I need to get to school soon, to give the school secretary a letter from me to send out to my new students’ families. I used to request school supplies (Crayola crayons and markers, pencils, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks, tissues, etc.) but I ended up with enough tissues to last me 4 years (seriously, this will be the fifth year and there are still tissue boxes in my storage box). Parents also tended to buy things I hadn’t asked for (we do not need any pocket folders or rulers, thank you), or would buy crappy brands (I only want Crayola markers as they are the only ones that will last, for example).
So a few years ago, I started asking parents to bring in $5 for each child, so that I could have a fund to use for art supplies (paint, markers, etc.), and also to bring in just a few other items: a backpack big enough for 9×12 papers, two green spiral notebooks to use as journals, and a ream of copy paper, if possible. It has worked well and simplified things quite a bit.