District 64 Elementary School Families to Save $375,000 in Back-to-School Expenses; Lunch Fee Dropped and Required Fees Frozen
Families in Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 will be saving a total of more than $375,000 in back-to-school expenses this year, thanks to the Board of Education’s recent action to abolish an elementary lunch supervision fee and freeze required grade level fees for a fourth year.
In the past, District 64 elementary schools closed during the lunch hour, and charged a $165 fee to supervise students in grades 1-5 who remained to eat lunch and play before the afternoon session began. The District estimated about 95% of students typically stayed for the lunch hour.
“District 64 will continue to be responsible for student supervision, but the cost is being built into our overall budget for the coming year,” according to District 64 Superintendent Philip Bender.
“Dropping the lunch fee will provide significant financial relief to parents, while having a closed campus will help us further tighten student safety,” Dr. Bender stated.
“Our elementary schools will now have the same policy as our middle schools where students stay for a full day, and will be in line with virtually all other public school districts in our suburban area,” he noted.
“Parents who would still like to have their elementary students at home for lunch can do so by following the established check-out procedure through the school office,” Dr. Bender added.
For the fourth straight year, District 64 also has frozen its required student fees. Fees for 2012-13 are $84 for kindergarten, $227 for grades 1-5, and $315 for grades 6-8, and are due on August 1. Participation fees for instrumental music, middle school interscholastic sports, and chorus also are unchanged.
Dropping the lunch supervision fee was a key recommendation from the District 64 Community Finance Committee’s recent in-depth look at a variety of fees families incur each year. The CFC study group offered a preliminary report this spring, and will expand its work in coming months. The CFC is a citizen advisory panel that provides financial analyses and advice to the Board.
District 64 schools will reopen for the new school year as a half-day on Tuesday afternoon, August 21.