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fee for band participation assessed after marching season ends

As a band parent I received a bill a few days ago for a 50 $ activity fee,for the now past fall band season. Apparently last year, in February 2018 when activity fees where set by the School Committee they voted for no fee for marching band. Subsequently in March when the schools ran short of funds the SC voted to impose a band fee of $50 for the fall season. On August 20Th Band Camp started and we had to register our students for the activity, take the required concussion training, the school web site at that time indicated that there was no fee for band participation. On October 23, 2018 a memo (below) from the administration to parents of band members was written but not distributed to band parents indicating that a fee was being assessed. To my knowledge this memo was not distributed to band parents at that time. Marching band season officially ended with the Thanksgiving day game. we have recently been receiving requests to pay the fee.

It seems illegal or at least misguided to asses a fee after the fact. Secondly suppose I had made the decision to not have my student participate because I did not want to pay the fee, I was never given that option. Lastly as Band is an academic class shouldn't my student be given the option of taking band class but not participating in Marching band.

Melrose Public Schools
Administrative Offices
360 LYNN FELLS PARKWAY, MELROSE, MA 02176 Telephone: (781) 662-2000 V/TTY
FAX: (781) 979-2149

Superintendent of Schools

Director of Finance and Administrative Affairs

To: Parents of Band Members

From: Marianne Farrell, Director of Finance and Administrative Affairs
Stephen Fogarty, Director of Physical Education, Athletics & Co-Curricular Activities

Date: October 23, 2018

Re: Activity Fee

Thank you for participating in the Melrose Marching Band.

It has come to our attention that the following information may not have been shared with families at the start of the school year.

In February 2018, the Melrose School Committee originally voted to implement a $50 activity fee for participation in the Melrose Marching Band beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

Marching Band

Year School Year Fee per fall season Family Cap
1 2018-19 $0 $0
2 2019-20 $50 $150
3 2020-21 $75 $150
4 2021-22 $100 $150
5 2022-23 $125 $150

Later in March 2018, the Melrose School Committee, in an effort to balance the budget, voted to implement the activity fee for the 2018-2019 school year.

As with all fees, payment can be made in two ways: MCC online payment or a check made payable to the Melrose Public Schools.

If you need financial assistance or a waiver of the fee, or have any other questions, please contact Stephen Fogarty at

Thank you for your participation

Re: fee for band participation assessed after marching season ends

Ask to have it waived and say you'll happily pay next year if your child participates.

Re: fee for band participation assessed after marching season ends

It is totally unacceptable to levy this fee against families after the fact. Do not pay! The rank incompetence of Farrell et al. is displayed in a number of ways here. Shame on all of them!

Re: fee for band participation assessed after marching season ends

Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.

Re: fee for band participation assessed after marching season ends

Financial Incompetence shown in black and white. A small example which represents and illustrates why taxpayers do not trust, the numbers, budgets or financial predictions coming from City Officals. They do not know what the hell they are doing. Vote No on the Override!