District 16 School Board discusses fees and branding

In a continuous improvement effort, the Spring Lake Park District 16 School Board looked into student fees for athletics and activities and district branding at its June 25 work session.

“We don’t anticipate any changes in fees for this fall,” Superintendent Jeff Ronneberg said in a phone interview.

At the work session, Ronneberg offered fee comparisons of area districts, with District 16 falling “in the middle” range, he said.

Currently, District 16’s fees are lower than a majority of neighboring districts, including Anoka-Hennepin, Centennial and Mounds View. District 16’s fees are higher than Fridley’s, according to Ronneberg.

SLP students now pay a $200 participation fee for their first sport, $150 for the second and $125 for a third sport.

Activity fees, such as marching band or participating in the school musical, are $50 per activity.

Students receiving free or reduced lunches qualify for free or reduced sports and activity fees.

The fees structure has not been revisited, probably since early 2000, Ronneberg said.

“Athletics and activities provide a window into our district,” Ronneberg said.

Parking fees were also discussed at the work session.

“That will likely be lowered,” Ronneberg said in the phone interview.

Spring Lake Park now charges a fee of $70 per trimester for parking in the school’s lots. The cost for a parking permit for the year is $155.

By comparison, the neighboring Mounds View and Irondale high schools’ parking fees are $225 annually, according to Spring Lake Park officials.

A total of 243 annual permits were sold to Spring Lake Park students this year, said Colleen Pederson, director of District 16’s community education.

“This is an area where we can provide a little relief and build some good will,” Boardmember Jim Amundson said.

The district plans to set up a community task force focusing on student activities. The idea is to partner with booster clubs, to increase student enrollment in activities, examine fee structures and to enhance partnerships with Panther youth sports. More specific information will be available this fall.

“The good news is we continue to see an increased level of involvement in activities,” Ronneberg said.


District 16 continues to strive for a consistency in branding.

Boardmember Marilyn Forsberg held up Spring Lake Park brochures from a variety of district programs.

“They don’t look like they were from the same place,” she said. “I’m wondering if we need to do something that is more consistent, that we become more recognizable.”

“It’s actually been a focus for the last couple of few years,” Ronneberg said, but “it’s not where we want it to be.”

Further, the group spoke about maintaining a consistency in its logo and print on T-shirts and athletic apparel. Forsberg noted districts that have logos on third grade T-shirts. When students attend fourth-grade at a different building, the logo remains the same. “It seems to me, that parents would really appreciate that, gee, I don’t have to throw away my elementary shirt, … it can be worn again next year,” she said.

Most district letterheads now have a similar logo of three students with arms outstretched and standing by a tree.

“The trees they have work well for a newsletter or a letterhead, but they don’t work well for a letter jacket,” Ronneberg said.

Ronneberg said the next step would be to look at consistency in the area of sports and athletics branding.

The work session was for informational purposes only. No decisions were made.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]