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Educational Benefits

  • Columbia Heights Public Schools provides a healthy breakfast,lunch and after-school snack for students each day. This school year we are approved to be a Community Eligible District (CEP) at all of our school sites. It is very important that all families who do not receive a letter from the district stating their household is "Directly Certified" fill out an educational benefits application to determine the household eligibility in order to qualify for additional educational benefits. Starting on September 5th, 2023, all meals will be served at no cost to any household as the Universal Meals Bill was passed by Governor Walz and the State of Minnesota Legislature in May 2023. 

    All households should fill out an online educational benefits application prior to the first day of school on September 5th, 2023. Here is a list of other benefits that apply to households who qualify:

    • Reduced rates for middle and high school activities
    • Compensatory funds for the District to reduce class sizes, provide counseling and social work services, and hire media specialists and educational assistants
    • Reduced tuition and/or scholarships for early childhood programming
    • Reduced AP testing and college application fees
    • Title 1 funds for the District for academic support

    Apply ONLINE
    Download the Application / (Ver en Espanol)

    Application Letter / (Ver en Espanol)

Food Services

  • Welcome Back to School by the entire Food Services Team! Columbia Heights Public Schools provide students with access to a variety of foods that meet the health and nutritional needs of our students. We serve foods that meet state and federal requirements, which are based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines. This school year we are excited to be able to add a number of breakfast and lunch entrees that were voted on and tested by the students last school year. Our goals are always around continuous improvement in all areas and this year we did a refresh of the High School Cafeteria and a large capital improvement project at Columbia Academy. A few of our goals for this school year include offering more plant-based options, eliminating food waste, increasing our recycling and composting efforts and utilizing our scanning technology at all levels to increase the speed of service at the point of sale checkout for all students from K-12th grade.

    Our team has been working hard to prepare to welcome all students back to school, and offer a variety of food choices to appeal to all students. Our entire district is participating in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP), which means all meals are of no cost to the household beginning on Sept. 5th, 2023 for the entire school year, and we hope that the menu changes planned for this school year will further help all of our students achieve their academic goals. If you have a student with special dietary needs, please have your health care provider fill out the Special Dietary Needs form attached below and turn it into the school nurse at the Back to School open house. 

    Special Dietary Needs Form

    Our team looks forward to serving your students all year, and being a vital part of their academic experience! Enjoy the rest of the summer.

    Best regards-

    Pam Haupt, Food Service Coordinator

Student Meal Account Information

  • Below are the instructions for creating an online account with MySchoolBucks, so you can track the meals your student is getting, track their balance and make payments/add funds to their lunch account.

    1. Go to (or alternatively a link can be found on our district website by going to: – “MENUS” à “ONLINE MEAL PAYMENTS”)
    2. Sign Up Free
    3. Complete the steps (it asks for your email, first and last name, phone number (used for password resets if you would like that option), and finally you create a password)
    4. Once created, it will have you log-in for the first time (it will probably have a verification code sent to you the first time, but you can select “Don’t Ask Again” to avoid that in the future)
    5. It will show you your account information, including the contact information you entered, as well as the Account Security (which you can set up at this time, in case you forget your password at any point).
    6. Once you are ready, click “Get Started
    7. It will then have you add your District – so state = Minnesota, District = Columbia Heights ISD àAdd District
    8. It should either have a pop-up to click on that says “Add Student” or, it will just be right on the first screen.
    9. You will then complete the information for your student(s) – School, First and Last Name are REQUIRED – and EITHER the birthday of the student OR student number (or both if you’d like) as the second form of verification to locate them
    10. Once you enter the information, and click “Find Student”, it will bring up a “match”, verify the information and click “Add Student
    11. It will have the option to receive emails if the account falls below $X (you can decide) and you will be able to see and track the balance from the home screen when you log in, additionally once the meals start being charged, you can see the cafeteria purchase history as well.

    If you need assistance with your account, check out this How-to Videos or Frequently Asked Questions. Or you can call the Food Services Department at 763.528.4520

Contact Us

Online Meal Payments

School Meal Requirements

  • Proper nutrition affects students' academic performance as well as their health, so healthy meals play an important role in public schools. Students in Columbia Heights Public Schools can enjoy well-balanced meals at breakfast and lunch every school day.

    Enjoy your meals!

    What must they contain?
    A student must take three full components (as listed on the attachment). One MUST be a ½ cup fruit or vegetable or a combination of fruit/vegetable. They may take up to all five components:

    • Fruit
    • Vegetable
    • Meat or Meat Alternate
    • Milk
    • Grain

    Where do students or families access the menus?
    Our school lunch menus are all available online.

    How do you apply for free/reduced price lunch?
    Families can apply online or by filling out and returning a hard copy form. Forms are available at all schools and the Placement Center.

    Who can families contact with questions at the school or district level about food or accounts?
    Parents can contact their school's kitchen manager with any questions regarding meals or accounts.