Back to school lists

At the end of the school year in June, slipped into Ane’s report card, was the supply list for first grade.

On one hand, this was kind of nice to have on hand, so we could purchase things as they came on sale.

On the other hand, the list was INSANE.  Here’s what it contained:

– Backpack (check, she’ll use the same one she had last year)
– 1 pair scissors (fine)
– At least 20 #2 pencils, plain yellow, sharpened (Who needs 20 pencils at one go???  And already sharpened?)
– 2 pink pearl-type erasers (okay…)
– 15 white or clear glue sticks, not liquid or blue type (Um, many of the glue sticks sold nowadays for kids are the purple glue kind, especially the one that go on SALE.  And 15???)
– 1 school box (no problem)
– 4 dry erase markers, not yellow (Okay, I understand the color request… but 4??)
– 1 old, clean sock to use as a white board eraser (the kids use little white board slates at their desks – they did this in kindergarten, too)
– 1 large package of baby wipes (Uh-huh)
– 1 package 24 count crayons (yes)
– 1 box 200 count Kleenex (sigh)
– Boys: 1 box sandwich sized Ziploc bags; Girls: 1 package white paper plates

Then at the bottom of the list, it says “Optional: markers or colored pencils, for use with the whole class” and “Children are expected to replenish their supplies as necessary.”  Yes, the word replenish is actually emphasized on the note.  It’s also noted on the glue stick part of the list that they are a “replenish as needed” item.

Um, I don’t think Ane is going to burn through 15 glue sticks in the first week of school, or 20 pencils.  I know what is happening.  Some things, like the scissors, school box, the sock and the crayons will probably stay with the first grader for the whole year.  The other stuff?  Yeah, RIGHT.  It’s going into a communal pot, so the kids who don’t bring stuff in will have stuff on the first day.

What bothers me is that they’re not even bothering to be honest about it.  Look, I know budgets are tight, so we’re providing the Kleenex and the wipes and plastic bags and paper plates.  I have major issues with it, but that’s the way things are.  What I hate with a capital H is the “replenish as needed” line, because they are pretending that YOUR child is going to be the one who burns through all these supplies, and then the kid comes home saying “I need more (fill in the blank),” even though you know darn well that the kid has not used up 15 glue sticks.

Now, I know that times are tough and the economy stinks.  I also know that the district does a school supply drive every summer to try and offset some of these needs.  And I also know that they did NOT promote this supply drive to the families before school ended – the only reason I know about it is because it was on the district’s website.  And I also know that while the teacher might know which parents are being freeloaders, they also know who has responsible and responsive parents who will send in supplies.

I want to help.  I resent being forced to by having to oversupply my child in order for someone else to skate by.

But I have everything on the list purchased and ready – or at least I could pull it from my supplies and be ready.  And school starts September 1st – less than three weeks from now.  The back to school season is in full swing.  I hope everyone is ready for it.

3 Responses to “Back to school lists”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    August 14th, 2010 09:13

    I’m right up there on the soap box with you! And I remember the old days when Everything was supplied except pencils and crayons.

  2. Aimee
    August 16th, 2010 08:42

    I agree! Although our school is pretty upfront in that everything (and our list is longer!) except folders & backpacks are communal use. Strange though since we are in the same district. My rant is if every kid is bringing a new pair of scissors every year – where are all the scissors going? I can’t imagine them wearing out in a years time to need a whole new supply the following year!

  3. Aunt Mary
    August 23rd, 2010 08:29

    I agree! It’s ridiculous! The cost for everything on that list is a lot. And imagine the families with 2 or 3 kids!