Trustees in SD 8 feel that some students’ fees are unaffordable.
“School fees are between zero and $100 per student,” says superintendent Trish Smillie.
In BC, public schools are required to provide students the materials they need to learn, and complete a course or program for no charge. The facility is also required to provide the resources needed to participate in that course.
“There is no fee required to attend school,” says Smillie. “Fees are required for goods and services provided by the board.
“A deposit is required for educational resources provided by the board, but the deposit has to be returned to the student at the end of the school year,” says Smillie.
The concern trustees have with school fees, especially with today’s rising cost of living, is that some families might not have the ability to afford these costs. This is an issue with families who are only living on one income with more than one child attending school, Smillie says.
“Families should never be choosing between coming to school, fully participating, and doing what they need to provide the basic necessities of life,” says Smillie.
The school has a “hardship policy” that is available to every family for students to keep active and involved in the program.
“The hardship policy is related to field trips, activities, and any supplies that the student would need falls under this category,” stated Smillie.
However, trustees passed no specific motions. The issue will be revisited by the next board in January after a review of last year’s financial report.