Under section 82(1) of the Ministry of Education School Act (Appendix A), Boards of Education must provide, free of charge to school age students resident in British Columbia, instruction in an educational program sufficient to meet the general requirements for graduation and the educational resource materials necessary to participate in the educational program.
There are some exceptions: Boards of Education may charge fees for certain programs, such as specialty academies, international baccalaureate, and trades programs, as well as for musical instruments. Under section 82(3) of the Act boards may also charge fees for “goods and services” such as school supplies and optional field trips or special events.
Currently, fees charged in Central Okanagan Public Schools are divided into four categories:
Standard Fees (Optional School Supply, Cultural, Student Activity Fees)
a. School Supply Fee ($35/student) - all elementary schools offer a supply package that provides for any personal school supplies needed throughout the year.
b. Cultural Fee ($10/student) - all elementary schools provide optional cultural performance opportunities made available through the schools for the benefit of students.
c. Student Activity Fee ($30/student) – all middle and secondary schools collect student activity fees to support a variety of opportunities and initiatives including:
• Cultural performances;
• Leadership (i.e. partner community support, school wide events);
• Athletics (i.e. reduce athletic fees to parents, replacement of team uniforms & equipment);
• Field studies busing costs.
Transportation Fees - to recover a portion of the cost to transport students to and from school as per Policy 470 – Transportation Services Management.
Academy Fees - to support academies at middle and secondary schools that have been approved as part of the substantive change process. These include sport and cultural academies as well as dual credit programs.
Goods and Services Fees - Vary by school depending upon the offerings. These include but are not limited to yearbooks, uniforms, field studies, and musical instrument rental and graduation ceremonies.
Any board that charges fees must have a financial hardship policy in place to help students who are in financial need. The Board's policy on financial hardship can be found in Regulation 425R Student Fees.
To apply for a subsidy, please complete the following form
Parents may apply for a fee subsidy for school fees and transportation fees in two ways.
1. Income Based (Section C on the Subsidy Form)
Families that are under the income thresholds listed under Section C of the subsidy
form may provide income documentation from the Canadian Revenue Agency. The
form and income documentation can be sent directly to Subsidy Processing at the
Board Education Centre.
2. Exceptional Circumstances (Section B on the Subsidy Form)
Families that are experiencing exceptional circumstances may contact their school
principal for approval of the application. Once the form is signed by the school
principal, it is sent by the school to Subsidy Processing at the Board Education