D51 keeps sports fees stable

District 51’s annual list of student fees contains few changes for 2013-14, which is good news for parents.

High school athletic fees increased from $70 per sport in 2010-11 to $110 in 2011-12 before settling at $140 last year. Sports fees will remain at that level for high school athletes in 2013-14. Middle school athletic fees, which increased by $20 each year from 2010-11 through 2012-13, will also stay put for the coming school year at $70 per sport. Sports fees are capped at $500 per family.

Athletic fee increases in past years helped soften the blow of District 51 budget cuts necessitated by state revenue shortfalls, mandated increases to PERA retirement accounts, and enrollment declines. Other fee changes result from changes in classes, supply needs and trip costs.

Some of the 18 new fees at the high school level include a $40 fee for an ROTC leadership summer retreat, a fee for a new advanced placement course at Fruita Monument High (plus some fee adjustments to coincide with fluctuation in class material prices), and a $20 fee for gym uniforms at Gateway.

“It used to be just bring what you have. We wanted to get something more uniform,” Gateway Principal Yogi Cherp said.

Palisade High decreased its online education fee of $100 per class to $25 per online course in 2013-14 because a change in online education vendors made the classes cheaper to deliver. Starting this coming year, the school’s band students will be expected to pay the full cost of state and regional band trips, which will likely include a trip to an exhibition competition in Cedar City, Utah.

Students paid $50 for band travel and $40 for a trip to state in 2012-13. A state trip will not cost anything this coming school year because the contest is in Grand Junction. Palisade Principal Matt Diers said the Utah trip will be partially covered by Booster Club and student fundraising efforts.

Required middle school fee changes for 2013-14 are limited to a $5 mandatory fee increase at each Grand Valley school and a $5 increase in the swimming fee at Orchard Mesa Middle School.

Elementary fee changes vary by school, grade and teacher and are mostly linked to classroom materials, field trips and supplies. Pomona and Clifton elementary schools are the only schools in District 51 with close to no fees: Clifton charges $15 for kindergarten supplies and Pomona charges $2.50 for a planner for each fourth- or fifth-grader.

Fee lists are available at http://www.mesa.k12.co.us/parents/fees.cfm.


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