It’s the last few days before summer break ends and both parents and students alike are scrambling with their back-to-school shopping. Everybody’s been there; going to Target and dumping a pile of notebooks into your shopping cart, or ordering a calculator on Amazon and hoping that it’ll arrive on time.
Jamie Saturno is an incoming junior at Santa Clara High School and she has a couple of tips for students getting back to the classroom. For one, she says that she advises people to buy a high quality backpack that can last for a couple of years at a time
“[As a] result, you don’t have to purchase a new backpack every school year — which I did — and keep spending more money,” Saturno said.
Along with this, she says to bring wipes to school for any unexpected incidents, along with extra cheap pencils for “that one student asking you for a pencil in your class.”
“You’re very hesitant to give that student one of your good pencils,” Saturno said. “Giving them a pencil from the dollar store is going to give you less stress.”
According to Braly Elementary School PTA President Angela Quizon, the parents of elementary schoolers should always be buying extra supplies at the beginning of the school year for cheaper prices. Like Saturno, she believes in packing wipes for her 10-year-old.
While elementary schools typically send out a list of the needed school supplies, Quizon believes that parents should also buy materials that a whole classroom can use. She advises purchasing things like boxes of tissues and snacks in bulk.
“The students get really hungry during recess,” Quizon said. “These items are used by the teachers throughout the school year [and] by all the students in the classroom.”
Dianne Maxon — who served on the Peterson Middle School PTA as VP of Volunteers for three years — says that some “nice to have” items for a middle schooler would include white-out tape, a locker organizer shelf and a magnetic white board. Along with this, depending on the grade level, parents should be aware if they need to purchase a P.E. uniform for their students.
Maxon realizes that transitioning from elementary to middle school is difficult for students, which is why she advises waiting before buying so that kids can first see what everybody else is using.
“The ‘wait and see’ approach can be particularly helpful for incoming 6th graders,” Maxon said. “Students may also want to get a feel for what types of water bottles and lunch boxes the kids at their particular school are using.”
While shopping for school supplies can be done online, Maxon believes that it’s helpful to first see an item in person. Basic supplies can be found at common retailers such as Target, Staples and Office Depot.
As for purchasing new clothing, it is important to be aware of the school’s dress code. The dress code throughout the Santa Clara Unified School District remains the same from school to school, with a few exceptions. Wearing clothing that is offensive, violent or suggesting drug use is not permitted inside schools, and doing so may result in a punishment like being dress coded or sent home.
A full dress code policy can be found online on most schools’ websites.
Vincent Nguyen is a 16-year-old junior at Santa Clara High School and contributed this article to the Santa Clara Weekly.