Every elementary student in the Gale- Ettrick-Trempealeau school district went back to school with all the supplies needed because the district provided them.
The district has it built into their budget to provide the supplies and has been doing so now for three years.
Faculty at the elementary schools believe that providing the supplies helps achieve one of the district’s goals.
“One of the things that we really have a high emphasis on at the G-E-T school district is to be able to promote equity for all and so being able to eliminate any of those potential barriers that a family may have is not only reassuring for us as staff members and educators, but also for those families that know that it’s just one less thing to prepare for,” said Galesville Elementary School Counselor Steve Kurschner.
There are about 600 students in the three elementary schools a part of the G-E-T district.
The only thing parents have to provide their students with is a backpack and a pair of headphones. However, the district knows that for some, shopping for school supplies is a back to school routine.
“There are some parents that still enjoy the experience of shopping for school supplies and we encourage them to either donate the supplies that they do shop for to our middle school students or to other school districts if they have a need as well,” said Aaron Engel, District Administrator.
Engel says that about 26-percent of the students in the elementary schools live in poverty.
The school knows that purchasing the supplies not only relieves parents of a financial burden, but also helps students academically.
“It’s one thing to be able to just know that students are set in place to be able to have all the necessities and all the tools to meet their goals,” Kurschner said.
While high school students don’t have their supplies provided, they have also seen changes in recent years.
“We’ve eliminated fees for summer school and then we’ve eliminated class fees for high school courses as well like foods or metals where there would have been course fees in the past,” Engel said.
The district is looking to possibly expand and provide supplies to the middle school and high school as well in the future.