School Fee Policy

 

 

Philosophy:

The Soldier Hollow Charter School Board of Education shares in Utah’s strong tradition of supporting free public education for all of its children.  Despite Utah’s commitment to free education, funding shortfalls have, over the years, led to the emergence of a fees to support activities in and outside of the school.

 

The Soldier Hollow Charter School Board of Education believes that due to these changes, shortfalls and circumstances that have evolved over the years that it is necessary to assess some fees for the purpose of maintaining programs and covering extra costs not funded by state revenues.

 

Definitions:

1.  Fee:  Any charge, deposit, rental, or other mandatory payment, however designated.

2.  Provision in Lieu of Fee Waiver:  An alternative to fee payment and waiver of fee payment. A plan under which fees are paid in installments or under some other delayed payment arrangement is not a waiver or provision of in lieu of fee waiver.

3.  Student Supplies:  Items which are the personal property of a student which, although used in the instructional process, are also commonly purchased and used by persons not enrolled in the class or activity in question and have a high probability of regular use in other than school-sponsored activities. The term includes, but not limited to pencils, papers, notebooks, crayons, scissors, basic clothing for healthy lifestyle classes, and similar personal or consumable items over which a student retains ownership.

4.  Optional Project:  A project chosen and retained by a student in a vocational or other class where projects are part of the curriculum, in lieu of a meaningful and productive project otherwise available to the student which would require only school-supplied materials.

5.  Textbooks:  A book, workbook, periodical, newspaper, other printed materials, or may be computer software or other materials similar in function to the foregoing.

6.  Waiver:  Release from the requirement of payment of a fee and from any provision in lieu of fee payment.

 

Policy:

The purpose of this Policy is to permit the orderly establishment of a reasonable system of fees, while prohibiting practices of excessive fees and fees that would exclude those unable to pay from participation in school-supported activities.

 

1.   Classes and Activities During the Regular School Day:

A.   No fee may be charged for any activity in kindergarten through fifth grade, including assemblies and field trips.  Donations or contributions may be invited on forms provided to parents/guardians of students, but must clearly state that donations and contributions are voluntary, and are not required for participation in an activity or class.
B.   Textbook, lab and other course-related fees may only be charged in grades six, seven and eight.
C.   Students of all grade levels may be required to provide materials for their optional projects. No students shall be required to construct an optional project.
D.   Student supplies and books must be provided free to elementary students. A student may, however, be required to replace supplies or books provided by the school which are lost, wasted, or damaged by the student due to careless or irresponsible behavior.
E.   Six, seventh and eighth grade students may be required to provide their own supplies. In order to avoid excessive costs to students and where waivers are granted, teachers should avoid requirements which involve specific color, size, style, or vendors of items classified as student supplies.
F.   It is the Policy of SHCS that those responsible for the loss, damage, or vandalism of school property shall be responsible for all related costs in replacing the property. Failure of the parent/guardian or student to do so may result in the school pursuing further action to replace school property.

 

2.   School Activities Outside the Regular Day:

A.   Fees may be charged in connection with any school-sponsored activity for secondary students if the participation is voluntary and does not affect a student’s grade or ability to participate fully in any course taught during the regular school day. This section applies to school-sponsored activities before and after school and on days when school is not in session.
B.   Fees may be charged for extra-curricular activities sponsored by SHCS such as optional full day kindergarten, after school clubs, after school language programs or child care for after school ski programs.

 

3.    General Provisions:

A.   No teacher, administrator, or other employee, or agent of the school may charge or assess a fee in connection with any class or school-sponsored or supported activity, including extra-curricular activities, unless the fee has been set and approved by the Soldier Hollow Charter School Board of Education in accordance with this Policy.
B.   A School Fee Schedule shall be approved by the Board each year, prior to school beginning. Provisions shall be made for a public hearing designed to ensure public notice and participation at this annual adoption.
C.   No present or former student may be denied receipt of report cards or records for failure to pay school fees other than a reasonable charge made to cover the cost of duplicating and mailing. No charge may be made for duplicating or mailing copies of school records to an elementary or secondary school in which the student is enrolled or intends to enroll.

OR

C. In accordance with Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-806, any school whose property has been lost or willfully cut, defaced, or otherwise injured may withhold the issuance of official

written grade reports, diploma, and transcripts of the student responsible for the damage

or loss until the student or the student’s parent or guardian has paid for the damages.

1.  Students shall be given notice and an opportunity to pay fines prior to withholding Issuance of official written grade reports, diplomas and transcripts.

2.  If the student and the student’s parent or guardian are unable to pay for damages or if it is determined by the school in consultation with the student’s parents that the student’s interests would not be served if the parents were to pay for the damages, then, the school may provide for a program of voluntary work for the student in lieu of the payment.
D.   Fees for yearbooks, trips, camps, optional items, and other similar items are not fees and are not subject to the waiver of requirements of this Policy.
E.   Students shall be able to enroll and participate in any class and have the opportunity to acquire all skills and knowledge required for full credit and accurate grades, without paying a fee.
F.   Requirements to provide fee waiver or alternate method of payment shall not apply to charges for lost or damaged school property.
G.   Soldier Hollow Charter School may employ the services of a collection agency to collect unpaid student fees.
I.   The school shall complete and submit the required Elementary, Secondary and District Compliance forms annually as they are outlined by the Utah State Office of Education.

4.   Waiver of Fees:

To ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to participate in a class or school-sponsored or supported activity because of an inability to pay a fee, each school shall provide for adequate waivers or other provisions in lieu of fee waivers. The procedure shall include the following:

A.   At the beginning of each school year, the principal shall provide to parents the required Fee Waiver Forms as outlined by the Utah State Office of Education, a copy of the School Fee Schedule, and the School’s Fee Waiver Policy and appeal process.
B.   The principal is responsible to administer this Policy. The principal shall review all fee waiver applications in a professional manner and shall have sole authority to grant fee waivers, partial fee waivers, or arrange for an alternate method of payment. The principal may request the student to perform some alternative service in lieu of a waiver.
C.   Alternate methods of payment of fees may be accepted by the principal when requested by the parent/guardian of a student.
D.   The process for obtaining waivers or pursuing alternatives shall be administered fairly, objectively, timely, and avoid unreasonable burdens on students and parents.
E.   Parents of students who are denied a waiver may appeal the decision in writing to the Principal and then the Board.
F.   Confidentiality shall be maintained for all students who not only make application for waivers, but also to those who are granted waivers and/or participate in lieu of fee waiver programs.
G.   Eligibility for fee waivers:

(1)   The following three situations shall qualify students for fee waivers:

i.   State custody or foster care;
ii.  Students receiving public assistance in the form of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or similar governmental assistance programs; and
iii. Students who qualify for free school lunch.

(2)   Case-by-Case Determinations

For students who do not qualify for waivers as listed above, the principal shall make a determination on a case-by-case basis if a student qualifies for waivers. The principal shall consider extenuating circumstances such as, but not limited to, exceptional financial burdens, reduction of income, family crisis, extraordinary medical expenses, or is not reasonably capable of paying the fees.

5.     Policy References:

School Fee Schedule
Utah Code 53A-11-806
Utah Code 53A-12 (102-104)
Board Rule R277-407
USOE Website (School Law and Legislation)

 

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