School fees in Riverside Elementary School District 96 will increase next year for the first time in more than a decade. At its Feb. 21 meeting the District 96 Board of Education voted 6 to 1 to raise the elementary school registration fee by $5. David Barsotti was the only board member who voted against raising the registration fee saying that he wanted a broader review of school fees before approving a fee increase.
The registration fee for a kindergarten school student will increase to $75 from the current $70. Parents who register their kindergarten student prior to April 30 will receive a 40 percent discount on the fee.
The registration fee for a first-grade student will increase to $85. The fee for second and third grade students will increase to $90 and the fee for fourth and fifth graders will increase to $100.
Elementary school fees were last increased in 2006.
“Our fees had not been updated for quite some time,” said District 96 Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye.
The registration fee for students at L.J. Junior High School will not increase next year. The registration fee for Hauser students, which ranges from $160 for sixth graders to $185 for eighth graders, was last increased in 2010.
Fees in District 96 remain less than fees at many other area school districts. In Brookfield, La Grange Park School District 95 the registration fee is $150 but parents get a discount if they pay their fee by July 1. The discounted fee at S.E. Gross Middle School is $100 and the discounted fee at Brook Park Elementary School is $85.
At Komarek School in North Riverside the registration fee is $110 for students in kindergarten through fifth grade students and $185 for students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.
In La Grange District 102, which serves the southwest portion of Brookfield, the registration fee for kindergarten through eighth grade students is $255.
Some District 96 board members, including board president Jeff Miller and Finance Committee chairman Rich Regan, said that they would like a comprehensive review of fees.
Board members Shari Klyber and Lynda Murphy were opposed to any significant increase in fees.
Families that qualify for the federal free school lunch program do not have to pay the registration fee.
In other action the school board decided to postpone a decision about whether to move a section of kindergarten from Central School to Blythe Park School.
District officials decided to wait until they get a better idea of where incoming kindergarten students live before making that decision.
No student currently attending Central School would be transferred and incoming kindergarten students who have a sibling at Central School will still have the right to attend Central even if a kindergarten section is moved from Central to Blythe Park.
“The group of students that we will consider, in terms of the best enrollment scenario for them, will be all of our new, incoming kindergarteners who do not already have siblings at one of the other elementary schools,” Ryan-Toye said. “If there are already siblings at the other elementary schools they would go where their sibling is already attending.”
Ryan-Toye said that she would expect a decision about whether to open a second section of kindergarten at Blythe Park to be made by no later than the end of June.