WESTFIELD TWP. — Cloverleaf students will pay less next school year to participate in athletics.
The school board recently approved the following fees:
- Middle school — $125 will be reduced to $85 per student per activity. Students who receive a reduced-price lunch now will pay $11 and those who receive a free lunch now will pay zero.
- n High school — $250 will be reduced to $175 per student per activity. Students who receive a reduced lunch now will pay $25 and those who receive a free lunch now will pay zero.
Athletic director Craig Walkup said in an email the fees are per sport and there is no cap per family.
Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said the reduction has been “well-received” by advisers and coaches.
“The coaches’ main goal is to give kids an opportunity,” he said, adding he has heard “too many stories” about students not participating because of the fees.
The reduced fees “will help that effort” to get students involved, he said, adding the district will pay for about $79,000 in lost fee revenue as a result of the decision.
The decision was based on participation rates and part of the district’s long-term strategic plan, Kubilus said. A committee made up of Walkup, board members Bill Schmock and Jason Meyers, parent Anna Cass, parent Paula Winrod, retired community member Pat Carpenter and Garth Gucker, science teacher and cross country and track coach, studied the issue in 2016.
This year, 194 students played a sport, generating $48,500. There were 115 students who participated in two activities and 22 in three.
Walkup said the committee thought the discounts for students on reduced and zero lunches “was an important piece” of the new policy.
“It really did not make much sense to try and collect $250 from a student that cannot afford to pay for a $3 lunch,” he said.
Committee members researched schools of similar size and how fees were structured. Walkup previously said there wasn’t a pattern as to how the districts decided on pricing, noting “it was across the board.”
In an online survey, 512 people responded with 75 percent saying their child would participate in more activities if fees were reduced.
Kubilus, who noted a letter will be sent to parents about the fee reductions, said the decision “gives students more access” at school and eases the financial burden on parents.
The district is informing the community of the changes through social media and in a handbook. More information is online.
Contact reporter Ashley Fox at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.