Get A Small Loan For School Supplies

School supplies are not supposed to exceed $25.

Well, school is around the corner and buying school supplies just adds to the excitement.  I remember when I was a kid getting to pick out a new lunch box and crayons.

However, these days it is ridiculous.  My daughter had to purchase a scientific calculator, a USB flash drive, dry erase markers etc...The total bill was over $100.

When I spoke with some teachers from the Fort Zumwalt School District, they said technically school supplies aren't supposed to go over $25.  

I called around to see what other parents had paid for their school supplies.  I mean, maybe I didn't shop the deals offered at various stores.  But their bills were in the same range as mine, even though they shopped at different stores.

What happened to a Trapper Keeper and pencil box?  That's all we needed when I was a kid.  If the school wanted us to use calculators, they provided them.  All we were required to bring was looseleaf paper, some folders, a pen, a red grading pencil, pencils, erasers, glue and a ruler.

Now the kids have to bring tissue boxes, sanitizing hand gel, anti-bacterial wipes and the other expensive items I listed above.

Come on folks.  Let's get real about what we're asking.


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Barb miller August 03, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Welcome to the year 2012. No longer do we write on chalk boards we use a thing called modern technology...smart boards. Along with a smart board there is also a thing they have invented called the computer. Get serious. We don't live in the stone age anymore nor should we be using stone age tools to teach kids with. Your the parent who complains about low test scores and no higher taxes but then in the same breath wants to also gripe about school supply costs? Stop being cheap. Fork over the money so the teachers can keep up with the rest of the modern world or vote yes to raising taxes. The schools do a great job at allocating funds and they can't be expected to fund everything.
Tina August 03, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I too am frustrated with the school supply list expectations from some of the schools. As a volunteer at the Pack a Pack out reach at Morning Star church, we are attempting to help over 300 kids in the other area districts, It's mind boggling to see the difference between school districts. Some request all name brand items, which unless you can hit a deal, are more expensive. Some ask for 6 items and some 20. I was impressed with the fact that Wentzville standardized their lists for all the schools with no requirements by brand name. I understand the need for technology and what goes along with that. But can one teacher really use 100 Dry erase markers (Expo 4 color broad) in a school year. There are alot of families where spending $100 per kid on school supplies is totally out of the question, even if you are a two income family. And I've also seen linen closets in homes of teachers loaded with kleenex intended to be used at school that are left over year after year. I believe the school supply lists could easily be broken down to a Must list and a Would be nice list, thus easing the burden on families. And instead of a list requesting only Fiskar, Crayola and other name brand items, be happy those off brands when necessary. I feel not only are some of our children spoiled and expect to have everything and only the best, but looking at the supply list requests, I feel some of our teachers may be also.
Elizabeth August 03, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Frustrated too! First, high school kids don't even find out what they need until AFTER the sales tax holiday. It may not amount to much, but tax savings is still savings. Secondly, in elementary school they expect you to buy four, FOUR boxes of crayons nearly every year. What happened to using up the crayons/pencils/pens/markers/glue, etc & replacing them if necessary? Same w/ the markers. There is no way they use up 4 full boxes of each thing in 1 year. And why do they need an entire package of red pens?? I'm disappointed that the school system has gotten so wasteful in their requests. I also have had the experience of being told I need to buy the name brands. Too bad, I'll buy what I can in my budget. To avoid so much waste, I got in the habit of recycling the supplies that were still useful from year to year....it resulted in my child being admonished by the teacher who "had hoped that each child would have brought in NEW supplies since its a NEW year of school". No joke. I'm actually not annoyed by the usb drive & the calculator, but the excessively specific requests are out of hand. One teacher wants hole-punched folders in specific colors while the next wants brads & pockets in different colors the next wants pocket folders, no brads, no hole punch. And it's never one folder per subject...it's 4-5 per subject. Most of which need to go into the master binder. My kids' backpacks wouldn't pass an OSHA inspection based on the weight.
Rich Pope August 03, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Barb, yet these kids can't make correct change without a cash register telling them what to give back to the customer. They don't know how to use reference books when the Internet goes down in a storm. They can't write a business letter using the proper format because they rely only on email. They can't spell because Microsoft Word corrects the spelling for them. You're the type of parent who wants the teachers to do the job you are unwilling to do as a parent. We have to teach students human growth and development because you don't want to talk to your own kid about sex. We have to teach students the dangers of drugs and alcohol because you are too lazy to do it. It's parents like you that demand a kid gets a sticker every time he doesn't poop his pants and then you complain that we have created a generation of entitlement. Go get an education Barb. When you've don't that, we'll talk. Until then, you are a complete waste of energy.
Rich Pope August 03, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Tina, you are right. And here's another thing people don't get. As teachers, we are CONSTANTLY using our own money to buy things we need that the school doesn't provide. How many of us have helped pay for glasses when a family can't afford them? How many times have teachers taken-up a collection in the school to help a family when they needed food? For 19 years I've been a teacher and I've worked in poor school districts as well as wealthy school districts. But every year, without exception, I have had to use my own money to make my classroom better because schools are on tough budgets as well.
Rich Pope August 03, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Elizabeth, everything you said makes sense. But we get mixed signals. Dr. Dubray himself even says school supplies shouldn't cost over $25. Then we get a list where unless every item can be found at the dollar store, we are screwed.
Elizabeth August 04, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I'm guessing Dr. Dubray thinks that a cup of coffee still costs $.25. We bought 90% of what was on the list, using 10% leftover from previous years and it was still $140.. $70 per kid. And the oldest one won't get a list of necessities until school starts so we picked up just some basics for him. According to Barb Miller's post it is due to technology, but shouldn't technology mean less paper, pencils, pens, erasers, folders, glue, etc. Technology is a minute part of the overall school supply list. Let's face it, once you buy a USB drive you can re-use it every year. This isn't about technology. Out of the whole list the only tech related items are USB drive, calculator, and wipe-off markers. Having all the best and newest tools doesn't make you a mechanic. It makes you a guy with a lot of tools. I wish the schools would focus more on the content and less on the tools. That being said. I also appreciate the good teachers in our district and wish that the poor teachers could be weeded out. Fortunately for FZ district it has been my experience that there are far more good than bad teachers.
Rich Pope August 04, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Elizabeth, great comments. But still, dry erase markers are not a part of technology. You don't use dry erase markers on a Smart Board. And it was a good idea to get dry erase boards to replace chalk boards because the dust from chalk boards was harming the computers. Also what Barb doesn't understand is that money from taxes cannot be used to purchase buildings, Smart Boards or furniture. That comes from bond issue money. Tax income is used to pay for salaries. I know that FZ has some fantastic teachers, but only about 45% of the kids who graduate from FZ go to a four year college. That's unacceptable. Everone around FZ is beating them and if you look at test scores, other school districts are raising thier scores while FZ is dropping. If parents want to accept this, that's their choice. I know that FZ isn't able to recruit the best teachers because they are going to Parkway, Rockwood, Ladue etc...FZ passes us great teachers with lots of experience because they are cheap. Why pay a master teacher a lot of money when FZ can get two beginning teachers for the same money? The problem is, there are a lot of young beginning teachers running around but the kids suffer because of that approach. In addition, Dr. Dubray has been around for a long time as superintendent. All of this stuff happens on his watch. Maybe we need some new ideas and personel.
Elizabeth August 05, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Well put. It seems to me like the district has gotten more concerned with appearances and less concerned with scores. One of my friends has a child going into a "smart class" (her words) where the kids will get IPADS to do their work in class. The kids are paired up and given tasks to do as a team. The teacher simply monitors their progress, other than that their on their own. My first complaint would be why do they need IPADS? In elementary school it would be more important to learn the skills than master the technology. Secondly, according to her explanation it doesn't sound like the teacher is going to be engaging them instead acting more like a room monitor. They already can't communicate socially, we're going to encourage them to stare at the computer screens all day? Isn't that bad for their eyes? And finally, I've never been a fan of "group" or "partner" work in school. One kid invariably does the work and the others share the credit. OR the kid working at it gets a lower grade because the others don't keep up their end of the deal. I've been out of school for more years than I care to share...Dr. Dubray was the superintendent then too. Sometimes that kind of longevity breeds complacency.
Barb August 10, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Go get an education? Not that my education level even pertains to the topic but Since you asked I have a MPharm with a MPRCT. I'll let you google that. If you want to come down to St. Louis College of Pharmacy to be a guest speaking in my class about uneducated youths of St. Charles county I'm sure you would be a good muse for my students. Your response to my comments clearly shows your education level and lack of respect. I'm surprised the patch allows you to post on their website.


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