NORDONIA HILLS -- Families will be paying the same fees for students to participate in sports or band in the coming school year.
The Nordonia Hills School Board unanimously voted to keep fees the same for the coming school year during its May 15 meeting. High school students will continue to be charged $230 to participate in a sport, while middle school students are charged $115. The fees haven't changed in about four years.
Students who qualify for free lunches pay 50 percent of the fees, while students who qualify for reduced lunches pay 75 percent of the fees.
District Treasurer Karen Obratil began compiling some figures on the numbers of families that would be affected by a family cap but said data is currently incomplete.
"We will not have any figures for this until the spring of 2018, since the board will be making a decision prior to the close of the 2017-18 school year."
Obratil said she has thus far determined there are approximately 390 students who participate in one activity; 169 who participate in two activities; and 37 who take part in three activities. However, Obratil said she has not determined how many families would benefit from a proposed cap on fees.
School Board President Chad Lahrmer said the Board is still trying to determine if a family cap is warranted.
"It's not out of the question, we just have more research to do," Lahrmer said.
Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark called the Board's decision "wise."
"The Board was wise to delay making a decision about a family cap because there wasn't enough information yet," Clark said. "In a perfect world there would be no fees and all kids would participate in sports and activities."
Clark added he understands the need for participation fees, which he says helps offset the costs.
Pinpointing an exact number of families who would be affected by a fee cap is a challenge of its own, he said.
"You don't know how many kids are coming in/leaving and how many are going to participate in athletics so you can look at years past and make a prediction on those trends; but really it's a shot in the dark."
Some other area school districts, but not all, have set caps on how much families must pay for such extracurricular activities.
For example, Hudson High School students are charged $200 per sport to participate and middle school students are charged $100 with a family cap of $800.
In Twinsburg, there is no family cap. Fees vary based on the sport, ranging from $105 to $215 at the high school level, while middle school students paid from $45 to $120 per sport this year, according to the district's website.
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432