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Re: [teacherartexchange] Charging a lab fee in the art and computer arts classroom


From: Rebecca Burch (mamallama_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Apr 22 2006 - 11:07:32 PDT

I don't charge an art fee, but I do require the students to purchase
an "art kit." They can either buy the kit already put together at a
local art store (they give a big discount on these), or they can put
the kit together with things they already have or buy at the dollar

I do purchase some of the contents (colored pencils, crayons, markers,
etc... all the products you use up, really) for those who don't bring
their own, but you know how community art supplies go -- within a few
weeks, you're left with stubs and dried-up markers. Usually kids who
didn't buy their kits the first time around will start bringing their
own supplies, after all, so they won't have to use them. It's not a
huge investment, and they get to keep their supplies.

They also have art lockers so they can keep their supplies locked up
in the art room. This has been GREAT, and I'm so fortunate that the
school gave us the old gym lockers when they upgraded. A few cans of
Lysol and they were good to go! :)

Charleston WV

On 4/22/06, Alix Peshette <> wrote:
> Hi,
> When I was in the classroom as an art teacher and later as a computer
> arts teacher, I had lab fees. The lab fee for the nine week class was
> $5 and the semester class was $10. I also had a small department budget
> to start the year.
> Legally, in my district (in California) lab fees can only be charged for
> supplies/projects that are taken home by the student. Also, there must
> be a statement in the class syllabus that students and family who can't
> afford the fee can request the lab fee from the "helping hands" fund
> (funded by the PTA) In reality, I just waived the art fee for the kids
> who needed it.
> My district went from the once-a-year huge buy of art materials (which
> sat in the district warehouse and dried out) to buy-on-demand ordering
> as needed (through Office Depot with a 40% discount) This turned out to
> be a much better way. I didn't need to find all the money at once and I
> could adjust what I needed throughout the school year.
> For the art classes, students saved work in portfolios, and as a final
> project, took the portfolio home to do a portfolio review with the
> parent or guardian. The porfolio review (I had a list of questions) was
> returned signed by both the student and parent. That way the portfolio
> made it home and was much more appreciated.
> In the computer arts classes, I charged the same fee and used it to buy
> glossy photographic paper, brochure paper, cardstock, ink for the color
> inkjet printer and CD's for the student portfolios. Students could bring
> home projects such as digital art, gift tags, Valentine and Mother's
> Day cards etc. I timed these projects to go home around Open House and
> holidays and often would print out extras for the kids.
> I off-set the expense of color ink for the inkjet printer by purchasing
> it on EBay (Dutch auctions). Where I would have to pay $25 for a black
> cartridge and $32 for color through Office Depot (no discount on ink), I
> could buy black for $2-4 and color for $4-8 on EBay! My district would
> reimburse me for up to $50 with a receipt, so I made sure the purchases
> (including shipping) came in under the $50 mark.
> As for the mechanics of collecting the art fees...
> There was a statement in the syllabus about having the check made out to
> the school or bringing cash. As the art fees came in, I had a supply of
> small white envelopes, a pen and a basket stationed next to my desk.
> Students were directed to write their name and class period on the
> envelop, put the lab fee in, seal the envelop and put it in the basket.
> I kept an eye on the basket and at the end of the period grabbed the
> envelopes and put a rubber band around them and stashed them away until
> I could do the paperwork process.
> Having kids put their name and period on the envelope took care of the
> problem of checks from parents or guardians with different last names
> from the students.
> The system worked pretty well and my principal (who was a legal eagle)
> was assured that we were in compliance with the rules.
> Just my 2 cents worth...
> -Alix
> Alix E. Peshette
> Technology Training Specialist
> Davis Joint Unified School District
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