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Middle School Costs

May 21st, 2008 at 06:45 am

My daughter will be in 6th grade at a middle school next year. I'm already paying!! We have registration in April. They collect many fees at that time.

I paid fees for books & materials, a planner, gym uniform, and a yearbook. A total of $101! On top of that, I bought her a one-piece Speedo swimsuit. They have a wonderful pool there that they will use multiple times next year. The one piece part is required for girls.

Today the 5th graders are going for a visit. They also get to try out the pool. It's a wonderful school and I'm very excited for her. I just hope that the costs don't get too out of hand.

It sure would be nice if schools could give you a list of expected expenses, such as for field trips, pictures, fund raisers, dances, ect. Who knows what else there might be!!

I know all schools are different, but can anyone think of expenses that are different in high school/middle school compared to elementary?

7 Responses to “Middle School Costs”

  1. disneysteve Says:

    Is this public or private? If private (which I'm guessing it is since you are paying for registration, books and materials), the costs will probably vary greatly from school to school.

    Our daughter is in 6th grade now but she is in public school, so no registration fee and we don't pay for books or materials or anything. They have a 'dress code' for gym but no required uniform.

    You mentioned a yearbook. We had the option of buying one but chose not to. We will buy it in 8th grade, her final year at that school, but see no reason to buy one in 6th grade.

    Much of the other stuff you listed (pictures, dances, fund raisers, etc.) is also voluntary. I don't consider field trips voluntary, so perhaps they could tell you of any planned trips in advance so you could budget for them. Though sometimes trips aren't planned that far in advance, like if a special show or exhibit comes to town and they are able to work it into the curriculum.

    The other thing that can get costly is after-school activities: sports, drama, etc. There can be uniforms, costumes, make-up, equipment, etc. But that will vary greatly based on what activities your kid decides to get involved in.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    It's actually a public school. $50 to cover books and materials. This is only our second year here, so I'm sure why they do it this way. I never paid registration fees in our last state.

    I agree that most items are voluntary. The yearbook cost, I'm splitting with my daughter because I don't see it as necessary in 6th grade. Luckily the gym uniform should last at least two years.

    I have decided to simply donate cash, in lieu of fund raisers, this next year to the PTO. I don't need the things they are selling and my kids don't need the little plastic prizes.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    My son starts K in the fall and they ask upfront for all costs - so far $25 for supplies and $75 for field trips.

    Not so bad.

    Then there is uniforms (which I despise).

    Pictures is one I always see people complain about. Personally I don't see why I would buy pictures. In this day and age? Depends on the cost I guess, but we generally don't see the point of professional photos. Reminds me of something optional. I always thought the whole picture thing was a racket.

  4. Swimgirl Says:

    Oh my gosh, you're just at the beginning! Yes, some of those things are optional, but I've found it best NOT to deprive my kids of any school-related thing during middle school. It's such a difficult time emotionally, even if they seem okay. I do everything possible to help them fit in at that age.

    My kids are involved in band, and every time they perform, they ask for donations. And there is a band trip, which they do some fundraising for, but which cost us almost $400 last year. At the schools, they go to see plays for field trips, and that can get pricey ($25 per trip), there are sometimes lab fees for the science classes, and we've paid an extra $20 for a workbook for foreign languages that "isn't required, but is recommended." Art or photography classes sometimes have extra fees. At our school they have some tests you can take to get into advanced summer camp-type things and those are $10 (we've only done one for lack of interest). If they are in drama, they might need costumes. Oh, yes, and for band, they need "concert dress" and their own music stand.

    That's all I can think of right now, but I'd come up with more if I pulled out an old checkbook, I'm sure!

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Swimgirl...I totally agree with the emotional fitting in thing. That's why the yearbook is getting purchased for 6th grade. Who wants to be without one, when almost everyone is signing them? They even do yearbooks in elementary school here!

    Concert dress...yes, I know of that one because of band this year. Music stand we already have. Thanks for all the other possibilities I may be facing!

  6. disneysteve Says:

    We did buy a yearbook in 5th grade because she was "graduating" and they did have a party for yearbook signing. At least here, 6th and (I believe) 7th grade don't do that. In 8th grade when she "graduates" from this school, they'll probably do the same thing and we'll buy a book then.

    We hardly ever participate in school fund raisers. We don't want the stuff and it is terribly overpriced.

    I don't feel we are depriving our daughter of anything that matters. If something comes up that she feels is important and "everybody" is doing or going to, we'll certainly do it, but most stuff is nonsense and can be skipped, and she generally agrees. We really try hard to teach her that if she has to do certain things to fit in, she's hanging with the wrong kids. So far, she's been very good about not giving in to peer pressure, though there have definitely been exceptions. We try and pick our battles carefully and don't fight for every little thing.

  7. disneysteve Says:

    The concert dress caught all 3 of us last year. We were all singing in our temple choir. The director decides that everyone is to dress in black for the concert - black shirt, black pants. We all had black pants but none of us had a black shirt. So we had to buy 3 new shirts for this one concert that we'll probably never wear again.

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