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Arlington schools provide supplies

District officials have decided to help local families by providing supplies for students

 

Courtesy of the Arlington School District

Students open packs of glue sticks at a local Arlington school.

The Arlington School District plans to provide a large portion of the school supplies normally expected of families this year.

Supplies will be provided in the classrooms for students and can be taken home for large projects when necessary.

In elementary schools the classroom supplies will be provided.

Backpacks are recommended for elementary schools and families are expected to provide the backpacks.

In middle and high school backpacks are optional.

Middle and high school students are responsible for their P.E. uniform, binders, dividers and pencils. Other supplies for those students will be provided.

In all schools, materials for at-home projects will be provided.

Students may use additional supplies from home, but the provided supplies are all that will be needed to earn the highest grade.

Andrea Conley, public information coordinator for the Arlington School District, said that the topic of school supplies has been increasingly discussed among school districts.

"We've just found that school supplies have been getting so expensive that it's creating a burden on a lot of our families here," she said.

She said it can be especially difficult for families with multiple children who have to buy a separate set of school supplies for each of their children going to school.

Because of the rising costs, many school districts are discussing how best to approach the problem, said Conley.

"It's been a decision that a lot of [school] districts are struggling with right now," she said.

"A lot have moved to minimizing their list of supplies required," she said.

Arlington School District officials decided to provide the supplies for the families themselves.

"We felt we should provide some of those school supplies," said Conley.

"Our taxpayers are already paying levies and their tax dollars," so some of that should go toward helping relieve the burden of school supplies, she said.

It was important for officials to allow students to complete their larger projects with the supplies provided as well.

"We wanted to include all the supplies they need to complete large projects," said Conley.

"If you have a large social studies project that you have to complete partly at home, you should be able to do that with what is provided," she said.

The decision to provide supplies was also about creating a fairer environment for all students.

"We want to create a more equitable situation for all of our students," said Conley.

There are many optional expenses from schools, said Conley, but the cost of supplies was becoming a large burden.

"An annual or athletics are optional, but education isn't," she said. "Hopefully this will open up some more money as well for those students who want an annual or want to participate in athletics."

Conley hopes the reduced expenses also allow more students to participate in extracurriculars like athletics that were too prohibitive before.

She expects that the Arlington School District will continue to provide school supplies in the coming years as well.

More information about the district is available at their website at http://www.asd.wednet.edu.

 

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