Deerfield students may be able to attend home athletic events for free next year, if the School Board moves forward with plans for revamping athletic pass prices.

At its June 3 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Deerfield School Board weighed eliminating the athletic passes sold to students each school year.

The district currently offers three athletic pass options: $15 for students of any grade level, $40 for adults and $100 for families. The passes apply to any regular-season home sporting event.

Superintendent Michelle Jensen said the district recently cut the price of the student pass to make them more accessible. Now the board is considering eliminating it all together.

“We want students to come, we want families to come, and it can be a hardship,” Jensen said. “What is the purpose, what are we hoping for our kids?”

The district would still offer an adult athletic pass, but with students entering for free, Jensen said, a family pass would be unnecessary. Fans with visiting teams would still pay entry fees.

Jensen said the district wouldn’t be losing much income by cutting the passes. However, it would go a long way toward filling the stands, building school spirit and reducing a financial burden on families.

The district wants to “encourage our high school students to come and support our teams,” Jensen said.

Board Vice President Lisa Sigurslid asked whether making games free would increase the chances that students were unsupervised at school activities. Jensen said that the district still requires students under sixth-grade to be accompanied by an adult.

Board members also tossed around the idea of adding a yearly pass for non-resident adults, which might reduce costs for grandparents or college students who frequently come to Deerfield sporting events. Board member Melissa Frame suggested increasing the adult pass cost by $5 to offset the student fee.

Jensen suggested the board decide whether or not to charge students, and possibly add another adult pass down the line.

The discussion rose when the board went to finalize its 2019-20 student fees. The School Board didn’t take any official action on the conversation and may revisit waiving the student pass at its June 17 meeting.

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