SCARBOROUGH — Student athletes and those active in co-curriculars will be required to pay a fee to participate beginning in the fall.
The fees for all high school sports are $100 per sport, and $50 for co-curricular activities. The fee for all middle school sports are $75 per sport and $25 for co-curricular activities. The only exceptions to these fees are for service activities such as the student council.
The fees aim to raise $200,000, which will pay for coach and adviser stipends.
“The Policy Committee spent months looking at a variety of options,” said School Board Chairman Brian Dell’Olio. “They formulated a plan around how many students we have participating.”
Because athletics tend to cost more to run than co-curricular activities, the fees are higher. While sports such as football and hockey are more expensive to run than track or cross-country, all the fees are set at a standard rate.
Students who receive free or reduced lunch at school will not be required to pay the fees.
“We put in safety nets. Even if they’re not on the free or reduced lunch program, there’s a system in place if they can’t afford the fee,” said Dell’Olio.
Students can let their coach or adviser know they cannot afford the fee and it can be waived.
Dell’Olio said the fees were a response to parent requests that, rather than cutting programs, the schools impose a fee structure to support activities and sports.
“We had the council chambers packed with people saying, ‘we’ll pay for athletics and co-curriculars,'” said Dell’Olio.
During a School Board meeting on June 17, the fee structure was approved by a vote of 6-1, with Colleen Staszko opposed. At the same meeting, a motion was approved to amend the policy and allow participants to pay a flat fee of $300 at the beginning of the school year that would cover all activities for the year.
“This throws another option in for families,” said Board member Jacquelyn Perry.
The flat fee would have to be paid before the first season started and would be non-refundable.
Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org