Information for Parents/Guardians
Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools have eliminated basic school fees (sometimes known as Instructional Material Fees (IMR) as required under
Bill 1- An Act to Reduce School Fees. This represents a savings to families of $40 to $80 per child. Standard Student Insurance fees are now covered by Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools.
However, not all fees have been eliminated. Fees still apply to some students under certain circumstances.
NOTE: This information applies to school-based fees. For information on Transportation Fees and eligibility, refer to Transportation Services. Ineligible passengers, whose parents/guardians wish to access bus services provided by WRPS are required to pay a transportation fee and complete Form 16-1 Application for Transportation.
What School Fees have been eliminated?
Under Bill 1, schools can no longer charge fees for basic instruction classroom supplies such as textbooks, workbooks, photocopying, paper, etc.
Have all School Fees been eliminated?
No. Schools are still allowed to charge fees within the following categories:
Optional Course Fees: Fees for additional materials and supplies associated with optional or elective courses. Examples include band/music, fine arts, CTS, etc.
Alternative Program Fees: Fees charged for programs, as described under Section 21(4) of the School Act, which emphasize a particular language (not French), culture, religion or subject matter or use a particular teaching philosophy. Examples include distance education programs, Green Certificate, international student fees, etc.
Activity Fees: Fees for transportation, admission, accommodation, presentations and other charges associated with curriculum-based activities and field trips.
Extra-curricular Fees: Fees for club/student unions, sports teams, intramurals and other programs designed to broaden students’ scholastic experience. These include fees for materials and activities associated with these clubs, teams and programs; an example would be travel and competition for successful athletics or arts teams/students.
Non-Curricular Travel Fees: Fees for costs associated with both domestic and international travel related to optional non-curricular activities.
Fees for Non-Curricular Goods and Services: Examples include fees or deposits charged for locks, yearbooks, agendas, grad ceremonies, parent council, etc.
Other fees that enhance education: Fees for additional student supports not covered by the categories above. Examples include diploma prep courses, tutoring, summer school, etc.
Are these school fees new?
No. In most cases schools have historically charged fees of this nature. Under Bill 1, schools are required to account more specifically for fees charged and the related costs incurred.
How much are these school fees?
Each school also has its own Fee Schedule that lists the maximum per-student fees within the categories listed above. Fee Schedules can be found on the Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools website under the Parent Section
The Fee Schedule lists the maximum fee that may be charged, which schools estimated by factoring in the broadest possible scenarios, to ensure that schools do not have to limit potential opportunities for students: For example:
Sports fees listed in the fee schedule incorporate:
- potential tournaments, travel and possible overnight trips
- potential for teams requiring travel to Zone and Provincial championships
Field trip fees listed in the Fee Schedule are estimates; once admission, transportation and other costs are determined, the fee may be adjusted (decreased). The school can only charge a fee that is sufficient to cover the cost of the trip.
Each school determines actual fees, based on the actual costs specifically associated with each course, program or activity. As well, actual fees may be further adjusted due to:
- Revenue generated through fundraising
- Grants and donations received
- Other adjustments to associated costs.
How do I know what my child’s school fees are?
Schools may choose to inform parents of small fees (such as those charged for activities, field trips and extracurricular) through permission forms, sign-up sheets, emails, etc.
Larger fees, particularly course and program fees will be added to students’ accounts as applicable.
If fees are further adjusted due to fundraising, grants, etc., they will be adjusted within each student’s account.
NOTE: Fees are only charged to applicable students. If a student does not participate in a particular course, program or activity, no fee is charged.
When are school fees due?
Fees are due and payable at the time of registration or upon receipt of their invoice. Parents have a number of different payment options, including post-dated cheques, online payments, and installments. The administration at each school is responsible for the collection of all fees. Refer to Administrative Procedure 505 Student Fees for more information. If fees are still not paid following correspondence from schools and Central Administration, unpaid school fees may be forwarded to a collection agency.
For activity/extra-curricular fees, payment is due upon registration and/or participation in the activity or event, unless otherwise authorized by the school principal.
How do I pay school fees?
School fees applied to student accounts can be paid at the school by cash or cheque, online through the Pay School Fees Online link on the Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools website, or at Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools Division office.
Note: Any fees paid by cheque that are returned NSF will result in fee charges being added back to the student account and bank charges applied to the invoice.
What if I can’t pay my child’s school fees?
To the greatest extent possible, students will not be denied educational opportunities or activities due to financial hardship. Parents may request waiving of fees by completing Form 505-2 Waiver of Fees Application.
In special circumstances arrangements can be made to have the fees waived. If an applicant qualifies to have their fees waived they must complete 505-2 Waiver of Fees Application Form and submit it to the Director of Business Services for approval.
Are school fees refundable?
Under Bill 1, schools are required to keep detailed records of revenues and expenses for all fees collected. If the actual revenue collected exceeds the actual cost by more than $10 of the fee paid per participant, fees may be refunded.
In other situations – for example, if a student did not participate in an activity for which they paid a fee, a parent may submit a written request to the school principal for a refund.
Lock Fees, Student Union Fees or Parent Council fees will not be refunded unless the student withdraws from the school within the first month.
Program/Course fees (options) will be refunded in full within the first 1-2 weeks if the student withdraws from the course (depending on course schedules). No refunds will be issued after the 2-week grace period of the course commencing.
All refunds or student fee adjustments will be issued upon the approval of the Administrator.
NOTE: No refunds will be issued for amounts of less than $10.00. Credit balances of under $10.00 can be transferred to another family member within WRPS or can be left on the students account and applied to the next school year.