The escalating cost of school field trips was discussed Tuesday night during a meeting of the Depew School Board.
Gabrielle Miller, a parent who frequently questions the board during its public comment periods, asked if the district would consider refunding deposits on trips that become more expensive than originally planned because fewer students signed up.
A trip to Quebec City in Canada, for example, will cost $559 each if 40 to 50 seventh- and eighth-grade French pupils participate, or $595 if 35 to 39 sign up. The deposit for the May 23-26 excursion is based on the lower amount.
Miller said some parents might not be able to afford the additional amount required for the fewer number of participants and would like their deposits back.
But Steven Carmina, board president, noted that the cost for the bus and other accommodations remains constant whether "all the seats are filled or not."
He said the district realizes that "the trips aren't cheap, but we try to control costs."
Miller also asked if the district could get a price quote for a trip from more than one provider, which board member Barbara Staebell said was the district's aim.
In other business, the board:
* Heard a request from Melissa Farrell, a senior at Depew High School, to establish the Science Olympiad club at the school. High School Principal Carol Townsend said a committee on extracurricular activities would study the proposal.
* Farrell said students participating in the annual Science Olympiad involving schools from throughout Erie County found it an "awesome experience" and one that leaves the students "feeling good" about themselves.
* Heard an audiovisual presentation by Heidi Salva, director of instructional services, on staff development day, held Nov. 6. She the 203 participants covered everything from technology training to professional development goals.
* Set a meeting for 6 p.m. Dec. 4, before its regular business meeting, to discuss goals for the seven-member board. The meeting will be held in Depew Middle School library, instead of district offices in the Terrace Education Center.