Superintendent Mike Johnson hopes a change in Bexley school district policy will prompt more families to attend sporting events.

Superintendent Mike Johnson hopes a change in Bexley school district policy will prompt more families to attend sporting events.

The school board, at its March 16 meeting, approved an application that will enable parents to seek extra curricular fee waivers.

"Some of the families can't afford to attend some of the games," Johnson said. "Children show up without parental support."

He said some parents make every effort to ensure their children can participate in school functions, but they can't stretch their resources to attend the events themselves. The admission for sports in Bexley is $3 per event.

The legislation allows families to apply for a waiver for passes to the events and provides a free pass to middle and high school students, Johnson said.

Students are currently able to purchase a middle or high school activity pass that lets them attend all athletic events for a season as well as a few other activities like homecoming.

Johnson believes there's a need for the fee waiver because 7 percent of Bexley students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

"We have really worked hard to take away any roadblocks for kids to participate," he said.

Bexley began offering the student activity pass about three years ago. Since then the number of students participating in school-related activities has increased, Johnson said.

Several school board members also were interested in offering a family season pass and waiver for drama productions in addition to sporting events.

"A lot of our students participate in up to five different plays as a cast member or crew member," board member Joan Fishel said at the meeting. "That can get quite costly over the course of a year."

School board member Diane Peterson said the district could offer a season pass similar to the passes offered by BalletMet or CAPA.

"That is something that we don't have structured yet," Johnson told ThisWeek.

The activity fee waiver should be available for the next school year, Johnson said.

The only events the district charges for in the spring are two track relays. The district also charges for football, basketball, soccer and volleyball.

"Most of the fall and winter sports we charge for," Johnson said.

tstubbs@thisweeknews.com

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