New school supply lists may save Osceola County parents money, officials say

Purchasing school supplies will be here before you know it, and the Osceola County School District is trying to make the process a little easier – and cheaper.

On Tuesday, the School Board discussed adopting a policy to create uniform school supply lists for each grade countywide.

The idea is to cut costs by eliminating more optional items.

“When we first started this, we had some school supply lists in excess of $100,” said Richard Fritz, chief of staff for teaching for Osceola County Schools. “These standardized lists range between $25 and $35.”

The new plan comes after parents voiced frustration over breaking the bank just to check off items on teacher-provided school supply lists.

The district got to work in the spring by gathering principals and administrators to hammer out what supplies were essential in every classroom. 

Those principals then worked with teachers at each school to figure out what parents really need to buy and what the district might be able to pitch in and supply.

Standardized supply lists also open the district up to community partnership opportunities, Fritz said. For example, Office Depot can help create all-in-one ready-to-go packets of supplies parents across Osceola can pick up based on grade level.

School Board Member Terry Castillo favored the idea. As a mother with students in the district, she said she’s spent well over $100 per child in the past.

“This is great,” she said.