School district lowers fees, supplies list

Sequim Middle and High School students are expected to pay less when registering this year.


Kelly Shea, Sequim superintendent, brought the idea to the school district’s finance committee last school year which made the proposal recently to reduce middle and high school fees by nearly $31,000 between the schools.


The district also added $5,000 to both Helen Haller Elementary and Greywolf Elementary’s budgets to purchase tissues and hand sanitizer rather than have students bringing them in.


“This is a beginning,” Shea said. “We want to make it where children can come to school and not have to break the bank to do it.”


At the high school, eliminated fees include: Auto mechanics $10 per semester; biology notebooks $3; ceramics $35 per semester; chorus $35; cooking $20 per semester; drawing $25 per semester; engineering technology $25 per semester, farming $10 per semester; floral design $30 per semester; glass fusing $50 per semester; painting $30 per semester; photography $20 per semester; welding $30 per semester; and woodworking $20 per semester.


Sequim Middle School eliminated art fees at $20 per semester and a science/engineering fee for $10 per semester.


Of the nearly $31,000 generated from fees, $4,860 came from the middle school.


Career and Technical Education, CTE vocational classes totaled more than $13,000 in fees for 163 students compared to nearly 13,000 for more than 700 students in non-CTE classes.


Shea said it would be up to the high school’s ASB students to vote on eliminating additional fees at the high school for the annual, ASB card, band cleaning fee, freshman band T-shirts, campus permits and physical education sweats and uniforms.


The middle school ASB could eliminate its fees for the annual, ASB card and P.E. uniform, too.


However, by time both ASBs meet, the fees will have been paid already, so these fees will be discussed for eliminating next school year.


Shea thought of reducing the fees after learning students must pay for a biology notebook, for which the state mandates the course. He said most of the fees were created to fill in the gaps when funding was taken away from the state years ago.


“Now we’re in a position to fill some of that back in,” he said.


Reducing other fees such as paying to play for sports will be discussed through the school year with the school board.


Virginia O’ Neill, board president, said with more than 50 percent of Sequim students at free and reduced lunch rates this is very exciting for families.


“It shows we’re putting our kids first,” she said.


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