School Fees: Information for Parents/Guardians
Aspen View Public Schools has eliminated basic school fees (sometimes known as ‘resource fees’) as required under Bill 1 – An Act to Reduce School Fees. This represents a savings to families of $50-$130 per child.
However, not all fees have been eliminated. Fees still apply to some students under certain circumstances.
Note: this information applies to school-based fees; for information on changes to Transportation Fees, click here.
What school fees have been eliminated?
Under Bill 1, schools can no longer charge:
- Fees for Basic Instruction Supplies: Fees charged to all students within a school or grade for basic classroom supplies such as textbooks, workbooks, photocopying, paper, etc.
Have all school fees been eliminated?
No. Schools are still allowed to charge fees within the following categories:
Optional Course Fees
Fees for additional materials and supplies associated with optional or elective courses. Examples include band/music, fine arts, CTS, etc.
Alternative Program Fees
Fees charged for programs, as described under Section 21 (4) of the School Act, which emphasize a particular language (not French), culture, religion or subject matter or use a particular teaching philosophy. Examples include distance education programs, Green Certificate, international student fees, etc.
Early Childhood Services Fees
Fees charged for pre-Kindergarten programs such as Great Beginnings; as well as for ECS programs that exceed the minimum number of instructional hours required (475 hours).
Fees for transportation, admission, accommodation, presentations and other charges associated with curriculum-based activities and field trips.
Fees for club/student unions, sports teams, intramurals, and other programs designed to broaden students’ scholastic experience. These include fees for materials and activities associated with these clubs, teams and programs; an example would be travel and competition for successful athletics or arts teams/students.
Non-Curricular Travel Fees
Fees for costs associated with both domestic and international travel related to optional non-curricular activities.
Fees for Non-Curricular Goods and Services
Examples include fees or deposits charged for locks, yearbooks, agendas, grad ceremonies, etc.
Technology User Fees
Fees charged for the rental of school-owned electronic devices such as computers or iPads.
Other fees that enhance education
Fees for additional student supports not covered by the categories above. Examples include diploma prep courses, tutoring, summer school, etc.
Are these school fees new?
No. In most cases, schools have historically charged fees of this nature. Under Bill 1, schools are required to account more specifically for fees charged and the related costs incurred.
How much are these school fees?
Each school also has its own Fee Schedule that lists the maximum per-student fees within the categories listed above. Fee Schedules can be found on the Aspen View Public Schools website.
However, it is very important to note the following:
- Fees are only charged to applicable students; if a student does not participate in a particular course, program or activity, no fee is charged.
- The Fee Schedule lists the maximum fee that may be charged, which schools have estimated by factoring in the broadest possible scenarios, to ensure that schools does not have to limit potential opportunities for students. For example:
- Sports fees listed in the Fee Schedule incorporate:
- potential tournaments, including amounts for travel and possible overnight trips;
- the potential for teams requiring travel to Zone and Provincial competitions.
- Sports fees listed in the Fee Schedule incorporate:
As a result, the maximum fee listed on the Fee Schedule may seem higher than the fee charged in past years, but participants may not be required to pay the full amount. Actual amounts will be applied to students as costs are determined.
- Field trip fees listed in the Fee Schedule are estimates; once admission, transportation and other costs are determined, the fee may be adjusted (decreased). The school can only charge a fee that is sufficient to cover the cost of the trip.
Each school determines actual fees, based on the actual costs specifically associated with each course, program or activity. As well, actual fees may be further adjusted due to:
- Revenue generated through fundraising;
- Grants and donations received;
- Other adjustments to associated costs.
How do I know what my child’s school fees are?
Schools may choose to inform parents of small fees (such as those charged for activities, field trips and extracurricular) through permission forms, sign-up sheets, emails, etc.
Larger fees, particularly course and program fees, will be added to students’ accounts as applicable. Student accounts can be accessed through the ‘Pay Student Fees’ button in the PowerSchool Parent Portal.
If fees are further adjusted due to fundraising, grants, etc., they will be adjusted within each student’s account.
Parents will receive an initial invoice for fees applied to accounts by no later than September 15 of each school year. Regular reminders will also be sent to advise of newly applied fees or if payment is outstanding.
When are school fees due?
For full-year and Semester 1 courses/programs, payment is due by October 31.
For Semester 2 courses/programs, payment is due by March 1.
For activity/extra-curricular fees, payment is due upon registration and/or participation in the activity or event, unless otherwise authorized by the school principal.
How do I pay school fees?
School fees applied to student accounts can be paid online through the PowerSchool Parent Portal, or at any Aspen View school or division office.
What if I can’t pay my child’s school fees?
To the greatest extent possible, students will not be denied educational opportunities or activities due to financial hardship. Parents may request the waiving of fees by completing Form 2.2 – Application for Waiver of Fee(s).
Are school fees refundable?
Under Bill 1, schools are required to keep detailed records of revenues and expenses for all fees collected. If the actual revenue collected exceeds the actual cost by more than $10 or 10% (whichever is greater) of the fee paid per participant, fees will be refunded automatically.
As well, if a fee previously paid is adjusted due to fundraising, grants, etc., the difference will be automatically refunded.
In other situations – for example, if a student did not participate in an activity for which they paid a fee – a parent may submit a written request to the school principal for a refund.
Where can I get more information?
Aspen View Public Schools information on school fees includes:
- Policy 19 – School Fees
- Administrative Procedure 503 – Payment of Fees
- Form 2.2 – Application for Waiver of Fees
Information is also available on the Government of Alberta website.
If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school office or the Aspen View Public Schools Division office.