware, this is the place to start. This Playbook will guide you through setting up your Point of Sale and the steps you need to take to be well-prepared and ready to serve students on the first day of school.

  • Self-Help Resources - Our new Resource Central is your go-to site for all your Heartland products. Browse a list of articles and videos for your specific software platform, or search the entire database to find what you’re looking for. You can also ask questions and get feedback directly from other Heartland users.

Join an upcoming webinar

We are hosting a series of webinars where you can learn more about each of the items listed above, and dive into the different ways you can leverage your technology to meet the new guidelines you’ll face this school year. 

  • Serving in the Classroom & Contactless Serving Lines
    July 14th @ 2pm ET   Register

  • Plan Ahead with Online Meal Orders
    July 21 @ 2pm ET  |  Register

  • Going Cashless & Paperless on Campus
    Date & Time: To be announced soon!

What else can we do for you?

There are probably a number of uncertainties that still lie ahead for you, and your needs may change in the coming days, weeks, and months. As you head back to school in the fall, please don't hesitate to reach out to us should you need assistance. Our team is here to serve you, and we look forward to tackling the new year together by your side.



Jeremy Loch
SVP & General Manager
School Solutions