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.
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.”
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.
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 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 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 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
The Board also
approved the new student handbook for 2019/2020 and a new visitor management
The Board approved
2019/2020 lunch prices. Nutrition and Wellness Manager Tammy Watkins
reported prices will stay the same for students and adults.