Principal advises what to include on your back-to-school shopping list

What school supplies to buy?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Many local school districts have adopted a remote learning model for the upcoming school year.

And as families start thinking about back to school shopping, there are some items you may not have considered.

School leaders say you’ll still need the basics like pencils, paper and notebooks, but you’ll also need some more expensive items like computers and printers, as well as some items you can’t find in stores.

Tikki Hines is the principal at Barrett Elementary. She said she’s excited students attending Birmingham City Schools will be learning from home this fall, calling it a “thoughtful” decision.

But with many school districts adopting a remote learning model, parents will need to shop for more than backpacks and pens.

“The remote platforms will be set up on Schoology for Birmingham City. That’s where videos, instructional videos, student assignments, announcements. It’s a platform where the children as a class can meet together and get communication and instruction from the teacher. Definitely a piece of technology, a hot spot, Internet, because a lot of the work will come through online resources,” said Hines.

But items like laptops, Chromebooks, computer cameras, and wireless headphones cost a lot more than colored pencils and rulers, which is why many school districts, including BCS, used money from the cares act to ensure each student would have technology and internet access for the upcoming school year.

“And I also think it’s important for the parents and the teachers to work closely together and have that open line of communication, so being able to check emails, text messages, join the school group, join the classroom group so that you can receive the most updated information possible so that you can better know how to assist you child,” said Hines.

Principal Hines also recommended establishing routines and procedures early on in the school year and designating a quiet place in your home for your child to get their instruction.

“Stay calm. I know it’s time when it’s the unknown, but be as supportive as you can. Sometimes parents want to do the work, and so sometimes they’re going to need to be more of an advocate to assist, ask questions, probing questions, but don’t do the work for them,” said Hines.

Hines said parents should treat this school year just like a traditional school, advising parents to set schedules for bedtime and starting the day.

She said schools will also have breakfast and lunch available for pick up.

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