Why are we changing our practice?
The Park Hill School District responded to some staff and parent concerns about charging fees for students to take courses.
We reviewed our practices, and we decided to take a more conservative approach to interpreting the Missouri constitution.
The Missouri constitution requires “free public schools for the gratuitous instruction of all persons in this state.” The Missouri Supreme Court interprets this, in general, to mean schools may not charge course registration fees or material fees in courses that are for academic credit.
What have we changed so far?
We eliminated course fees from the high school course handbook and we developed shorter, district-wide school supply lists.
Teachers are helping us identify the areas where we currently charge fees and find other ways to meet students’ learning needs. In cases where we can’t change the lesson without harming student learning, we are looking for other funding sources.
When do we ask students to bring supplies or charge them a fee?
We ask families to buy supplies that will be each students’ personal property and are not required for a grade or credit. This includes items like backpacks, pencils, ear buds and erasers.
In courses like art, we do not charge students for their materials. However, we might charge students to take the product home.
Unlike courses and activities that are for credit or advancing to the next grade, extracurricular activities like clubs and athletics might still charge fees.
We will not charge fees for field trips.