Private School Supplies

Late summer means shopping for school supplies. Like their public school counterparts, families with students attending private school spend time poring over the supply lists, scouring the house for items they already have and going to a store or using the Internet to buy what else is needed. Each private school has its own way of dealing with supplies. Some charge a supply fee and then provide everything. Others suggest families provide items for the classroom, such as computer paper or facial tissues, which will be used by all. Most private schools ask families to provide the supplies their child will use during the year. Private schools also charge a textbook fee or have students purchase their own textbooks; require families to provide a uniform or clothing for their child that meets a dress code; and assess a transportation fee or ask families to transport students.
Tips for Buying Private School Supplies While the supply and textbook lists will differ depending on your child’s grade level and the type of private school they are attending, a few words of advice are universal.
* Before making any purchases, contact the school to get the official supply and/or textbook list for the upcoming school year. Find out if there is a used book or uniform sale. Shop there first to help control costs.
* Go through the closets and drawers at home to find supplies that can be used.
* Keep a calendar so you’ll know the dates when used items are for sale, transportation fees are due, parents meetings are held etc.
* Find a family who had a student attend the private school where your child is going. Ask them questions about everything. They are a great source for the little things that the school might forget to tell you. They can also let you know where to buy items that students really like and use.
* Save all your receipts just in case you purchase something your child will not use.
* Computers maybe supplied to all students by the school for a technology fee, or students may have to buy their own. Find out your school’s policy and technology requirements.
Basic Private School Supplies
Some basic school supplies for all students in private elementary and secondary schools are:
* Writing supplies — pencils, sharpener, erasers, lead and eraser refills for mechanical pencils, plus pens, red and black or blue.
* Paper — loose leaf paper and binders; spiral or composition notebooks; graph paper for math; index cards to use as flash cards or when writing reports; and folders to hold papers.
* Miscellaneous items — tape, plastic bags, sponges, wet wipes, tissues, book covers, dictionary, assignment book or calendar, etc.
* Art supplies — glue stick or paste, scissors, crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints, construction paper, clay, sketch pads, etc.
* Computer supplies — flash drive, paper, toner, etc.
Private High School Supplies
Additional supplies for private high school may include:
* Specialized supplies — composition and lab classes notebook or a protractor and compass for math
* Graphing or other type of calculator – buy the required brand for math or science classes.
* Additional reference books – a grammar style book or Bible, which will be used all four years.
* Computer supplies — specialized software or storage device.
* Specialty supplies for art, music, dance or athletics
Additional Private School Supplies Students may also need:
* Backpack or tote bag, which may be supplied by the school or purchased privately.
* Locker accessories, for both the regular and gym locker. A combination lock is usually required for each locker, which students must buy from the school.
* Physical Education (PE) or gym clothes. Most private schools have PE uniforms or dress codes for gym class and personal care items may be needed for showering.
* Emergency supplies are sometimes requested depending on the school’s response plan.
* Uniforms or clothes to meet the school dress code. Buy from the recommended source or by the official uniform number, to ensure that you are getting the right colors, material, etc. Shop the used uniform sales to control costs. Private schools often require certain footwear.
Boarding School Supplies
Obtain an up-to-date list of boarding supplies from your child’s school or website. It will list specific items and sizes that will be required. For example, you might need extra long sheets for your child’s bed or all the towels must be white, since they are washed together in a bleach solution. Specific storage items such as footlockers maybe required since dorms rooms may have limited space. Electrical devices may be limited due to the wiring in a building. All personal items should be labeled permanently with your child’s name as recommended by the school.

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