The Lawrence school board on Monday will look to approve student enrollment fees, including instructional fees, device fees and extra activity fees that will go into effect this fall.
Included in the proposal, student instructional fees (formerly known as the books, materials and technology fee) would cost $100 for grades K-5 and virtual K-12, and $150 for grades 6-12. That’s for students who are paying for full-priced meals. There’s a $15 transportation fee for field trips for all students, and additional fees come with a student’s participation in extra activities.
Proposed enrollment fees have not increased since last year.
Students in K-12, including virtual students, who pay for full-priced meals will also be charged a $15 device fee. For high school students, that is a $10 decrease from last year, which reflects the district’s choice to switch from MacBooks to iPads.
Credit card payment options and payment plans are made available to parents; however, the yearbook fee, parking fee and activity tickets are not included in payment plans and are required to be paid at the time of purchase, the agenda item notes. At the end of each school year, unpaid fees go to collections unless a parent makes arrangements for a payment plan, according to the agenda.
“Full or partial fee waivers are available for students qualifying for free or reduced-priced school meals or hardship waivers,” according to the district. “… The district encourages all families that may be eligible to submit the Free and Reduced-Priced Meal Application online at www.usd497.org/FoodService and complete the Consent for Disclosure Form to share eligibility for applicable fee waivers.”
Staff members can assist families with questions about the application and form. Call 785-832-5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student fees are part of the consent agenda, a list of items routinely approved in one motion unless board members pull any for discussion.
Here’s the tentative schedule of 2023-24 enrollment fees from the meeting agenda:Schedule-of-Enrollment-Fees-2023.24
In other business:
• District needs assessment update: District administrators on Monday will present to the board a report on the professional development plan.
The board during its June 26 meeting reviewed a draft of the district needs assessment, which is meant to target building-level and system-level goals as well as solutions to gaps in student achievement. A needs assessment at each school building is also required by state statute, along with a review of state assessment results and several other documentations. View district administrators’ presentation to the board on June 26 attached to that meeting agenda.
Monday’s report will be an update on the “district’s implementation plan and professional development schedule” that will support proposed actions to district goals for this year, according to the agenda.
The board will not be asked to vote or take action after the report. No presentation materials for Monday were attached to the agenda item as of Sunday afternoon.
• Laptop purchase: As part of the consent agenda, the board will consider spending $49,000 on 50 Windows laptops. That’s related to the district’s choice to switch high schoolers from MacBooks to iPads.
“As part of the change, the district is making certain that all classrooms are supported and ready for students,” according to the agenda. “During the decision to make the change, it was communicated to the Board of Education that the district will be purchasing additional hardware for special classroom circumstances. The technology department is working with the administration at both high schools to identify the specific needs. The purchase of additional Windows laptops will help support the identified classroom needs in the areas where software applications are only Windows based.”
The school board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, July 23 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel and broadcast on Midco channel 26. Full meeting agendas are available on BoardDocs.
To give public comment during the board meeting, sign up before the meeting starts either in person or by emailing PublicComment@usd497.org. Commenters may request to participate by Webex video/phone conferencing.