Chesterton Tribune



School Board OKs streamlined curricular materials fees

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Most parents of Duneland elementary and intermediate students will pay lower fees for textbook rental and instructional materials next school year.

The Duneland School Board approved new curricular materials fees for elementary and intermediate schools for the 2019/2020 school year at its meeting last night.

Duneland Director of Elementary Learning and Performance Christy Jarka worked with Lynn Kwilasz, Duneland’s CFO, and met with teachers and administrators to determine how to lower the fees while still getting the best materials to meet each schools’ needs.

“We had an ultimate goal of reducing fees across grade levels, K through six,” Jarka told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting. “Even with adding a new reading series, we were able to decrease kindergarten fees by $8.61, first grade by $17.40, and second grade by $10.37.”

Reading and Language Arts fees were combined, and music fees will be charged differently going forward. “There will no longer be a fee for music supplies at all the grade levels like there was in the past,” Jarka said. instead, parents will pay a one-time fee of $5 when their students reach fourth grade. The $5 covers the cost of a recorder for each fourth grader.

Jarka noted that Duneland still teaches handwriting, including cursive writing, and that the curricular materials now include an online component.

The new curricular materials fees, which include all hardcopy and digital instructional materials, are as follows: $116.82 for kindergarten, $147.20 for first grade, $126.08 for second grade, $138.16 for third grade, $130.15 for fourth grade, $109.40 for fifth grade, and $117.05 for sixth grade.

Compared to the 2018/2019 school year, the fifth grade fee decreased by $15.14 and the sixth grade fee decreased by $20.25. Fees increased by only $1.68 for third grade and $9.28 for fourth grade.

According to Jarka’s spreadsheet comparing the new fees with last year’s, the reason the third grade fee increased is because the reading fee increased by $9.65, while other line items were reduced or stayed the same, and the fourth grade fee increased because the reading fee increased by $7.83, and the new $5 music fee was added, while other line items were either reduced or stayed the same.

Summer Paving

The Board also approved Director of Support Services Greg Lindy to accept a summer paving bid for $404,100 from Walsh & Kelley for installing a speedbump in the CHS lot, widening the 5th Street entrance to Bailly Elementary, and repaving the band parking lot at CHS.

The paving is funded from Duneland’s capital projects fund, but Lindy reported he plans to submit a change order removing the band parking lot from the list to lower the cost by $69,000.

Superintendent’s Comments

Interim Superintendent Judy Malasto announced that a list of summer meal sites is available on Duneland’s website for any students who may be food insecure without the promise of a school lunch or breakfast. “Please check that information out, or pass it along if you know someone who’s in need,” Malasto said.

Malasto also took a moment to thank everyone for a great school year. “Thank you to everyone, our teachers, our staff, students, parents, and the community for another great year. Despite some challenges, this year we really pulled together and gave our students all the opportunities we could for them to learn and grow.”

Other Business

The Board also approved the new student handbook for 2019/2020 and a new visitor management procedural guide.

The Board approved 2019/2020 lunch prices. Nutrition and Wellness Manager Tammy Watkins reported prices will stay the same for students and adults.



Posted 6/4/2019




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