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Why do we provide school supplies?

Bellingham Public Schools strives to provide a free, public education of the highest quality for all students. Buying school supplies — in addition to the many other fees associated with school and activities — is a financial hardship for many families. Our community generously supports our schools in numerous ways, and so much is already asked of parents related to fundraising and fees. Our schools will purchase the supplies students need for learning, as we do with books and other materials.

Goals:

  • Reduce the school supply financial hardship to families as much as possible over time;
  • Eliminate waste for supplies that aren’t used by the end of the year as well as parents’ time and gas money; and
  • Support families in using time saved from school supply shopping to focus on setting learning goals for the new school year and planning for time and space at home for reading and homework.

School Supply Lists for 2019-2020

Elementary School:

  • School supplies provided
  • Backpacks only

Middle School:

  • School supplies provided
  • Students may need ASB cards and will need clothes for physical education
  • Backpacks are recommended but not required
  • No athletic participation fees

High School:

  • School supplies provided, as needed
  • No course fees
  • Reduced high school college preparation testing fees such as PSAT and Advanced Placement (AP) tests
  • Traffic Safety and Financial Education course (driver’s education) added to high school course offerings
  • Students will need ASB cards
  • Backpacks are recommended but not required
  • No athletic participation fees
  • Graduation robes provided on loan; caps and tassels provided to seniors to keep

Donations 

The main purpose of this initiative is to reduce expenses for families.  Therefore, we ask that families only bring the supplies requested.  Families and community organizations that want to help are encouraged to make a monetary donation to the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation in lieu of purchasing supplies for a school. This helps ensure equity for students by avoiding an abundance of supplies at one school and not enough at another.

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