Some Sand Creek Middle School parents have a new way of getting supply lists for the upcoming school year. Instead of wrinkled pieces of paper sent home the last day of school, they have Teacherlists.com, a website that launched in April and already has supply lists posted for 48,000 classrooms nationwide.
“Every year, right about now, is the annual scramble for parents, especially if they have multiple kids. … As a parent, you’re running around hoping you can find these lists and forgetting them when you go to the store,” said Tim Sullivan, the website’s founder. “The whole idea is to make this much easier for parents.”
Teachers have the option of posting their individual supply lists on teacherlists.com. Parents can then access the lists at home on the computer or right in the store on a smartphone.
“Life will be much simpler for everybody — teachers, schools and parents — if there’s one place for these lists,” said Sullivan.
An added bonus for teachers is that they get free products for posting on the site.
“That’s the magic bullet for us. We have a bunch of sponsors supporting this thing and providing free products,” said Sullivan.
The incentive to earn free classroom supplies is how Sullivan is hoping to change what he believes, as a parent himself, is a longstanding habit.
“Schools think (teacherlists.com) is useful but the funny thing is they have a ton of their own habits, so it’s a matter of changing a habit,” said Sullivan.
Companies like Bounty, Elmer’s, Puffs and Mr. Clean have signed on to fuel the school supply frenzy. Teachers receive free glue sticks just for posting a list and the most active schools will receive Super Sully Packs, which include more than $200 in free supplies.
To search for lists, parents type in the school’s zip code. Five Sand Creek Middle School teachers have supply lists and wish lists posted.
Mrs. Bowers has a wish list of items she’d like to secure for her fifth grade class. She’s asking for colored pencils, a bookcase, crayons, gently used books, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, games and more. Mrs. Finnigan needs sticky notes, bean bag chairs, construction paper, paper plates and bowls and more for her sixth grade class.
It’s becoming more common for teachers to request items beyond the traditional notebooks, folders and pens and Sullivan said teacherlists.com can help address that trend.
“These days it’s more than just pencils. … So many lists include tissues, paper towels,” said Sullivan. “The No. 2 item on school supply lists (on the site) is tissues.”
With the option to post extra items and possibly earn some of those for free, Sullivan said teachers could cut down on what they spend out of pocket.
“As parents and community supporters, we need to do everything we can to provide teachers the support they need to inspire our kids and do their essential work most effectively,” said Sullivan.
Sand Creek Middle School is the only school in the South Colonie Central School District with supply lists posted on teacherlists.com. There are no North Colonie Central School District classrooms with postings on the site.