School provides free supplies for students

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HIGH POINT — Pam Sandage dreaded the process of purchasing school supplies for her children. The price, negotiating over which notebook to buy with her kids and the long lines at the store irked her.
She was suprised to find the cost was taken care of for her child when she moved into the High Point school district two years ago.

"When they said it’s just a $10 donation and we supply the supplies, I couldn’t believe it," Sandige said. "I thought there was a catch. And they’re like ‘Seriously. That’s what we do.' And I thought that was the most fantastic thing I ever heard of."

Stan Elliott, the superintendent and principal for the High Point R-III School District, said funds from the school's parent-teacher organization and donations allows the majority of school supplies to be provided for the 77 students enrolled in classes. Students are asked to bring in a backpack, donation of tissues, shoes for physical education and headphones if in second through eighth grade. However, Elliott said those items would be available if there is a need and a donations are not required.

“We try to do what we can to keep costs down for our parents,” he said.

According to the National Retail Federation, a household will spend about $674 on back-to-school shopping in 2016. This is an increase from $630 in 2015.

Barbara Whittle has children in the first and third grades at High Point. She said the shift saves stress.

"It’s one less check that you’re having to write as a parent," Whittle said. "Times get tough for everybody every now and then. And, I mean, if you had to have it you would figure out a way to go and get it, but the no pressure makes it a lot easier to start out the school year here.”

Elliott said $250-300 is allotted per classroom annually. Supplies are bought in bulk and teachers can purchase the necessary for their classes in addition to the traditional needs of pencils and paper.