School Fees FAQ's
For the past four years, the Board of Trustees has covered the total cost related to student fees for Instructional Supplies and Materials for our middle and high school students after Alberta Education stopped providing funds to school divisions to cover these costs. The Board of Trustees chose to spend down school Division reserves to offset the cost for Instructional Supplies and Materials. Red Deer Public no longer has the level of reserves to offset this cost.
What will the fees be used for?
These fees will be used to help cover the increased costs of materials and supplies and specialty programming i.e. option classes - foods, rec ed, shops, art, band, CTS.
How much did it cost the Board to cover student fees for the last four years?
For the last four years, it cost Red Deer Public Schools $855,000 annually to cover these fees for students. This totals $3.4 million. This is the equivalent amount to what was funded by the government prior to four years ago.
Red Deer Public has been able to charge these types of fees in the last four years, however, our Board has held off on doing so as long as possible by using reserves.
What is happening with the budget that these fees can no longer be covered?
The Board drew down its reserve funds by covering the total cost of these fees. Now reserve funds are at a level that can be sustained.
Our budget is targeted to be at $3.8 million in reserves by Aug. 31, 2023 as per Alberta Education’s reserve guidelines.
In the spring, our Board and administration went through the budget process and significantly reduced costs such as staffing and services. For example, Red Deer Public reduced its senior administration by two positions in an effort to find cost savings that didn’t affect the classroom.
When are fees due?
Fees are due by the end of school year, June 2024.
How do I pay for fees?
Red Deer Public Schools is pleased to offer RYCOR Online Payments…the convenient safer choice!
- Secure online payment system, where and when you want; online 24 hours/7 days week
- Pay school fees for all your children within the Division in one single transaction
- Eliminates need for children to carry cash and cheques to school
- User-friendly and easy to read online student accounts
If you are new to PowerSchool and Rycor online payments, please what this instructional video on how to set up and use this resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1xKLWD4Sps
What are payment options for parents who can't afford the fees?
If the fees are cost prohibitive to your family you can speak with your school principal to arrange a payment plan.
Are school supplies included in the fees?
No. The purchase of general school supplies remains the responsibility of parents/guardians. If the cost of purchasing these items are a burden on families other community supports are available through the United Way and The Outreach Centre.
Is this a sign of things to come for parents in the future years?
We review our budget every spring based on the funding commitment by the government for that fiscal year. Our goal is to maintain a high level of service for families, with our top priority of providing excellence in teaching and learning in every classroom.