School administrators say school supplies are one of the most important parts of a child's educational life but they also realize that buying them can be one of the most expensive parts of school.
"It's part of their identity, having their own pencils, having their own crayons, having those supplies they can call their own," Lubbock-Cooper ISD Deputy Superintendent Macy Satterwhite said. "It's very important. But, sometimes those things can get tricky as far as finances."
Satterwhite says teachers at each school consider what is needed from students before they have the lists approved by a principal. She tells KCBD NewsChannel 11 that most items are things the school knows are used up quickly.
"There are certain products and certain supplies that the school will provide," Satterwhite said. "There are also the things that we go through pretty regularly like pencils that are chewed up and used up quite a bit that we use every day. Those consumable things are typically the supplies that we would like students to bring from home. We provide them more long-lasting things. We'll provide the technology pieces and things that cost quite a bit. We try to keep the prices as low as possible for parents."
Parents may also see optional requests or items that don't help directly with a curriculum but keep students healthy, including disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers or tissues.
"I can assure you that everything listed on the supply list will be used during course of instruction for that year," Satterwhite said. "It's critical that kids have these things to be successful."
Lubbock ISD has a similar process to vet the school supply lists, but the list for each campus is based on a master list put together by the district.
"Not every campus is the same nor the needs the same," Lubbock ISD Executive Principal for Monterey Feeder System Amy Stephens said. "They can go in and make a few changes if there are certain things they need. Maybe they need more composition notebooks and not as many crayons. Lubbock ISD is very cognizant of how expensive school supplies are."
Stephens said when items are added, others are taken off the list. Some items like earbuds are needed for specific curriculums.
"All of our campuses put a great deal of time and thought into those school supply lists," Stephens said. "They spend time each year revising those to make sure that if there wasn't something completely utilized the year before that they no longer ask for those and they try to be very, very careful not to ask for too many things."
Both districts say they budget funds so that teachers can buy basic supplies for classrooms. However, they know the educators still use their own money to provide for students.
"We also know that around Christmas time every year teachers tend to run out of those supplies," Stephens said. "It seems like a lot right now but they can go through them quickly. I want all parents to know what they are spending their hard-earned money on is going toward really advancing their student's education."
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