Take a walk through Walmart, Target, Walgreens or the store of your choice. They’re littered everywhere — binders, college-ruled notebooks, folders, crayons, colored pencils, glue, pens, pencils and dry erase markers.
It’s August, and it’s time for a school shopping bonanza, or is it?
I pondered that question the other day as I was meandering around one said store. With a pair of teenage students at home, school shopping is still part of our late-summer ritual. But given that Jeffco Public Schools is starting school this year remotely before elementary school students are scheduled to return in early September while upper classes go to a hybrid approach, I asked myself, “What do we need for school supplies?”
Is there a need for paper and pens if all of the classes are online?
Do we really need notebooks if we can keep files on our laptop or tablet?
Is there any need for folders if there aren’t any papers to physically hand to be graded and returned to you since everything is electronic?
Crayons? Colored pencils? Glue? Do we need any of them right now?
For some schools, they will. For districts such as Clear Creek and Platte Canyon, which return to the classroom the week of Aug. 17, these will become a necessity. But for other schools with no clear-cut plan in place, how much should one be spending on school supplies now or in the immediate future?
Do we invest in a lunch box? Remember the cool metal lunch boxes we had back in the day. No need to pack a lunch when the classroom is a mere few feet from the kitchen.
How about new school clothes? Does shopping for a new set of pajamas count because, seriously, are we really changing into “school clothes” to venture from the bedroom to the computer desk/kitchen table/living room?
Also, how do you go school clothes shopping if one can’t use the dressing room to try on clothes? Here’s hoping they fit.
I asked my pragmatic 16-year-old son what is one supposed to shop for in this day and age when going school shopping? He didn’t skip a beat.
“A USB flash drive?” he suggested.
What a funny guy, but I sensed where he was coming from. Given the current normal that is education in America, it makes sense. If there’s no need to turn in physical papers, maybe we’ll be turning in electronic ones instead.
I imagine, however, one supply that will come in quite handy — more than we probably ever realized before — once school is back in session for real: disinfectant wipes.
I don’t know about you, but it always seemed silly to me that disinfectant wipes and tissue boxes were aplenty on these school supply lists. Now, however, with COVID-19 prominent in our society, this may be one school supply we’ll all be buying in bulk. A trip to Costco may be in order.
Of course — I hope — we’ll need all of those other supplies and more once in-person classes return, but for now what do we really need?
Editor Michael Hicks can be reached at 303-350-1039 or via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MHicksEditor.