When Are Payments Due?
Marching Band Expenses are due at the time of uniform checkout (usually around the beginning of the school year). Activity Fees are paid through ParentVue, and they can be paid at any time after the start of the school year. However, prompt payment of Activity Fees is very much appreciated as many of our major expenses occur at the beginning of the school year.
Why Is My Activity Fee Labeled As “Marching Band” If I Am Not In Marching Band?
APS assigns only one account descriptor per activity. Because most schools have a rule that a student MUST be in marching band in order to participate in any other band classes, “Marching Band” was chosen to represent all band classes.
Why Do We Have Costs for Band Participation?
The band receives minimal financial support from the school district to underwrite the operations of the program, and the operating costs are expensive. We are essentially self-funded; therefore, fees must be assessed so that all of the band program’s financial obligations can be met.
Why Are There Both Activity Fees and Marching Band Expenses–Rather Than One, Larger Fee?
The payments are divided into “Activity Fees” and “Marching Band Expenses” in order to align with APS policy and federal tax laws. Activity Fees are processed through Sandia High School while Marching Band Expenses are collected by our parent booster program. Both categories of payment are vital to the continued operation of the SHS Band program, with the Activity Fees being used for basic experience and materials for all classes and the Marching Band Expenses used to pay for costs that are exclusive to Marching/Symphonic Band (extra transportation, technicians, marching-show materials, performance rights, camp expenses, etc.).
Even taking the Activity Fees and Marching Band Expenses together, the Sandia Bands consistently have some of the lowest costs in the entire region.
How Are Activity Fees and Marching Band Expenses Determined?
The total band budget is fairly distributed among all band students. At the beginning of each school year, an anticipated booster budget is created (including anticipated fundraising income for the band boosters). Marching Band Expenses are collected in order to address costs not anticipated to be covered by fundraisers. Activity Fees are set in accordance with APS guidelines for band classes, but are set as low as feasible.
For your information, band classes and their corresponding performing ensembles have expenses which average $60,000 or more per year. These include sheet music, guest instructors, workshops, travel costs, registration in annual Music Performance Assessments (MPA’s), instrument repairs and replacement, competition fees, uniform costs, food, consumables (paper, toner, etc.) additional equipment and other expenses that are not paid for by the school district.
What Can I Do if Band Payments Will Create Financial Hardship for My Family?
While the financial obligations given above are vital to the operation of the SHS Bands, no student has ever been removed from the band due to inability to pay. Furthermore, there are systems in place to help students pay their Marching Band Expenses, and both fees and Marching Band Expenses can be paid over small installments. Also, sponsorships and scholarships are available for students with demonstrable financial need.