School officials are looking into the possibility of shifting the way families pay the annual fee for participation in sports and other activities at Braintree High School.
Currently, a $150 fee is required for a student to participate in any extra-curricular activity at BHS. It includes all activities for the year and the fee caps at $300 annually for families.
At a significant number of schools in Massachusetts, the fee is instead applied on a scale determined by the actual cost of student participation and by sport rather than per year. For instance, students at North Quincy pay $100 per sport, unless they play football or lacrosse, which cost $150, or ice hockey, which costs $300.
"We need to change our fee structure," School Committee Chair Shannon Hume said earlier this week.
Hume said that $150 for the entire year is "a deal for many people." The issue will be placed on the April 1 meeting agenda for discussion. If the committee makes a change, it would likely take effect starting next school year.
Of the 80 schools in districts C and D, 31 do not charge a fee at all. The average fee of the schools that charge either per year or per sport is $194, placing Braintree well below average when considering that many of those schools use the per sport calculation.
In Weymouth, students pay $200 per sport, or $250 for football and $400 for ice hockey. Randolph does not have an activity fee. Hingham students pay $300 per year with a family cap of $600, or $800 for those who participate in hockey.
Braintree's $150 fee realistically covers the cost of one sport, depending on the type, committee member David Ringius said.
"There is some room for expansion of fees, mindful that we still are in a tough economy," he said.