Private education

Special school supplies

Late summer means shopping for school supplies. Like their public school counterparts, families with private school students spend time searching supply lists, scouring the house for items they already have and going to a store or using the Internet to purchase what else is needed. Each private school has its own way of handling supplies. Some charge a supply fee and then give everything away. Others suggest that families provide items for the classroom, such as computer paper or facial tissues, that everyone will use. Most private schools require families to provide supplies that their children will use during the year. Private schools also charge for textbooks or require students to buy their own textbooks; requiring families to provide a uniform or clothing for their child that conforms to the dress code; and assess transportation fees or ask families to transfer students.

Tips for Buying Private School Supplies While lists of supplies and textbooks will vary depending on your child’s grade level and the type of private school they attend, a few words of advice are general.

* Before making any purchases, contact the school for a list of official supplies and/or textbooks for the upcoming school year. Find out if there is a used or consolidated sale book. Shop there first to help control costs.

* Browse cupboards and drawers at home to find supplies that can be used.

* Keep a calendar so you know the dates when used items are on sale, haulage fees are due, parents’ meetings are held etc.

* Find a family that has a student who attends the private school your child attends. Ask them questions about everything. It’s a great resource for the little things the school might forget to tell you. They can also tell you where to buy items that students really like and use.

* Save all receipts just in case you buy something your child won’t use.

* Computers may be provided to all students by the school for a technology fee, or students may have to purchase their own computers. Learn about your school’s policy and technology requirements.

Basic private school supplies

Some basic school supplies for all students in private primary and secondary schools are:

* Writing Supplies – Pencils, sharpeners, erasers, lead refills and erasers for mechanical pencils as well as red, black or blue pens.

* Paper – loose leaf paper and folders; spiral or composition notebooks; Math graph paper. index cards for use as flash cards or when writing reports; and folders to hold papers.

* Miscellaneous items – masking tape, plastic bags, sponges, wet wipes, tissues, book covers, dictionary, task book or calendar, etc.

* Art supplies – glue or tape stick, scissors, crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints, construction paper, clay, drawing boards, etc.

Computer supplies – flash drive, paper, toner, etc.

Special high school supplies

Additional supplies for a private high school may include:

* Specialized supplies – composition books, lab lessons or a protractor and compass for mathematics

* Graphing or any other type of calculator – buy the brand needed for math or science lessons.

* Additional reference books – a Grammar or Bible style book, which will be used throughout the four years.

* Computer supplies – specialized software or storage device.

* Specialized supplies for art, music, dance or athletics

Additional special school supplies students may also need:

* Backpack or handbag, which may be provided by the school or purchased privately.

* Locker accessories, for both regular and gym locker. A combination lock is usually required for each locker, which students must purchase from the school.

* Physical Education (PE) or Sportswear. Most private schools have a uniform or dress code for gym class and personal care items may be required for showers.

*Emergency supplies are sometimes requested depending on the school’s response plan.

* A uniform or clothing that conforms to the school dress code. Buy from the recommended source or through the official unicode, to make sure you get the right colors, materials, etc. Shop used uniform sales to control costs. Private schools often require specific shoes.

Indoor school supplies

Get an updated list of boarding supplies from your child’s school or website. It will list the specific items and sizes that will be required. For example, you may need extra-long sheets for your baby’s crib or all towels must be white, washed together in a bleach solution. Specific storage items such as footlockers may be required since bedrooms may have limited space. Electrical appliances may be limited by wiring in the building. All personal items should be permanently marked with your child’s name as recommended by the school.

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