In the OCDSB, school or student fees are to be considered voluntary. Fees charged for mandatory activities, programmes or events must be voluntary. Fees charged for optional activities, events or programmes need not be voluntary.
What does this mean to a parent? If you choose not to pay a voluntary student or school fees (often at the start of the year) you do not need to. If you do not wish to pay for an optional activity (for instance a field trip) your child may be given alternate activities to participate in (eg. staying at school instead of going on a field trip).
Why pay fees if they are voluntary? Student or school fees support activities, projects, events, purchases for your child at school. Without them, these activities, projects, events, purchases may not happen. If your decision about whether to contribute involves wanting to know how the funds will be spent, please take the time to ask your school principal.
If you are not willing or able to pay voluntary fees but feel pressured to do so, or if your child feels pressure to pay, be sure to speak with your school principal to clarify your concerns.