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DePue to start charging fees for IVHS courses

DEPUE — DePue students taking courses through the Illinois Virtual High School (IVHS) program will soon have to pay a fee per class.

On Monday, Superintendent Randy Otto held a discussion with the school board about the option to begin charging up front fees to IVHS students, similar to fees charged to students taking courses through the Area Career Center (ACC) program.

ACC students are currently charged an upfront fee of $150 per course, which is refunded to students who pass the course with an average grade or better.

Otto explained there has been an increase in students now taking classes through IVHS, which costs $225 per course. Right now, students are charged no fees to take courses through IVHS.

Otto said about 20 students are currently enrolled in IVHS, which is costing the district budget around $4,000 — a price that is not refunded to the school.

“And we don’t get any money upfront from the students,” Otto said.

The school offers students the opinion of online courses for two reasons: the first, is for those interested in taking classes the school doesn’t offer. The second, is for students who are taking classes to make-up credits needed to graduate.

Otto proposed the district begin charging a $50 fee per IVHS class, which would be refunded to students who passed the course.

“If they don’t pass we would keep the money as in the case of the ACC students,” he said.

Board member Nickole Barto said students who were taking courses for credit recovery should have to pay the full price per course on their own.

“I don’t have a problem with the kids who want to take something the school doesn’t offer,” she said. “They could pay a fee that we would reimburse like ACC as long as they got a passing grade in it.”

The board concurred, and was in favor of charging IVHS students the full $225 to those taking courses for credit recovery, and $50 for students taking courses the school doesn’t offer. The $50 fee would be reimbursed to students who passed the course with an average grade or better.

A new policy is in the making and the board will take action on it at its November meeting.

Also on Monday, the board reviewed and approved their Fiscal Year 2013 audit. Otto explained the auditor had found two weaknesses in the way checks and balances are recorded on the treasurer’s report and the bank reconciliations. Otto said he had already sat down with the school bookkeeper to come up with a way to fix the considerations from the auditor.

In other news, the board:

• Approved a set tuition for out-of-district students for Fiscal Year 2014 to be $7,265.

• Approved the purchase of an activity bus for an amount not to exceed $14,000.

• Approved the hiring of Brenda Salas as junior high dance coach, Angela Richardson as assistant junior high boys basketball coach and Peter Perkins as high school girls basketball coach.

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