School District Offers School Supplies for New School Year

June 12, 2019—As part of continued efforts to improve Service, Excellence, and Equity for all students and families, Renton School District will offer school supplies for all elementary and middle school students again for 2019-2020 school year. The district will purchase the school supplies that elementary and middle school students need for learning, and families will pay a one-time, annual fee of $30 ($10 for families on free/reduced lunch) for the school supplies. The program will simplify school supplies purchasing, and make the process more equitable, economical, and efficient for families.

For most families, the cost of school supplies at the start of the school year can be well over $100 per child. With the ability to buy direct from wholesalers and in bulk, Renton Schools can purchase school supplies at a much lower cost. 

Families would pay a one-time low cost of $30/$10 per student

The district-offered school supply process will ask families of elementary and middle school students to pay a one-time fee of $30 per student to provide enough school supplies for the school year (the fee for students on free/reduced lunch is $10 per student). The fee covers both items for individual students to use and for supplies for general classroom use. Families will continue to provide students with backpacks and lunchboxes, along with school planners at middle schools. Families of elementary and middle school students will be able to pay the one-time $30/$10 school supply fee online or by check/cash at their school.

School supplies for 2019-2020 school year

The following items will be provided for general classroom use:

  • Dry Erase Markers, Dry Eraser, Copy Paper, Zip Top Bags (gallon size & quart), Disinfectant Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Boxes of Tissues

Elementary Grades K-5:

  • Backpacks/lunchboxes provided by family
  • School supplies provided at school:
    • Pencils, Highlighters, Dividers, Large Eraser, Folders, Sticky Notes, Colored Pencils, Loose-leaf Notebook Paper (wide-rule & college-ruled), Washable Marker Set, Pencil Box, Pencil Caddy, Scissors, Glue Sticks, Composition Notebooks, Black Permanent Marker, Ruler, Crayons, Earbuds/Headphones

Middle School Grades 6-8:

  • Backpacks/lunchboxes provided by family
  • School planners/ Sports & Activities Fees/ASB paid by families
  • School supplies provided at school:
    • Pencils, Highlighters, Pens (black and blue), Loose-leaf Notebook Paper (college-rule), 3” Binders, Dividers, Large Eraser, Pencil Pouch, Graph Paper Notebooks, Folders, Sticky Notes, Colored Pencils, Laptop Earbuds

High School Grades 9-12:

High school students will continue to provide their own school supplies. See school website for supply list. 

District-Offered School Supplies FAQs

Why was the program started in Renton School District?

Equity, access, and consistency: For most families, the cost of school supplies throughout the school year can be well over $100 per child. With the ability to buy direct from wholesalers and in bulk, Renton Schools can purchase school supplies at a much lower cost, and pass the savings on to families.

What grade levels are included in the program?

School supplies will be offered to elementary and middle school students. High school students will continue to provide their own school supplies.

What is included?

Elementary Grades K-5:

  • School supplies provided at school (general list provided below)
  • Backpacks/lunchboxes provided by family

Middle School Grades 6-8:

  • School supplies provided at school (general list provided below)
  • Backpacks/lunchboxes provided by family
  • School planners/ Sports & Activities Fees/ASB paid by families

Is this mandatory; do families have to participate?

No. Families can continue to choose to purchase their own school supplies. There are no special steps to decline to participate: Families would simply provide their own materials and not pay the fee. (Families providing their own materials can use the grade-level school supply list example in the following answer.) 

How will students receive the supplies?

District staff will order school supplies in enough time to have them delivered to elementary and middle schools by early August. Schools will make the supplies available for individual teachers to be ready to provide to students at the start of school on August 28, 2019.

How were the list of school supplies selected?

Teachers and school staff previously created grade-level school suply lists which were posted on school websites, and provided to families. The district used those staff-created lists to create the list of school supplies to provide to students.

Will teachers who have specific school supply needs based on their subject matter be provided those specialty items?

Yes. The district will work with school principals to determine those needs.

Will consideration be given to ensure high-demand school supplies are available?

Yes. Some items are used quite a bit in classrooms as teachers present district curriculum. We will ensure there are enough of those high-use items for students.

What happens when students or classrooms run out of the initially-provided school supplies?

Schools will be provided additional supplies to be stored at school to access when initial supplies are depleted. Also, teachers and school staff can work with their principal and front office staff to order additional school supplies as needed through the school year.

What can classrooms or schools do to request speciality items?

Schools have decision-making ability to purchase speciality items considered important to a specific classroom through their building budgets. Principals and teachers will work to decide the need and order items.

What will the program cost the district?

We continue to work on the list of items to purchase for each grade level; so, we do not yet have a fixed cost for the program. We will continue to work with individuals and community organizations who assist with funding school-realted programs. We’re confident that through the fee process and community partnerships the program will have minimal impact on the district’s budget.