School Supplies ‘R Us

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Main News Photo

Seguin, TX, USA / Seguin Today

Cindy Aguirre

(Seguin) — Christmas in July is how some Seguin ISD families are
describing the district’s latest announcement that it will be buying
all of the school supplies for students this upcoming school year. The
supplies will be purchased for all students grades Pre-K through 12th. The news came both as a surprise and shock for many families — many of whom say this will help alleviate the added stress that school supplies and other back to school items can often weigh on their family each approaching school year.

Making the announcement to families on Tuesday was Seguin ISD
Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez.

Dr. Gutierrez says this was one announcement that he feels will help make a real difference in the community.

“I know that it’s going to be strange for parents not having to go
shopping for these things and having to stuff their kiddos backpack
full of supplies. It is going to feel a little strange this year but I
know it’s going to be a good strange,” said Gutierrez.

Especially after the last 16 months, Dr. Gutierrez believes this is the
right move for the district.

“Going back to school can be a stressful time for parents. You are
trying to get your students prepared, get them mentally prepared as
you transition them back to school. You’ve got school supplies you’ve
got to go out and buy. You have school clothes and other items that
are needed and it’s certainly stressful and so our goal is to
alleviate some of that stress by providing all school supplies to our
students this year and the great thing is that parents don’t have to
come pick up supplies from Central Administration or their campus. The supplies will be provided to campuses and then distributed to
classrooms,” said Gutierrez. “So, there is no need to worry about
school supplies.”

Gutierrez says the district feels very fortunate to be able to do this
at this time.

“We had a significant amount of supplies that were left over when we went remote overnight back in March of 2020 and so we are going to utilize those supplies as well as purchase additional supplies that were not part of that supply bag back in the spring and so we have also been able to receive additional dollars from the federal
government and so, we are working to address unfinished learning or what we are calling COVID Recovery and this is just another way that we can do that by ensuring that every single child is going to start their first day of school with 100 percent of their school supplies,” said Gutierrez.

Dr. Gutierrez says everyone at the district felt very strongly that this
was a possibility this year and is grateful to have helped make it

“We don’t know if we will be able to do this again but we know we can do it now so we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to do this. We talked about ways to support families in the past with
supplies but it has been a struggle and especially as we were working
to respond to COVID starting last year’s school year, we were not able to do that but we are in a good place this year and we are just really proud that we can do this and excited about this opportunity for our kids,” said Gutierrez.

Ensuring school supplies for every child in a school district,
especially in a district as large as the Seguin ISD, might just be
unheard of thing. Nonetheless, ensuring the success of all students on the first day of school is what Gutierrez believes is the district’s
number one priority.

“I think it is unique and special for Seguin ISD. I’ve not seen anyone
in our area that has done this and you have to really think about how
can we make this happen. When you are looking at prioritizing how you are going to allocate dollars, you (realize) something that rose to a priority especially because there are still many families out there
who are struggling. You have families that were already struggling —
70 percent of our student population comes from poverty and then you factor this global pandemic where people had hours cut, they lost their jobs — just now getting on their feet so this was the time to
do this and thankfully, we are in a place financially where we can do
this for the Seguin ISD community,” said Gutierrez.

Dr. Gutierrez says because 100 percent of their students are going to have 100 percent of their school supplies, all other community back to school drives and efforts can now focus on other items that are also just as important for students such as backpacks or clothing. He says anything else required by a student will have to still be purchased by the parent.

“The things they will need to worry about are having a backpack or for students who bring their lunch, a lunch box and then the extra things that kids like, the fun supplies that are just extras. Those are
things that parents can still purchase for their kids,” said Gutierrez.

Again, all Seguin ISD families will NOT be required to purchase school supplies for the 2021-2022 school year. Those supplies will be
provided to their student at their respective campus on the first day
of school slated for Monday, Aug. 16. All Pre-K students return to
school on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

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Category: news, Seguin ISD

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