School Supplies Distribution

Emma Di Coio, Reporter

Since the beginning of the year, our school has set up a process for students to pick up and drop off supplies. The process is fairly straightforward: on Wednesdays, students can head to the NMU and tell campus staff their name, class and teacher, who then go through the sorted material to hand off to students. 

However, for many teachers, there have been challenges with the distribution process and arranging student packages.

An Art teacher, Ms. Josey Richter, shares her experience with the supply distribution process.

   “From the start of distance learning last spring, art supplies have been a big problem for me and the art department.  Students didn’t even have paper to work on when we went to distance learning.  Students told me they did not have pencils, a way to sharpen pencils, an eraser, super basic stuff,” said Richter.

 And with the weekly time constraint, there proves to be even more issues. 

I have had quite a few students who have struggled to get supplies.  I have dropped supplies off at students’ houses, met with students in other places to drop off supplies, have had other students help each other, and have stayed at Casa myself and handed out supplies until 6:00 instead of ending at 3:00.  I have tried everything that I know how, including the option for students to buy their own supplies,” said Richter. The times are limited and not accommodating to everyone, but I know there are schools that are not allowing for any or very limited supply pick up.”

Campus supervisor, Gordie Wirtz, comments on other challenges that arise when students are not there to pick up their supplies. 

Sometimes the parents only had the students’ names and did not know anything else. Without knowing the exact item such as book, name, material, or the teacher’s name and the students’ class periods. It’s made it difficult for us to find what they needed to get,” said Wirtz. Having Wednesday as the only day for pickup is also stressful as that means if a student has missed or forgotten about a material pick up, they have to wait another week before getting supplies for class. 

Despite these difficulties, overall the program has been a success and has gotten many students their supplies.

Ms. Helen Austin gets kudos for diligent organizational skills, she was instrumental in making this program a success. Ms. Austin was the contact person for the teachers and she made sure that all the items were picked up and organized for easy distributions,” said Wirtz. 

So despite the global pandemic and various health concerns, the school has been able to fairly successfully distribute school supplies to students with a few understandable challenges.