The Wheeler Student Activity Fee covers a variety of student expenses including the yearbook, graduation, special supplies, field trips, and event/speaker fees. It also includes Parent Association dues, which cover a variety of activities organized and run by parents, including but not limited to Celebration of Reading, Fall Fest, Faculty and Staff Appreciation, Unity & Diversity events, and parent/guardian socials. The fee was instituted in 2007 in response to parent requests to combine these many individual fees into one annual account charge, varied by division, as a convenience to families and something they can plan for each year.
The Student Activity Fees are typically set when tuition is approved by the Board, in the winter of the prior year. This year’s fees were set last January, well before the advent of the pandemic. While the pandemic has inevitably changed a number of this year’s regularly-scheduled events and trips, we are working hard to provide the same level and caliber of experiences for students. While some expenses may indeed be reduced, others must be increased in order to achieve that objective.
We and the Board of Trustees are scrutinizing all expenses this year more closely than ever before. As you know, we made significant budget cuts in the spring to help to offset COVID-related expenses that increased the per child cost by 7.5 percent. Those expenses included various risk-mitigation measures and staffing costs to deliver and preserve the quality of the Wheeler experience for our students. Looking forward, we continue to strive to control expenses whenever possible in spite of this ever-changing environment.