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Decatur County School System buys students’ back to school supplies

Monday morning, Superintendent Tim Cochran announced that the Decatur County Board of Education will be purchasing all school supplies for students in Pre-K through twelfth grade.

The ability to purchase all Decatur County students school supplies comes as a result of the CARES money the school system received in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CARES money will be split over a period of two-three years. With this year’s sum, Cochran has allotted $100 per student.

“That’s what I’ve allowed the principals,” Cochran said. “They have $100 per kid, when they make their school orders.”

Cochran elaborated that the teachers may opt to not spend the $100 immediately and instead spend it throughout the year on supplies the students may need the second half of the school year.

The products teachers intend to buy include pencils, pen, glue, paper, folders, hand sanitizer, tissues and more, but Cochran understands some parents may want to still bring in additional items.

“If your child wants a specific notebook and wants to bring their own, that is perfectly fine,” he said. “We just want to make sure no parent is required to buy anything when we can purchase it out of our CARES money.”

Cochran realizes the high school students don’t need quite as many supplies, so their allocation will be spread to the students somewhat differently.

Cochran did say students will still need their own personal items, such as, backpacks or lunchboxes, but all classroom supplies will be funded.

All the faculty and staff throughout the Decatur County School System have been thankful for the CARES allotment and have been issuing orders to their principal throughout the week for a final submission to the BOE.

In addition to supplies, CARES has also funded this year’s summer school program, which has been extremely successful.

“Our middle school and high school completed their summer school in June,” Cochran said. “We issued over 160 credits at the high school.”

Elementary school finished up their summer school in July, where more than 200 kids participated in order to catch up and remediate the disparity from remote and online learning.

Cochran hopes with summer school finishing up and no necessary school supplies, this will lessen the burden on parents and families.