SWCS slashes student fees

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The South-Western City Schools District has reduced its student fee schedule for the 2020-2021 calendar year.

At the Sept. 14 meeting, the board of education unanimously approved the reduction, which calls for a majority of the fees to be slashed by 50 percent.

The decision, officials said, was two-fold.

According to Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise, the alteration was needed due to changes to in-person instruction and the loss of some competitive opportunities.

“We just aren’t putting as many buses on the roads and kids may not have as many opportunities to participate so some of those expenses have gone away,” he told the board while issuing the proposal at the meeting last month.

He added that with the students not having the typical five-day physical presence in the building, it did not make sense to charge them full price for an annual consumable fee.

Board member Anthony Caldwell said it also offered parents a financial break in this current environment.

“We recognize the challenges these times are having on families,” he stated.

Under the modified fee schedule, the instructional fee, or consumable fee, will be set at $10 rather than the typical $20. Other fee reductions for courses include the arts, the sciences and several career technical electives and programs. Art courses offering one credit lab courses will be $17.50, half-credit courses are set at $10, and science fees are $5. Those taking family and consumer science courses, such as principles of food, culinary fundamentals and textiles and interior design will be charged $10.

Students involved in extracurricular activities will also see a fee reduction of 50 percent. Families with children who participate in athletics at the middle school level will be asked to pay $37.50 per student, per sport; families with children who participate in athletics at the high school level will be asked to pay $75 per student, per sport.

Fees for marching band participation is $50; club participation is $5; and the family cap is set at $250.

High school parking fees are $25 but the fee can be waived if a parking pass was purchased at Columbus State Community College for on-campus courses. Proof of a current pass must be presented in order for the fee to be waived.

Wise said that students or parents who have already paid at the regular price will be offered a refund or have the credit applied for the future.

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