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Travel and trips sponsored by commercial interests are popular with students, but the Sevier District Board of Education has concluded that such excursions "represent a serious misuse and manipulation of schools and students."

The board has outlined four types of travel that will not be permitted under a student out-of-state travel policy.These include "travel for field trips and activities that would result in teachers and students being gone for more than two consecutive school days"; "trips that are sponsored by commercial interests for profit"; " `reward trips,' where performance is a secondary consideration and used only as an excuse to take the trip"; and "state, national and international activities promoted by commercial enterprises for profit."

The district won't discontinue all travel, however.

Students in grades seven through 12 who win first place in state competitions will be allowed, at the discretion of the board, to attend national conventions if they are properly supervised. The district will allocate $250 per student and up to $250 per student but not to exceed $1,000 for a supervisor to attend such events.

Also, travel requests for out-of-state field and activity trips will require documentation showing that the educational experiences can't be accomplished within the state. Officials will require that student participation not be a financial burden on students or families.

The policy emphasizes that all trips will be carefully examined by school personnel and parents to avoid "trip mania," defined as scheduling expensive, time-consuming trips for other than educational purposes.

It was also announced that the district will spend nearly $150,000 for a modular classroom at the Salina Elementary School.

Fees have been approved for the 1996-97 school year.

In what members call a "pay to play" policy, most high school sports will cost the student $20 for the first activity and $10 for each additional activity, with the exception of football where the initial fee will be $40. The same fee schedule was adopted for speech, drama and music.

High school students will pay $20 for graduation, $30 for the activity fee and an $11 book fee (not to exceed $22 per family). Driver education will cost $40, cheerleading and scream teams $20, labs $5, and honor societies and interior design $10.

Most middle school fees for such classes as shop, music art and home economics will cost students $3.50 with an additional 50 cents for a computer disk.