Monday, August 1, 2011

Is This Normal for Public School?

We recently received an invitation for Vivi to attend a Kindergarten orientation and play date at her new school.  She will get to tour the classrooms, meet her teachers, and say hello to the principal.  I think this is a great thing and we are all looking forward to it.

But....   I am a bit perplexed by the supply list for kindergarten which was on the back of the invitation.  I am supposed to send my child to school with the following:

1 large bottle of hand sanitizer
2 boxes of crayons- one with 8 large primary colors and one with 16 colors
2 rolls of paper towels
1 pair of small child-size scissors
1 eraser
1 box of markers
1 box of colored pencils
2 packages of #2 pencils, sharpened
1 package EXPO dry-erase markers
4 folders with double pockets on the bottom (2 with 3 fasteners on the inside and 2 without)
4 large glue sticks
2 boxes of tissues
1 art sketch book with blank pages
1 package small drinking cups
1 container of disinfectant wipes

Geesh.  I remember being sent off to kindergarten with a little back pack and a snack, not a suitcase full of supplies. Is this normal for public school?  

I don't mind providing these things and I certainly know that our school is down to bare bones funding.  What bothers me about this list is that more than half of the children at Vivi's school are on free or reduced-cost lunch.  How are the parents of those children able to afford such an extensive list of supplies?  What a terrible feeling to get this letter in the mail and not be able to provide the required supplies for their child!

I'm curious.  Are these lists common at your neighborhood public school?

8 comments:

  1. As a teacher I never feel comfortable with giving out a list. Honestly, it usually all just comes out of my pocket.

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  2. My school doesn't require kids to bring this stuff to school....yet...when i was teaching in Oregon they required a similar list. Some of the stuff seems a bit ridiculous to me....small drinking cups? Why not ONE plastic cup that the kids can learn to wash...? Paper towels? Doesn't the school have paper towels? Tissues? unfortunatly i think this is going to be the norm as budgets get cut. This is a cool idea.. http://www.schoolhousesupplies.org/ maybe you could start something like this near you... :)

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  3. M&R got a similar list for public pre-K last year. But it was noted in large type that families should only bring what they can afford and that there was no obligation to bring anything or everything. Then, throughout the year, the kids' classroom teacher would occasionally send a note home saying that the classroom needed certain things and asking if anyone could send them in. We're also at a school with a high percentage of kids who qualify for free/reduced lunch, and I felt like the administration did a good job of getting the supplies teachers need (so they don't have to pay as much out of pocket) but letting people know that they shouldn't feel bad or break the bank if they can't afford the supplies. Parents in M&R's class who could do more really stepped up, and I don't think the kids ever knew the difference.

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  4. It is a typical list you would see in our school district, however we are required to post on every supply list that the purchase of the items is optional and the school district will provide the essentials for the classroom. That being said, the "essentials" that the district provides are quite minimal. I still spend nearly $1000 out-of-pocket per school year for my students. We send these lists in hopes that the parents who are able and willing to help, will do so.

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  5. Same here in Canada. And aren't I lucky to have 2 kids in school this September, so I get to supply Both their classes. Since I am a SAHM, we are on one income. Not sure what's gonna happen when #3 goes to school. we may have to move into our tent in the backyard. I don't know about USA, but surely our gov't can find some $$$ to help families out a bit....especially for education essentials.

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  6. I hear this is more and more the "norm"...that's why I always try to donate to the "Back to School" drives when I can.

    WOW! That's a lot of "stuff" for youngins'. Can't wait to see the list for my kids in 4 years...LOL...ok, I'm not REALLY laughing out loud! ;)

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  7. It is usual here in my part of Australia. Our lists never included sanitisers but over the years we have sent everything from tissues to textbooks. In the very early years each child has their own plastic cup. There was very little disposable stuff used.

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  8. It is quite disconcerting that so much is needed in the classroom and not provided by the government. I was excited to be getting the list for my first kindergartener this year, thinking that it would be a fun shopping trip for us, however I'll be dragging in bags full of stuff instead of sending her off with a glue bottle, new crayons, and uncrumpled folders.

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