Student and Family Handbook
The Brent Elementary Student and Family Handbook has been developed to provide information on school policies and procedures. Please keep it readily available for your use during the school year. A copy can also be found at the front office.
Check here for additional policies and procedures not contained in the handbook.
1. What is the Discount School Supplies Program, how is it different to how school supplies are purchased now?
Current System: Classroom supplies used by students and teachers were purchased by parents. Parents paid retail prices for an individual list of supplies for each student. This included pencils, composition books and folders, and also hygiene supplies like paper towels and hand sanitizer.
New System: Parents will no longer have to shop for any of these supplies individually. Instead, the school will purchase all these items at the DCPS discount?and be able to take advantage of the large discounts that come from buying in bulk. Instead of driving to the store and paying high retail prices, parents will be able to pay a simple fee online or by check to the school, and this will cover all supplies.
2. What are the advantages of this new system?
- We get big savings for the school and for parents. Discounts of 20% to 50% can be had on the individual retail price.
- Convenience for parents: Right now filling a complete supplies list often means going to two or more stores – that means a lot of time and money for gas and parking.
- Teachers are happy too: They get exactly the supplies they need, when they need them.
- Brent saves on storage and we only order what we actually need.
Because bulk supplies can be delivered at intervals throughout the year, this cuts waste and allows us to track the use of all our purchases, and see where further savings can be made.
- A bulk order also allows the school to decide in the future if it wants to use environmentally friendly products, or install student-friendly soap or sanitizer dispensers for example.
3. But don’t some grades use more supplies than other grades? How will the fee take this into account?
We will have a higher fee for Preschool 3, PreK 4 and Kindergarten classes than for the other grades. This is because the younger grades use much more art supplies and disposables like wet wipes, paper towels, soap and plastic baggies.
4. What about parents with more than one child at Brent?
There will be a discount for second and subsequent siblings.
5. What if some parents don’t pay? Aren’t the parents who do pay subsidizing those who do not?
This cross-subsidy already occurs. In the past there has been a small portion of parents who don’t bring in supplies, or who bring in an incomplete list. Because supplies are pooled and unlabeled this is difficult to track. As a result, many teachers have had to over-order to accommodate the shortfall, or come back to parents mid-year to ask for supplies that have run out. Usually it is the same parents who tend to contribute the extra supplies or store gift cards mid-year to make up the shortfall. In this new system that cost will be spread over everyone.
In the case of genuine financial hardship, the school will of course cover the cost of the supplies, and the fee we set will reflect that requirement. However, we hope that by using the buying power of the school to get parents a discount, we can encourage everyone to contribute the full amount by the start of the school year.
6. How and when do I pay?
The homepage will have a “Buy School Supplies” link to an online payment form. An email will go out to alert the parent body that the form is live and you can make your payment. Their will be pricing for each grade-level and the sibling discount. We prefer that you pay by credit card online, but you may also pay by check delivered to the Brent front office.
The Online Form Will Go Up In Early August. Please Get Your Payments In Early. We urge parents to pay before school starts, but definitely by the end of the second week of school.