School supplies rtsa

If you have walked into a big box store or shopped online in the past couple of weeks, you know that it is already time for back-to-school shopping. (Don’t worry, kids, you still have a month of summer left.) 

To avoid the all-too familiar stress of running to buy pencils, new shoes and lunch boxes that don’t smell like three-month-old soup, here’s a list of things to keep in mind as you begin the annual ritual of getting back to learning. 

  1. For the room 

Talk to teachers and they will tell you that it is not uncommon for them to buy items for their classroom and students. There are a few items that almost every teacher will need: 

  • Pencils

  • Tissues 

  • Notebooks

  • Colored pencils

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Disinfectant wipes

  • Dry erase markers

Every teacher and school is different, so it is a good idea to touch base with a teacher or check the classroom wish list before stocking up on supplies. 

  1. Things you might not think about

There are supplies that everyone remembers when shopping for school: notebooks, writing tools, etc. But there are items that are frequently forgotten or not found on school lists that can be helpful: 

  • Period kits: Not every person will have access to needed monthly supplies. It is a good idea to buy or make a kit that can be stored in lockers or backpacks to help students in a pinch. 

  • Name labels: For those in pre-k and younger, it is not uncommon to change an outfit during the school day. Make things easier for the very busy daycare and preschool teachers and label everything. Personalized stickers and stamps make the labeling process easy. 

  • Reusable water bottles: They are better for the environment than single-use bottles and you remember to drink water when carrying it around with you all day. 

  • Headphones/earbuds: It is not uncommon for older students to have quiet work time where they are allowed to listen to music while working. For many students, this helps them concentrate and get things done. 

  • Portable phone charger: With school, sports, clubs, theater, jobs and more, students tend to have long days. Make sure their phones stay charged with portable chargers. 

  • Bluelight glasses: As screens are required for most students, bluelight glasses can be helpful to prevent headaches or eye strain. 

  1. Dates to know

Dates to note for Hudson families:

  • Aug. 30: First day of school 1st through 12th grade

  • Sept. 2: First day of school for kindergarten 

  • Sept. 6: No school 

  • Oct. 15&18: No school

  • Nov. 5: End of first quarter, early release

  • Nov. 23: End of first trimester, early release

  • Nov. 24-26: No school

  • Dec. 22-31: No school

  • Jan. 21: No school, end of second quarter

  • Feb. 18&21: No school

  • March 4: End of second trimester, early release

  • March 14-18: No school, spring break

  • April 1: End of third quarter, early release

  • April 15: No school

  • May 30: No School

  • June 4: Graduation 

  • June 9: Last day of school

Dates to note for River Falls families:

  • Sept. 1: First Day of School

  • Sept. 6: No School

  • Oct. 11: No school

  • Nov. 1: No school

  • Nov. 24-26: No school

  • Dec. 23-21: No school

  • Jan. 17: No school

  • Feb. 11&14: No school

  • March 14-18: No school, spring break

  • April 1: No school

  • May 30: No school

  • June 3: Last day of school

  • June 5: Graduation 

Dates to note for New Richmond families:

  • Sept. 1: First day of school for 1st through 12th grade

  • Sept. 2: First day of school for kindergarten 

  • Sept. 6: No school

  • Sept. 20: No school

  • Oct. 18: No school

  • Nov. 15: No school

  • Nov. 24-26: No school

  • Dec. 23-321: No school

  • Jan. 17: No school

  • Feb. 21: No school

  • March 21: No school

  • March 28-31: No school, spring break

  • April 15&18: No school

  • May 30: No school

  • June 2: Last day of school, early dismissal

  1. Costs 

One of the unfortunate trends for back-to-school shopping is the cost. The National Retail Federation has reported that school spending in the U.S. will likely reach record amounts in 2021; maybe $3 million more than the $33.9 billion spent last year.

Spending for college seems to increase every year and 2021 is no different. This year the number is projected to be $71 billion, up from $67.7 billion in 2020.

One of the most staggering facts is that the National Retail Federation states that the average family pays $848.90 on school items per child every year. 

5. Ways to save 

There are ways to save. Common suggestions include: 

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it. 

  • Use coupons and look for sales. September tends to come with large clearance sales. 

  • Go through last year’s supplies and see what can be reused. 

  • Host a clothing swap.

  • Shop second hand (this is both more affordable and better for the environment than purchasing new).

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