Students debate best school supplies


Eris Rindt, Reporter

Oftentimes, when students begin the school year, they come over prepared, underprepared or with just what they need. School shopping can be stressful, 1 in 3 parents say back to school shopping is more stressful than holiday shopping according to Nasdaq. Knowing what others are buying can make things a little less stressful this back to school season. 

Some teachers will provide different supplies, like a pencil or pens if a student does not have one, while others maintain that it is the student’s responsibility to acquire their supplies. The number one selling mechanical pencil set on Amazon would be BiC mechanical pencils with their five star rating. Tests like the ACT and SAT require wooden #2 pencils due to possible smudging from pens or some brands of mechanical pencils, and thus are an additional required school supply for those intending to take the test. 

“I really don’t care about the brand, as long as it seems like a decent quality,” sophomore Taylor Redington said. “I prefer mechanical pencils because if the tip breaks I don’t have to worry about getting up to sharpen anything. Also they don’t die as quickly as some pens.”

The most common size of backpack for students is 20-30 liters according to Matein. Lockers are typically provided at the beginning of the year for students use, however this year it was optional to have a locker or not. Similarly to surrounding high schools, NHS allows students to carry their backpacks with them around school. Due to COVID-19 protocols in place this year, students have been allowed to bring their backpacks to lunch which is a change from years previous. 

I usually keep what I don’t need at home or in my locker and the main supplies in my backpack,” senior Alondra Valle said. “The normal sized backpack I think is good for students, mostly because of the chromebooks we get and big text books.”

The school district as well as specific teachers will sometimes hand out supply lists at the beginning of the year to inform their students of what they need for their specific classes. Teachers may ask for a certain supply like sticky notes or Kleenex if they plan on using them for a certain assignment. Typical supplies that are needed for most students are three-ring binders, index cards and calculators according to The YMCA

“Some items that most people wouldn’t think of as important but can sometimes come in handy include scissors, sticky notes, thin tip markers and tape,” freshman Abby Koontz said. “During the week I often find myself using these more often than not. Especially the sticky notes and scissors for annotations. Obviously I use pens, pencils and markers [the most]. I often find myself using my notebook and a folder to store loose papers in.”

There are a few different stores in Newton that sell school supplies, such as Walmart and Dillons. Most stores start to sell supplies in early July and items will typically go on clearance in mid to late August according to Business Times. Stores like Walmart will usually have a list of school supplies from the school on what to buy for the upcoming school year. 

“[I spend] maybe around $150-200, it all depends on the brands though and there [are] a lot of coupons stores usually give out through school supplies time,” Valle said. “I think they need to update the high school school supply list and run it through teachers because it is not all necessary what the class needs.”