as a child we always had to bring the two boxes of kleenex, 2 packages of manilla paper (man I wish I could find that stuff around here) and 2 packages of construction paper. the big sheets. I think that was it for classroom supplies. we had to supply a gym uniform (dark bottoms and light tops) and avrious other things (stuipid caculator. i refused to spend $100 for one unit in my math book. I just took a failing grade because thats stupid.)
but locker fees!!! come on.
and uniform coats! that is rediculous. our schools don't allow coats in the classrooms. period. so that would solve that problem. I don't know that you will be able to find a coat like that (although maybe carharts or someone who sells letter jackets) but if you are having trouble so is everyone else. chances are he won't need it for a while so you can let someone else do the leg work.
I guess it wouldn't bother me to bring kleenex even if my kids didn't use them. they are $.50 a box. the last thing I would want in public school is for my child to make a scene over something so small. at the same time if your child will not be using them I think it is fair that you don't send it in.
If your teachers are asking for name brands you may want to call and ask if they really want the name brands. I know one group of campanies run a program (I know it includes, mead, crayola, sharpie, post it and some more) run a program where if you ask for thier name brand stuff (you have a list to choose from ) they send the teacher an obscene amount of free school supplies. I forget how much but it was between $40-$80. just for using thier list maker. good stuff too. She may not really care about brand. She may have just been wanting the free stuss. and then again it may be a uniformity thing or everything may get pooled into classroom supplies.
Our public schools, local businesses and charities all work together to make sure school supplies is do-able. I could have bought everything on the list for each girl fo around $5 or $6 for my first grader and about $10 for my 4th grader. the schools ask for the cheap stuff specifically the crayons that are $.19, the paper that is $.20 and the notebooks and folders that are $.10, the markers that are $1 etc and those prices are for name brand! ). and surprisingly no classroom supplies (although those might get sent home on a classroom by classroom basis we homeschool so I don't know for sure). Then, the almost-local grocery store ran a super deal on really nice back packs loaded! with supplies (everything you would need for middle school on down and then some). it was $10 on its own or you could buy 5 items from a list (including $.99 chips) and get the backpack/suplies for $5. incredible deal. And if you still can't swing it, the local soup kitchen gives out new backpacks loaded with everything you need. kids preschool and up (and parents if they are in school), get to pick out the back pack of thier choice and you don't need a poor card or anything. there is no paperwork. If you need bad enough to ask for help then you need. end of story. (I love these people
). and because they rock, people love them and because people love them they will spend thier last dime to give to them and because of that they have never ever ever come up short.
private schools are a different matter entirely. they have to bring sharpies, post it notes, dry erase markers. but if you are paying $500 a month what is classroom supplies on top of it. in the end it is just all part of the tuition.