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WAAY 31 uncovers mistake in school supplies list

Mountain Gap Elementary School included wish list items on the main supplies list for kindergarten.

Posted: Aug 2, 2019 11:37 PM

A parent came to WAAY 31 with concerns the supply list for her kindergartner at Mountain Gap Elementary was excessive and too expensive.

We took those concerns to Huntsville City Schools and uncovered the district made a mistake and included wish list items, which jacked up the price. The school changed the list and noted which items were on the wish list.

When parents bring their kindergarten students to Mountain Gap on Monday loaded up with supplies to start school they were originally asked to go out and buy everything on a list that was 25 lines long.

A three ring binder, five colored folders with prongs, two composition notebooks, and 18 total glue sticks are only some of the items on the list.

One parent was blown away when she saw, "the sheer number of items on the list."

We're concealing the identity of the parent because she's a teacher in the area and she's worried about professional retribution.
As a teacher, she had concerns about how the list will impact parents at Mountain Gap Elementary, "it's a lot for any family. Especially for a family with multiple children," said the parent.

When WAAY 31 took the list to Principal Bardwell at Mountain Gap she said it was created by teachers and had been approved by the Assistant Principal, herself, and the district office.

The inclusion of wish list items made it through everyone and was sent to parents to start buying, "between us making the list and us typing the list and posting the list it goes through several different people and the mistake happened and that's why we had to correct it," said Bardwell.

After scanning all of the items, including having to order some online because the store was out the item, the total comes out to right around a $100.

When you take off the wish list items it saves parents about $15. Bringing the total to $85.

"When you take that supply list and divide it out over ten months of education I don't know there's an amount that I can put on my child's education for their supplies," said Bardwell.

WAAY 31 did some digging and found not all schools in the district require their parents to buy supplies. Out of 26 elementary schools, 6 of them provide all supplies, except for a backpack.

The district told WAAY 31 those schools qualify for federal funds, because of the economic status of the kids who go there.

If your child doesn't go to one of those schools and you can't afford a long list of supplies the district said there is help for you, "The school, in cooperation with other community partners and PTA's and so forth, will be able to ensure that that child has what they need for the class," said Huntsville City Schools Spokesman Keith Ward.

The parent WAAY 31 spoke to would like to see the district shoulder more of the burden for supplies, "I think pencils should be provided by the district. You know, paper. Basic supplies; erasers."

If things don't change she said new parents should learn from this, "maybe a heads up. Be prepared. Start saving now."

In WAAY 31's digging we found every school has a different supply list, so if you saw your childs list and thought it was too much let us know about it and we'll get answers for you.

The district told WAAY 31 parents at Mountain Gap Elementary are not obligated to bring the wish list items and can choose to return them to the store if they want.

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