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Fort Macleod parents support school fees

Fort Macleod parents will recommend to Livingstone Range School Board that schools continue to collect annual student fees.
A motion to support fees was passed Jan. 17 during the tri-school council meeting at G.R. Davis school.
“It’s one of the things ratified each year by the school board,” G.R. Davis school principal Ian Stewardson explained. “They want some feedback.”
Stewardson used his own school as an example, explaining about $6,000 in fees is collected from parents of students at G.R. Davis.
Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre co-ordinator Susan Simpson, noting $6,000 is a small part of the school’s $1.34-million annual budget, wondered if collecting the fees is worth the effort.
“It helps us offset some costs,” Stewardson said. “When we start slicing and dicing down to nickels and dimes . . . if we didn’t have the money from the fees, something would have to give.”
F.P. Walshe school principal Bill Forster offered the perspective from a Grade 7-12 school.
“It takes a big chunk out of the photocopy budget, which is significant,” Forster said of students fees.
W.A. Day school each fall has a $40 school fee, plus a $10 tech fee and an $8 bill for a student agenda.
At G.R. Davis school annual fees are also $40, with a $10 tech fee and $9 for a student agenda.
Grade 7-9 students at F.P. Walshe school pay annual fee of $50 plus a $10 tech fee.
Grade 10-12 students at F.P. Walshe school pay an annual fee of $79 plus the $10 tech fee.
Livingstone Range trustee Martha Ratcliffe said the school board will take the Fort Macleod vote under advisement when it discusses fees.
“We talk it back and forth and take a vote,” Ratcliffe said. “In different years it’s been close.”