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Public school supplies, ticked over excess


Janeway
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Happened again. End of school year. I see the teacher at the public school has at least half the supplies people brought left over. When every child in the class has to bring 48 pencils, 7 boxes of crayons, 10 large glue sticks, etc, there will be left overs. So I asked the teacher, again, as I often ask, every year, what will happen with the left over supplies. After all, she is not sending them home with the kids. She says they will go on mission trips to other countries. 

 

I really resent this. The school supply pack option this year was $103. Every year, I have had to send 1-2 sets of water paints per child, yet, I have never seen anything come home that was made from water paints. 48 pencils? Many teachers only allow a child to have one pencil. Now, 10 eraser caps as well as two of the pink bevel erasers? 7 boxes of crayons per child.

 

It ticks me off when we have plenty of low income people right here in this area, and parents are required to supply all these supplies to give to mission trips. If you do not supply it, you are the bad parent who is not giving your child all he needs. IF you do supply it, you are giving to their missions. And I am tired of the schools just assuming the parents are made of money and just should give to their mission trips. I would feel better about this if the supplies went to other low income schools in the area, but they do not. They leave the country on church mission trips.

 

Anyone else dealing with this?

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I don't think how our school handles school supplies is the norm anymore, but with some exceptions like Kleenex and Clorox wipes that go into a shared pool, the school supplies are not shared and are labeled with the child's name. We get back any extras we bought at the end of the year, so part of back-to-school shopping is taking an inventory of what we have that can be used again next year, like scissors or unused pencils.

 

If a school frequently has that many leftover supplies, they should adjust the list the following year rather than continue donating them in bulk every year.

Edited by Word Nerd
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I don't think how our school handles school supplies is the norm anymore, but with some exceptions like Kleenex and Clorox wipes that go into a shared pool, the school supplies are not shared and are labeled with the child's name. We get back any extras, so part of back-to-school shopping is taking an inventory of what we have that can be used again next year, like scissors or unused pencils.

I wish they did that here. 

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I don't think how our school handles school supplies is the norm anymore, but with some exceptions like Kleenex and Clorox wipes that go into a shared pool, the school supplies are not shared and are labeled with the child's name. We get back any extras, so part of back-to-school shopping is taking an inventory of what we have that can be used again next year, like scissors or unused pencils.

That's what we do here, too.

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They're going to go on mission trips?!?

 

Okay, that would bug me a lot. This is a public school and they're donating their excess supplies to a religious purpose?

 

Putting aside the monetary issues of public schools requiring this stuff (which they never did when I was a kid and aren't insignificant issues besides), if there's excess, why not just carry it over until the next year? I don't get it. It's not like crayons and boxes of tissues go stale. And then you can hone your asking the following year - require a little less or focus on a material you did need and didn't have or didn't have enough of.

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Nope. My local public school gave a recommended supply list and then the teacher will give a specific list. Only kindergarten was communal supplies and my oldest boy's kindergarten teacher brought home a small box worth of leftover supplies to bring back the next year.

 

I can understand the pencils and eraser caps for K-2nd. Parent volunteers help sharpen the communal pencils and pencils go missing (kids drop and it roll somewhere).

 

If crayons run low in kindergarten, the teacher will ask for crayons donations. Same for other items like tissue paper.

 

My neighbor teach in a catholic school and her child attends a catholic school too. Since their schools are strong on community services and mission trips, I won't be surprised that excess supplies goes to mission trips.

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When I taught we asked that supplies be labeled and everything leftover got returned.

 

The list sounds purposely inflated to me. 7 boxes of crayons?!?

 

They should let people make their own giving decisions.

 

This would annoy me even at a private school.

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Mission trips ? Public school? Not cool. I should have a say in funding a charity.

 

I'd be ok if the teacher said they were going to special ed ESY, title 1 summer program, stuff in the district that are short on supplies and parents to send them. Sort of charity, but part of public school program within district. I'd be ok if they were going to the local libraries for their summer programs (not public school, but certainly available to local public school children).

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Happened again. End of school year. I see the teacher at the public school has at least half the supplies people brought left over. When every child in the class has to bring 48 pencils, 7 boxes of crayons, 10 large glue sticks, etc, there will be left overs. So I asked the teacher, again, as I often ask, every year, what will happen with the left over supplies. After all, she is not sending them home with the kids. She says they will go on mission trips to other countries. 

 

I really resent this. The school supply pack option this year was $103. Every year, I have had to send 1-2 sets of water paints per child, yet, I have never seen anything come home that was made from water paints. 48 pencils? Many teachers only allow a child to have one pencil. Now, 10 eraser caps as well as two of the pink bevel erasers? 7 boxes of crayons per child.

 

It ticks me off when we have plenty of low income people right here in this area, and parents are required to supply all these supplies to give to mission trips. If you do not supply it, you are the bad parent who is not giving your child all he needs. IF you do supply it, you are giving to their missions. And I am tired of the schools just assuming the parents are made of money and just should give to their mission trips. I would feel better about this if the supplies went to other low income schools in the area, but they do not. They leave the country on church mission trips.

 

Anyone else dealing with this?

 

is this a public school?  I'm religious - but I'd be furious over items I paid for school - going for someone else's pet religious charity.  Not even sure that is *legal*.  you might want to consult with the district office - or even your state office of public instruction.  let them know what is going on (regarding parents providing public school supplies which are then taken for religious use)

 

$100+ is absurd.  $25 is stretching it . . . they can change their list, or I'd pick a few things - and that would be it.  I wouldn't spend that much.

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This is one of the things that drove me crazy. Even when we were very low income, I always supplied every required and requested item on the school supply list in the best quality available. With my oldest kids, they got to use the supplies I bought and brought some stuff home at the end of the year. Things like scissors and rulers can be reused for years. Over the years, I noticed that they started asking for more, put everything into a community pot, my kids started getting the low quality stuff instead of what I bought them, and nothing ever came home at the end of the year. I've even been told they ask for extras to make up for the kids who don't bring anything and those kids aren't always those who can't afford to buy supplies.

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And at the school where I worked, kids didn't even bring supplies.  Either the school OR *I* funded them.

 

My own kids aren't elem. age so all supplies were ones they brought themselves and took back home themselves.

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What does the school say when you bring up the issue? I assume you have, since this seems to have been an ongoing problem?

 

Using public school supplies required from parents for a religious mission trip is unacceptable, and I would let the principal know this in a pointed letter.

Edited by regentrude
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Our parents stopped sending anything in, once they realized that they were expected to contribute 4x for 'those that can't'. $100 per child for supplies is way too much. The PTO here does the funding now for free/reduced lunch families supplies & field trips and both the supply list and field trip costs are back to just one child's share.

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You do not have to do this, so don't.

 

There is no loan that says you must buy anything on that list, much less that much of it. So don't.

 

Buy what you think your child needs and that's it and be done with the crazy.

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I would simply not send as many next year. 7 boxes of crayons is over the top. As far as sending them for a mission trip does not necessary mean religious. Our school has a cabinet that extra supplies go into and given to those that cannot afford them but those are donations or occasionally teachers will ask permission prior to donating the extras. Most of the time we get a few supplies back, but I also mark absolutely every item with our names. 

 

I have found the best way to change things is to get involved in organizations such as PTA or volunteering in the classroom to get an understanding of how things are run. 

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Requiring parents to subsidize someone else's charitable work in the name of providing supplies for the school is unethical no matter what the charity is. It would be different if the school had a supply drive for XYZ charity or mission and asked parents to contribute if they wanted to. I would take the matter to the administration.

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Is it a religious mission trip? I've heard of doctors going on a medical mission trip and they're not religious. It's for doctors to go to other countries and provide medical care--completely secular, but they call it a medical mission.

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Special ed students are not allowed to be asked for supplies at my DD's school. So I'm not sure what the general ed students are asked to supply. I make a small donation to the PTO fund designated for reimbursing teachers for classroom supplies as I presume at least some of that money goes to my DD's teacher.

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Happened again. End of school year. I see the teacher at the public school has at least half the supplies people brought left over. When every child in the class has to bring 48 pencils, 7 boxes of crayons, 10 large glue sticks, etc, there will be left overs. So I asked the teacher, again, as I often ask, every year, what will happen with the left over supplies. After all, she is not sending them home with the kids. She says they will go on mission trips to other countries. 

 

I really resent this. The school supply pack option this year was $103. Every year, I have had to send 1-2 sets of water paints per child, yet, I have never seen anything come home that was made from water paints. 48 pencils? Many teachers only allow a child to have one pencil. Now, 10 eraser caps as well as two of the pink bevel erasers? 7 boxes of crayons per child.

 

It ticks me off when we have plenty of low income people right here in this area, and parents are required to supply all these supplies to give to mission trips. If you do not supply it, you are the bad parent who is not giving your child all he needs. IF you do supply it, you are giving to their missions. And I am tired of the schools just assuming the parents are made of money and just should give to their mission trips. I would feel better about this if the supplies went to other low income schools in the area, but they do not. They leave the country on church mission trips.

 

Anyone else dealing with this?

 

No, not dealing with this.  However, I don't think $100 for a supply list is completely out of line.  And are you sure they are all going on missions trips?  If so, complain.  Call the local paper.  Post on FB and see if others have the same concerns.

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They do not even bring home their scissors at the end of the year. I have to buy a new pair of scissors every year. New ruler, new everything.

 

What does the teacher say happens to those things?

Are they labeled with your child's name?

Can you show up o the last day of school and insist on collecting her leftover supplies?

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$100 is absolutely excessive. We had to send supplies to school, but most stayed in the child's personal supply box, with the exception of a few communal supplies like tissues and clorox wipes. 

I would simply refuse to send seven boxes of caryons at the beginning of the school year and promise to replenish my child's supply when she runs out.

 

 

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I had a similar situation. Geezle's teacher wanted to do that Christmas shoebox thing run by Franklin Graham. I emailed her to explain that that was an evangelical protestant mission and that I didn't think it was appropriate for public school. I gave her a couple of secular local options. She thanked me for the information and chose a secular charity instead. Problem solved.

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That's crazy!!

 

I'm a former classroom teacher. We did a mix of personal supplies (notebooks, binders etc) and communal (pencils, packs of lined paper, etc). But our lists were quite modest (often needing to ask for more communal supplies each year when the PTO did donations of supplies to get us through the year).

 

But bringing supplies for others would have frustrated me too, especially after the misuse of "low income" situations. I'll never forget this one time I had a students parent write a letter that he couldn't afford the $25 for the Jmestown trip.

Of course, we scholarshipped him to go. Then, on the day of the trip he brought $25 for the gift shop (more than any other child) and came home with a wooden boat. I can't tell you how many kids parents paid for the trip and sent nothing or MAYBE $5 for the gift shop. It was super

Frustrating.... And just taught me that while of course there are legit hardworking low income situations, things aren't always what they seem.

 

Ok, end rant!

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The list I always got was a list of suggested items that the student might need throughout the year.  There might be a few specific items like a specific colored folder thrown in.  On the first day of school my kids would bring some of the items and the rest would be kept on hand at home.  Why would a student need to bring multiple boxes of crayons in all at once?  That seems crazy.  Tissues were never on the lists but at meet the teachers night the teachers would often request donations of those types of  items.  They cannot accept clorox wipes because the schools here can only use "green" cleaning supplies.

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When I started homeschooling, I bought the 1st grade supply list for our neighborhood school.

 

DD starts 8th grade this year, and we still have crayons and glue sticks.

 

Kind of frustrating, since as a music teacher, I got no supplies beyond the $150 provided by the school for 800 kids.

Edited by dmmetler
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Our lists around here run about $100 worth of supplies. I've been told the lists are inflated to make up for low income kids who show up to school without. But then I see endless school supply drives around here to fill that very same need. It bugs me. I don't give. I'd rather help a particular struggling parent fill their actual list (my sister, but she gets the free school supplies backpack for the needy) or help fund a teachers classroom supply fund.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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That's crazy!!

 

I'm a former classroom teacher. We did a mix of personal supplies (notebooks, binders etc) and communal (pencils, packs of lined paper, etc). But our lists were quite modest (often needing to ask for more communal supplies each year when the PTO did donations of supplies to get us through the year).

 

But bringing supplies for others would have frustrated me too, especially after the misuse of "low income" situations. I'll never forget this one time I had a students parent write a letter that he couldn't afford the $25 for the Jmestown trip.

Of course, we scholarshipped him to go. Then, on the day of the trip he brought $25 for the gift shop (more than any other child) and came home with a wooden boat. I can't tell you how many kids parents paid for the trip and sent nothing or MAYBE $5 for the gift shop. It was super

Frustrating.... And just taught me that while of course there are legit hardworking low income situations, things aren't always what they seem.

 

Ok, end rant!

 

This situation sounds completely inappropriate on so many levels.  If a student qualifies for financial assistance such as free or reduced lunch, then they also qualify for financial assistance with all other fees including field trip fees, instrument rentals, class T-shirts, etc.  The family shouldn't have to write a letter stating that they cant afford a specific trip.  This is all handled by a specific agent of the school that handles these monies.  The teacher should not be involved and often doesn't know which child qualifies for this funding (although they may have ideas).  

 

I understand the frustration that a child receiving assistance is bringing quite a bit of money for souvenirs, the funding process sounds off.

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If you're upset about this--and I would be, too--you need to step up and say "No, I'm not doing it." Nothing will change unless parents speak up. (I'm thinking about the year every child was told to bring a box of waxed paper for art class. No way on earth that much waxed paper was used. Things changed the following year.) You will probably find that plenty of other parents are fed up as well.

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I'd be tempted to buy the list, then "helpfully" do a bunch of math on the rate-of-consumption for each item. With scenarios (ie if 3 children are unsupplied, if 10 children are unsupplied, etc).

 

This might help a teacher see that the requests are unmerited, even if other children aren't bringing supplies. It also might help encourage fair and liberal distribution, if it is clear that there is an abundance.

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The waste involved bugs me too.

 

New scissors and rulers every year? Ugh.

 

When I taught kindergarten the only shared supplies were scissors and thick pencils that the school supplied and we used every year.

 

When I first started the school did shared crayons but I quickly saw that was a waste. I switched to each kid using their own crayons and the need for crayons went way down.

 

With shared crayons, the crayon breaker kid breaks them all and the other kids never get decent crayons or you blow through the supply quickly with a ton of waste.

 

With assigned crayons I had some kids who never needed their second box. The crayon breaker might prefer stubs and just use those or when out of crayons then the family sends more in. If mom is tired of buying crayons it's between parent and child.

 

Yes, I do feel strongly about school supplies!

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Our local school requests FORTY pencils for second graders. I know they drop them, lose them, and break them, but that seems a bit excessive.

 

As a child, I had some OCD tendencies with my school supplies and kept them in excellent condition. Having to share supplies with people who didn't take care of things would have sent me over the edge. 

Edited by mom2scouts
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It seems more and more schools are requesting excess supplies under the guise of helping the kids who don't have supplies. When every kindergarten student needs to bring 40 glue sticks (a requirement in my district) it seems a bit ridiculous though. I mean that's a stick of glue per week per child. It seems to me that schools may need to rethink how supplies are handled.

 

I think it's good to help kids that can't afford supplies, I think it's good to help teachers that have to provide supplies out of their own pockets, but maybe schools need to handle it differently.

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Happened again. End of school year. I see the teacher at the public school has at least half the supplies people brought left over. When every child in the class has to bring 48 pencils, 7 boxes of crayons, 10 large glue sticks, etc, there will be left overs. So I asked the teacher, again, as I often ask, every year, what will happen with the left over supplies. After all, she is not sending them home with the kids. She says they will go on mission trips to other countries. 

 

I really resent this. The school supply pack option this year was $103. Every year, I have had to send 1-2 sets of water paints per child, yet, I have never seen anything come home that was made from water paints. 48 pencils? Many teachers only allow a child to have one pencil. Now, 10 eraser caps as well as two of the pink bevel erasers? 7 boxes of crayons per child.

 

It ticks me off when we have plenty of low income people right here in this area, and parents are required to supply all these supplies to give to mission trips. If you do not supply it, you are the bad parent who is not giving your child all he needs. IF you do supply it, you are giving to their missions. And I am tired of the schools just assuming the parents are made of money and just should give to their mission trips. I would feel better about this if the supplies went to other low income schools in the area, but they do not. They leave the country on church mission trips.

 

Anyone else dealing with this?

 

What would they do if you just refused to send in this? I would simply say no and send my child in with what I thought was reasonable - I'm ornery like that (that's one of the reasons we don't do public school).

 

My kids have never been in ps, but I used to take the kids to Walmart and we supplied one student in the kid's grade at the school they were assigned to attend from the supply list. We did this up until a couple years ago when the kids didn't seem to care anymore. I have seen some pretty specific lists over the years (folders in specific colors and numbers, exact type of pen, etc), but never "padded" with 7 boxes of crayons - that's just ridiculous. I can't even comment on mission donations at ps; that should not be happening.

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Glue sticks...bleh!

 

So much plastic waste and they're messy and not always lasting.

 

We (kindergarten) did white glue with a special cap that prevented accidentally squeezing a lot out. One bottle lasted all year.

 

Did I mention this topic makes me crabby?

;)

 

Eta: I think this is the cap, Tap n glue. Once you get the hang of it it works great!

https://m.store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?minisite=10046&item=474483&gclid=CjwKEAjwhYLLBRDIjoCu0te4niASJAC0V4QP9rypd_XHwv6AQSKA-7eZsR1JrLjmFtw8fv01GKwxlxoC-Ezw_wcB

 

.

Edited by happi duck
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Every year, I get back a box of chewed up crayons, gross watercolor paints, 43 eraserless pencils, etc. I wish they would just throw it out instead of sending it home for me to throw out.

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We get the leftovers back.

 

We don't have to purchase through the school, either.

 

I would honestly say to the teacher "I need my share of the leftovers back to use next year." I don't think I would get turned down.

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OP, I would talk to the teacher, the administration, and the parent organization.  Do it gently, politely, respectfully.  

You might start by asking which supplies are meant to be shared, and which are individual.  Anything individual can be labeled with your child's name.  I have put labels on individual colored pencils before (expensive ones) - when a pencil is dropped or lent, it makes it clear where it needs to end up.  Ask also whether a pencil box or other supply container is useful, and what size would fit into the desk.  Scissors can be labeled with a tag on a string attached to one of the handles. For other items, make a file with your child's name over and over again in an appropriate font size - about half the width of some clear tape is good.  Then cut out the names and tape to the items.  

 

Seven boxes of crayons is unacceptable.  
Donating excess supplies to a religious charity is beyond unacceptable.

Rulers and scissors can and should be used year to year, with minimal replacement needed.  Writing implements less so, but if there is excess they can be saved for the following year, for use by children who use theirs up or don't have them to begin with.  We all love a fresh box of crayons, and they are affordable for most families due to back to school sales, IF the family is not also asked to provide new rulers, scissors, and multiple boxes of crayons.  Any supply list can be clearly labeled as to what is the minimum needed for each child, and what can be donated should the family feel moved and able to do so.

 

Again - you can be an agent of change here.  Talk to other parents, and see how they feel about it.  Then speak up.  Start by asking what is really expected, and what other families do.  Go from there to suggest that the school revisit the way they obtain supplies.  Be prepared with multiple suggestions as to how this can be handled in a more sensible fashion.

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Legally, no one can ask for supplies.  We were asked to reword our own class syllabus to say "recommended supplies."  This goes for all fees for sport/extracurricular activities (uniforms, etc.).  The ACLU has been filing lawsuits against districts charging fees for public education.  

 

As a parent, I'm with you.  Why does a teacher need 50,000 ziploc bags?  Do you really use all 24 colors of the crayons/pencils?  When my eldest ds was in ps, I noticed the majority of supplies the few of us purchased had been distributed to the ones who were lacking.  I think it should have been a wish list instead of required supplies.  

 

As a teacher, I spend in excess of $300 every year supplying the basics for my students.  Some of our teachers do a project the first week of school using a kleenex box, assuring that they'll have enough to get through the year.  Our district won't provide anything that they think is non-instructional, including staplers!   :lol:

 

 

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I would be incredibly unhappy with that since I don't support mission trips.  I would be more accepting of the teachers retaining the supplies for the next year.

 

I do not do supply lists for my kids in public school.  I see no need for the teachers to collect the ridiculous number of items on each list up front so I now supply only what my child needs.  I check with the teacher on back to school day to see which items will be retained by the student and which are dropped off with the teacher and send in only the individual items.  I also send in a note to the teacher to let her know what I have chosen to do and why (wastefulness) and provide my email address with a note to let me know if/when she needs supplies as I am more than happy to send things in.  I also include a $10 -$20 target gift card so she can grab things she needs that aren't on the school lists.  I have had a universally positive response to this approach.  My kids teachers love being able to grab the things they need rather than getting yet another 20 glue sticks, and they appreciate knowing there is a parent who they can email mid-year when the flu hits the class and they need tissues or hand sanitizer who won't be irritated at being asked to contribute more to the class.

 

 

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I am religious and have no problem with religious or non-religious missions trips, and I still have a problem with the public school supporting any sort of missions trips with the required supplies. I would have zero problem with the school saying, "As you purchase supplies for your own own child, we will also have a box where you can contribute supplies/cash for students who can't afford supplies/low income schools in our area/missions trip." As long as it's voluntary and you know which of your contributions are going to the charity, it doesn't bother me for people to ask. It bothers me that they ask for SO much with the intent of donating a bunch of it. OP, I would definitely be speaking up about that.

 

I used to hate communal pots of supplies. Broken, dirty bits of crayons with missing paper so it was hard to tell the dark colors apart. Scissors that were sticky. Paste that wasn't sticky. Short pencils with no erasers. Yuck. Also, if the school requested a specific brand, and I bought that brand for my child, I'd be pretty annoyed if my kid was made to use the cheaper brand because another parent didn't spend the money; if brand matters, it matters (Ticonderoga vs. cheaper pencils, for instance), and if it doesn't, they shouldn't specify a brand. I'm still slightly neurotic about school supplies. I don't have communal supplies for every day use here. Each child gets his/her own box of supplies, and I refill as needed. 3yo likes to break crayons, and 5yo likes his nice and neat, so they get their own. One kid likes to chew on pen tops and also not put them back in his box, so this year I am going to wrap colored washi tape around his. I hate running out of pens because someone else didn't put his back in his box, and I hate chewed tops.

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Just for fun, my local public school supply list which doesn't look too excessive

 

Kindergarten Supply List

1 Clorox Cleaning Wipes

1 24 Crayola Crayons

1 Pencil Box (8 1/2" x 5 1/2") Clear or Plain (no graphics or pictures)

3 Pencils (wood)

2 Erasers

1 Fiskar pointed scissors

2 Glue sticks

1 Elmer's white bottle of glue (liquid)

Post-its (for new reading program)

1 Watercolor Paints (16 colors in a set)

1 fat blue tape

 

Grade 1:

1 wide ruled composition notebook

1 folder with 2 pockets

1 plastic pencil box approx. (8â€x5â€x3â€) that holds:

o 1 pair of student-sized scissors

o 1 box of 24 crayons

o 1 box of 24 colored pencils

o 2 or more glue sticks

1 container of Clorox cleaning wipes (75)

1 box of Kleenex/facial tissues

1 ream or pack of brightly-colored/neon paper 8 1â„2â€x11â€

1 pack of pre-sharpened #2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencils

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To join in the conversation, I've never heard the phrase "mission trip" used for non-religious missions. However, it doesn't matter. Secular or religious, if they have a significant number of unused supplies left over those should be divvied up and sent home, or saved for next year. (If they only have, say, one box of crayons and five pencils, I wouldn't object to those being given to a local charity - but what are the odds that that's the sum total of leftovers in the entire school?)

 

If it IS religious, the only difference that makes to the impropriety of the situation is that the FFRF might be interested.

Edited by Tanaqui
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Our local school requests FORTY pencils for second graders. I know they drop them, lose them, and break them, but that seems a bit excessive.

 

As a child, I had some OCD tendencies with my school supplies and kept them in excellent condition. Having to share supplies with people who didn't take care of things would have sent me over the edge. 

 

A pencil a week seems excessive?

 

I can totally see how 7 boxes of crayons or 40 glue sticks is excessive, but kids go through pencils fast.  

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My child's school provides everything. (Urban district, mix of middle-class and lower income.) Things that are communal for the classroom, like wipes and tissues, the teacher sends out a note asking for donations. I would not be in a position to spend $100 on school supplies. I wonder what percentage of parents are actually doing that. 48 pencils and 7 boxes of crayons suggest it's quite low and the few parents who comply are being taken for a ride. I would complain to the principal. It's not even legal anyway. My district is not rich and they manage to provide everything.

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