WARSAW — Textbook rental and related fees for educational materials pinches the wallets of public school parents each fall. The Warsaw Community School Corporation is doing everything it can to have that pinch leave as small a mark as possible.
The corporation’s Board of School Trustees were presented with the proposed text book rental fees by Chief Education Officer David Robertson, Warsaw Community High School Principal Troy Akers and Warsaw Area Career Center Principal Ronna Kawsky at the monthly work session Tuesday, May 15.
“While this adoption cycle was easier or our elementary [schools], because it is extremely narrow, it’s extremely complicated for our secondary and specifically Ronna with the Career Center because we basically catch all the classes that don’t fit within the larger core content area,” said Robertson. “We’re going to present to you tonight the new adoption materials.”
The board will vote on the proposed textbook adoptions at its regular meeting Monday, May 21.
For elementary schools in the district, Robertson said that new adoptions were primarily in the areas of art, music and physical education. “You can see that overall, with the exception of sixth grade, our text book rental fees will either go down or stay the same,” Robertson said.
“That’s always the goal, we try to be very sensitive to the costs that are passed on to the families for our text book rental fees.”
At the Warsaw Community High School, Akers said keeping family budgets in mind is a priority.
“This is a huge year for the high school,” he said. “The real positive thing throughout our building is you’re going to see the text book rental fees go down across the board and that’s always a good thing when we can have that take place,” he said.
Akers said students in several art-related classes will hopefully be enjoying a subscription to Scholastic Art magazine, as well as online instruction with a website called lynda.com.
“There’s a really neat website, lynda.com, and the subscription gives the kids a plethora of online resources in the area of software development and design, web development and photography,” he said. “It’s really an invaluable resource for the kids who are in those particular classes. They [staff members] feel like with the Art Scholastic and lynda, the computer program, they are getting everything they ever wanted to support our kids, yet by transferring away from some of the texts, we’re seeing incredible savings in the art department.”
Akers told the board there would still be associated fees for labs in some of the art classes.
At the career center, Kawsky told the board that for each class, study materials are overseen by an advisory board. She added that lynda.com is also used for many of her facility’s classes.
“A lot of my classes are college level classes and we have to use college texts,” she said. Kawsky told the board that there are some increases due to some class materials including assessments with the text and the fact that other classes require laptop computer purchases. In addition, classes that were not offered previously that will be added to the curriculum always come with added cost.
For the WACC, one of those areas is in agriculture-related fields.
“Several of them we didn’t even offer six years ago,” said Kawsky. “Like landscape management, there was no landscape management class, so it shows as an increase because there was no class last year.” Kawsky also told the board that increasing enrollment sometimes helps to lower costs of study materials.
Textbook adoptions at all grade levels in WCSC will be voted on by the board at the regular meeting Monday, May 21. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.