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Activity Fee Information

Activity Fee Information


June 10, 2013

Dear SMSA Parents/Guardians: 

            Throughout the last year, we have had a committee of parents and school administration working on the opportunity to streamline many of the extra fees that are charged to families throughout the year.  We have heard numerous concerns from parents about the frequent extra dollars that are sent to school with the students to pay for a variety of activities, clubs, retreats, and miscellaneous extra course costs. Continuously sending $4, $8, $15, $35, etc. with your child can be very wearisome.  It has become apparent that we have had an inefficient system from the perspective of expecting families to continually send small to large amounts of money to school with their respective students AND from the perspective of our faculty and staff having to collect and administer these dollars at increasingly frequent times at our campuses.

            Though many of you may already understand this frustrating process, I would like to list the things that the K-12 system asked families throughout the year to send money to school with their students (ranging from $4 - $50):  

  • Pencil cases
  • gym uniforms/bags
  • CSW Bowling
  •  jump rope club
  • portfolios,
  • Bibles
  • Recorders
  • Retreats
  • band fees
  • chorus fees
  • skating
  • science club
  • math club
  • art club
  • AV club
  • graduation fee
  • testing fees
  • art class fees
  • vocal  jazz
  • jazz band
  • student ambassador shirts
  • campus ministry shirts
  • key club
  • chess club
  • performing arts club
  • Workbooks for Spanish,
  • English, Religion, German

Field Trips:

  • Holy Hill
  • Little Farmer
  • Milwaukee Zoo
  • Children’s Museum
  • Petting Zoo
  • CSW activity
  • Snowshoeing
  • Wade House
  • Capitol
  • History
  • Riveredge
  • El Dia / Reinzi
  • MSO/Cathedral
  • Career Day
  • Girls Day Conference
  • Sunburst Science
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Art Field trips to Chicago
  • Science Field Trips
  • Class Retreats

The committee evaluated the number of students who participated in each of these respective activities, etc.  Obviously, some of these costs were paid by each student, as it was an entire class event or activity, just as some of these costs were only paid by the actual participant each time.  The committee wanted to evaluate this entire process using a weighted-average approach to come up with an equitable solution to managing all of these activities and costs while removing the frustration and inefficiencies associated with charging a fee for each of them throughout the year. 

It became apparent that the best solution to all of these challenges was to implement a streamlined approach of a new system-wide Activity Fee and a participant-only Performing Arts Fee. 

This streamlined approach would cover all of the activities, events, and miscellaneous costs listed above that were independent, extra charges or fees throughout the year.  In addition, this approach will allow the principals to more easily work with faculty and staff to properly budget for these activities and events, etc. and continuing a strong  educational experience. 

The System Activity Fee will be charged to each SMSA student at the following rate:

                        4K – 2nd grade             $45                  6th – 8th  =  $ 85

                        3rd – 5th                        $60                  9th – 12th = $145

The Performing Arts Fee will be in similar scope to the Athletic Fee structure of the past few years as it will be charged only to the participant of a performing arts activity (Band, Choir, Vocal Jazz, Jazz Band, Solo/Ensemble, Cast members of Plays and Musicals).  Please note that the charge will be a single fee that covers the student whether they participate in one OR multiple performing arts activities.  The Performing Arts Fee must be paid prior to participating in the first activity and would begin as a fee structure at 5th grade (similar to Athletic Fee):

                        5th – 8th grade  $45                  9th – 12th          $75

The intent of this new structure is twofold: to provide efficiency and convenience.  Please note:   there may be a few activities/events/costs that still may be charged extra if/when they occur, as these things were outside the scope of the committee’s ability to properly incorporate into this new structure.  These include (but may not be limited to):

  • Robotics Club (periodically offered at 6th-8th grade,  but not every year)
  • Washington DC Trip at High School
  • PTO costs; as this is not necessarily a “school sponsored” organization and more in scope of a Booster Club-type of organization
  • Dance/Homecoming/Prom event tickets
  • “Consumables” for athletes and performing arts students are still the responsibility of the participant.  This would include items that the participant typically would be the sole owner of and would keep as their own outside of the activity (i.e. hats, socks, zip-ups, shirts, etc.)

As always, we are committed to bringing value, consistency, and continued improvement at St. Mary’s Springs Academy.





Kevin J Shaw, President