729P - Student Fees, Charges and Collections

  • The School Board provides this policy and schedule of fees for the consistent charging and collection of student fees throughout the school division. No fees or charges may be assessed or collected that have not been approved by the School Board.

    1. Reduction or Waiver of Fees. The Superintendent or his/her designee may reduce or waive fees and charges for economically disadvantaged students and students whose families are undergoing economic hardships and cannot pay. Those families include, but are not limited to, those receiving unemployment benefits or public assistance including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid; foster families caring for children in foster care; and families that are homeless. Each time a fee is charged, notice will be given that a fee reduction or waiver may be requested. The notice will include directions as to how to apply for a fee reduction or waiver.

    2. Prohibited Fees. Fees may not be charged in these circumstances:

      1. As a condition of school enrollment, except for students not of school age or who do not reside within the jurisdiction as provided by the Code of Virginia.

      2. For instructional programs and activities or materials required for instruction, except as specified in this policy and schedule of fees.

      3. For textbooks or textbook deposits; however, a reasonable fee or charge for lost or damaged textbooks may be charged.

      4. For pupil transportation to and from school.

      5. For summer school programs and other forms of remediation required by the Standards of Quality.

      6. For instructional materials, textbooks, or other materials used by a School Board employee that are not directly used by a public school student.

      7. Parents, guardians, and eligible students will not be charged a fee for the first copy of educational records or for the search and retrieval of records. There is no charge for copying an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or for a copy of the verbatim record of a hearing conducted in accordance with the State Board of Education's Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia.

    3. Permissible Fees. The schedule of fees that may be charged is:

      1. Optional services such as parking.

      2. Student-selected extracurricular activities which include athletic participation fees.

      3. Field trips or educationally-related programs, not required instructional or curricular activities.

      4. Fees for musical instruments owned by the division as long as the instruction in using musical instruments is not part of the required curriculum.

      5. Distance learning classes which are not necessary to meet the requirements for a diploma.

      6. Summer school, unless the classes are required for remediation as prescribed by the Standards of Quality.

      7. Overdue, lost, or damaged library books.

      8. Lost or damaged textbooks. A student must pay the replacement cost for a lost book before being issued a new book. The charge to a student who has lost his/her book is as follows plus 10% to cover shipping:

        1. New book - Full price will be charged for textbooks that have been in use three years or less.

        2. Old book - Half price will be charged for textbooks that have been in use four or more years.

        3. Damaged book - Books damaged beyond repair will be treated as lost books. Damaged books that can be repaired will be charged 25% of the book cost.

      9. Consumable materials such as workbooks, writing books, drawing books, and fine arts materials and supplies; consumable music supplies and items that become the property of the student such as recorders, consumable health and medical science items that become the property of the student; secondary family and consumer sciences consumable materials fees; trade and industrial consumable materials fees, technology education consumable materials fees; secondary science lab fees for consumable materials.

      10. The behind-the-wheel portion of the driver’s education program.

      11. Classroom publications such as magazines and yearbooks.

      12. The preparation and distribution of official paper copies of student transcripts; the first copy of an official electronic student transcripts must be provided for free. A fee for additional copies will be 10 cents per page. The actual cost of copying time and postage will be charged.

      13. Fees for advanced placement examinations where the examinations are not mandatory and are not a requirement for any advanced placement course offered by the school division.

      14. Replacement costs for lost, stolen, or damaged electronic devices provided to students and owned by the school division. Fees for career and technical educational certification tests and licensure which are not mandatory to be taken and not a requirement of any FCPS course.

      15. Replacement costs due to vandalism to any school division property. The division shall notify the parent/guardian and/or the student in writing of any fines assessed for the loss of or damage to school property.

    4. Annual Notice. The schedule of fees shall be approved annually by the School Board and posted on the division’s website.

    5. Determining Fees. Fees and charges shall be uniform throughout the school division but may vary depending upon school level; elementary, middle, or high school.

    6. Items Not Included. This policy does not apply to operating school stores, school banks, and fundraising activities that are voluntary.

    7. School Communication. The schools shall annually publish a fee notification. The notification shall contain:

      1. The description of any activity or service related fees describing the benefit.

      2. A statement indicating when payment is due.

      3. A statement that an unpaid obligation may limit a student’s opportunity to participate in activities related to the fee - non-curricular activities and services.

      4. How to request a waiver of fees using the waiver of fees form.

    8. Non-sufficient Fund Checks. In circumstances when notified by the bank that a check written to the School District is worthless due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or an overdraft, the check will be automatically forwarded to the third party administrator after the first presentation. The third party administrator will contact the author of the check to collect the face amount of the returned checks plus the maximum collection fee allowable by law. Further action within the limits of the law may be taken if the author of the check does not properly respond. In addition, Frederick County Public Schools may elect to cease accepting checks from the individual check author.

    9. Collection of Unpaid Obligations. The School District shall initiate collection procedures to recover unpaid obligations from parents and students. The collection of an unpaid obligation shall not deny the student’s right to a public education. However, any form of an unpaid obligation may limit the student’s opportunity for participation from the activity related to the fee including in any/all non-curricular activities and services (sports, extracurricular activities, graduation ceremony, etc.) until there is resolution to the unpaid obligation.

      All schools shall assist in maintaining a history of unpaid obligations and bad credit. No student’s scholastic report card, class schedule, or diploma shall be withheld due to nonpayment of fees and charges. No student shall be suspended or expelled for nonpayment.

      Past due notifications will be communicated at least 30 days after the obligation becomes past due. Other forms of communications such as phone calls and letters will continue until the obligation is paid. If the past due notification process is unsuccessful after 90 days, the school division may engage with a third-party collection agency.

      In accordance with Virginia Code Section 22.1-79.7, a lawsuit shall not be filed against a student or the student’s parent because the student cannot pay for a meal at school or owes a school meal debt.

     

    Legal Reference(s):
    Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, Section(s) 8.01-43, 22.1-6, 22.1-16, 22.1-70, 22.1-78, 22.1-79.3, 22.1-79.7

    8 VAC 20-720-80

    Virginia Board of Education Regulations Governing Fees and Charges

     

    Cross Reference(s):
    Regulation 304R-A, Instruction- Textbooks, Workbooks and Supplies

    Regulation 416R-A, Students- Student Scholastic Records

    Regulation 416R-B, Students- Student Transcripts

    Policy 729P Appendix, Students- Student Fee Waiver and Reduction Form

     

    Adopted: April 20, 2021