The purpose of this regulation is to detail the ways in which fees, fines, and tuition are assessed, fee adjustments are provided, payment is made and collected, and the consequences of non-payment. The intent of this regulation is to provide for stewardship of division funds while supporting development of personal responsibility and equity of access to school and extracurricular activities.
When practical, a common fee will be applied across all schools of the same level (e.g. high school). These fees will be posted annually on the division website by August 1. When fees are different by school or only apply to one school, they will be provided by that school to the students and parents.
III. FEE ADJUSTMENTS
An application is available for a parent or guardian to request an adjustment to a fee. The fee adjustment may be available for conditions that may include:
- Economic hardship – Criteria include documentation of qualifications for assistance through TANF, SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, or free/reduced lunch status.
- Foster families
- Families that are homeless
- Temporary extreme hardship, such as a recent house fire or a job loss that substantially changes the family’s economic status
Information on the fee adjustment is available on the division website and notice of the availability of fee adjustments will be provided each time a fee is assessed.
Fee adjustments may include a modification of the fee amount and/or the payment schedule.
Payment of fees are due prior to participation in optional activities, unless otherwise noted. Optional Activities and related fees include:
- Extra-curricular activities
- Field trips that are not part of the required instructional activities
- Musical instrument fees in which the instrument is not part of the required curriculum
- Distance learning classes not required for a diploma
- Summer school classes that are not required for remediation
- Materials fees for courses not required for graduation
Payment of fees for required activities, such as materials related to a required course and class dues, shall be due within two weeks of the start of the activity. If the parent or guardian applies for a fee adjustment and a reduced fee is determined, then the fee is due two weeks from notification of the review of the fee adjustment request.
When a fine or other charge is assessed, such as for a lost or damaged book, a parking fine, or loss or destruction of property, the payment will be due within two weeks of notification of the charge. Notification of the charge shall be provided by letter and phone call to the parent.
In some situations, the fee or fine will be offered to be paid in regular installments. Payment by the due date is required.
V. CONSEQUENCES OF NON-PAYMENT
For the Optional Activities noted in Section IV, payment for those activities must be made (or approval of a fee adjustment occurs) before the student may participate in that activity.
Additionally, a student may not begin participation in any Optional Activities if there are any obligations for other fees or fines previously incurred. If a fine or charge is incurred after an Optional Activity has begun, the student must pay for the charge within two weeks (as noted in Section IV) in order to remain in any Optional Activity.
If there is an outstanding charge due, a student is also not permitted to participate in activities at the school that are not considered to be core components of the instructional program, such as designated parties or events, until the charge is cleared. These activities may include prom, the graduation ceremony, viewing after-school events or performances, or other activities that the school may identify.
If a parent or guardian has not made payment by the conclusion of the school year and the total charges exceed $100, the parent will be notified by the school that the legal process for collections may be started.
VI. CONSEQUENCES OF A LOST LIBRARY BOOK
The number of books a student may check out shall be determined by the librarian based on factors that include whether any books are currently lost or unreturned. The practices for checkout established by the librarian should be reviewed with the principal. This will help minimize the possibility of multiple lost books.
No overdue fines shall be used. The librarian should work with the student and parent to determine the point at which an overdue book is considered lost, providing sufficient opportunity for the book to be located.
Once a book is determined by the librarian to be lost, the parent should be provided a two week notice of the charge for the book, as noted in Section IV. While the full cost of the book is owed if not returned, the family may work with the librarian to see if there are options for a replacement book.
At the point that there is a lost book that has not been re-paid, the student will be restricted to only one book to checkout until the lost book is repaid. If two books are lost, checkout privileges will be lost until the books are re-paid or returned. In addition, the other consequences of non-payment in Section V shall be applied.
If a book that was considered lost and was paid for is then found within a reasonable period of time (usually the same school year or just after the summer), the money should be refunded if the book is then returned in good condition.
VII. CONSEQUENCES OF A LOST OR DAMAGED TEXTBOOK, CHROMEBOOK, CALCULATOR, OR OTHER LEARNING DEVICE
When a student has an LCS issued learning device that is required for a course, such as a textbook, Chromebook, or calculator, the student and family are responsible for the cost to have the learning device repaired or replaced. The school shall notify the parent or guardian immediately when it is known that a device has been determined to be lost or damaged. In some cases an optional accidental protection plan is available.
If there is loss or damage that prevents the use of the device during the school year, the school will provide a replacement for the student so that learning at school is not interrupted. However, this replacement will be restricted to minimize opportunities for further charges. Such a restriction typically includes the equipment only being available at school or in that classroom and not taken home, until the charge for the equipment has been paid.
If loss or damage is discovered at the end of the school year, then the parent should be notified as outlined in Section IV.
All other consequences of non-payment in Section V shall be applied.
VIII. COLLECTION EFFORTS
The principal or designee (typically the bookkeeper) is responsible for notifying the parent when there is a fine or charge. For any fee assessed for an activity, these should be communicated annually on the website and also notice shall be given by the organizer of an activity that has a fee prior to participation.
The collection of fees shall be organized by the bookkeeper, in coordination with other lead staff in the school, under the supervision of the principal.
Funds that are collected shall be deposited to accounts, according to financial procedures, that relate to the activity being funded.
When a parent or guardian submits a fee adjustment request to the school, the request shall be reviewed by the principal or designee and the result communicated to the parent or guardian within one week of submitting the application, or at least prior to the start of the activity if the request is made well before the activity. The content of the fee adjustment request is confidential and should also be communicated with confidentiality to the leader of the activity.
If a parent or guardian disagrees with a charge or the outcome of the review of a fee adjustment request, the parent or guardian may appeal in writing to the principal. The appeal shall be heard and a decision rendered within two weeks of notice of the appeal. The decision on the appeal shall be considered final.
As noted, a parent may request and be granted the ability to make a series of partial payments for an amount owed. The parent shall notify the principal or designee and any agreement for this shall be communicated in writing that the parent or guardian must sign before the agreement is considered in place. If any one of the agreed upon partial payments is missed, the consequence shall be considered according to Section V.
IX. COLLECTION EFFORTS OF PRIOR OBLIGATIONS WHEN POLICY AND REGULATION ARE INITIALLY APPROVED
For the first school year in which this regulation is approved, the parent shall be provided until the end of the school year to clear all prior charges. The school will provide an itemized list of charges from the prior year(s) through multiple communication methods to each family. The principal or designee will arrange times to meet with the parent or guardian to review questions and options for any prior charges. Consequences of prior debt will not be put into place until the beginning of the fall 2018 semester.
FEE AND TUITION SCHEDULE
All fees, fines and tuition charges can be found on the Lynchburg City School website at https://www.lcsedu.net/departments/finance/fee-tuition-schedules which is updated annually.
Approved by School Board: July 11, 2017
Revised by School Board: July 10, 2018
Revised by School Board: September 4, 2018
Revised by School Board: April 2, 2019
Revised by School Board: January 14, 2020