We Did Our Homework
The PTSA has met with Student Council and Culbreth teachers to carefully curate the list of school supplies your middle schooler will need. Students showed us in May which brands of binders had survived the school year and which ones looked like they had been run over by a truck. They lamented the class notes they had lost when their parents bought filler paper without reinforced holes, and advised us when it makes sense to spend a little more for a quality product vs. when we can safely "go budget" on an item. The kids told us what color schemes they like, and had a spirited discussion about the ideal binder size.
We worked with teachers to get as much consistency as possible across grade levels, and culled the list, moving some items from required student supplies to teacher wish list. After all, what parent really wants to buy a whole box of sheet protectors when their child only needs two?
After doing the research and hunting for the best deals, the PTSA presents to you one-stop shopping for school supply kits. You can order them with just a few clicks on your phone, tablet or computer, between now and August 11th, and pick up your supply kit on August 25th, or the kit can be delivered to your child's homeroom in time for the first day of school.
Teacher wish list items can also be ordered online, and the PTSA will deliver them directly to teachers in your child's grade.
This Year's Going to Be Different
No fighting the crowds at office supply stores. No trying to talk your children down from begging for a hundred cool things they "need" that aren't on the list. No making your kid schlepp a giant multi-pack of Clorox wipes to school that first day. We will take care of all the details for you. You're welcome!
If you have questions, are a very thorough person who likes to know ALL the details (we respect that!), or just love to read, keep going. If you're ready to order now, visit our online store.
School Supply Kit Questions and Answers
Q: Why is the PTSA selling school supply kits?
A: For two reasons. The first is as a convenience to parents who find the school supply shopping process cumbersome and time-consuming. The second is to raise a little money for the PTSA, to partially replace the annual distributions we no longer receive from the PTA Thrift Shop and the discontinued PSF Walk for Education. We especially like this fundraiser because it is low-risk (we only buy what parents have ordered and paid for) and we will know how much money we have raised before the start of school, which means funds raised can support your children during the current school year.
Q: Am I going to pay a lot more than I would in the store?
A: It depends. The PTSA is saving money by buying some, but not all, items in bulk, and charging you regular retail prices. If you are a person who enjoys scouring the ads every week and going around to different stores when they put things on sale, then these kits may cost slightly more than you would pay. If you are a busy person who doesn't have time to bargain hunt, you are going to pay about the same as you normally would, AND we do all the shopping and packaging for you. In any case, we hope you'll keep in mind that funds raised go directly toward support of your child's education.
Q: My daughter doesn't want to get a pink notebook. Do I get to pick the colors, or will they be randomly assigned?
A: After discussing colors with the students, we have come up with three color families. "Cougar Colors" will have a dark blue binder and accessories in school colors, such as blues, yellow, black, gray and possibly orange. "Bright Colors" will have a light blue binder and accessories in colors such as green, purple, pink, and different shades of blue. "Bold Colors" will feature a black binder with accessories in red, orange, green, darker blues, gray and black. We feel that these three color families will meet most students' needs and allow us to get the best deals for parents.
Q: How will my child get his or her supplies?
A: You have two options. The first is to have your supply kit delivered to your child's homeroom in time for the first morning of school. The second is to pick up your kit at Culbreth before (8:30 - 9:00 a.m.) or after (10:15 - 10:45 a.m.) new family orientation on Friday, August 25th.
Q: What about teacher wish list items?
The PTSA has asked the teachers what they most need and compiled a list. We were surprised at some things, such as the amount of copy paper a teacher needs to make handouts, homework and tests for your students! We have several different price points for donating items. Teacher wish list "kits" range from $10 to $35. The PTSA will buy items such as Clorox wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, copy paper, dry erase markers and pencils in bulk and distribute them to teachers for you. We have separated teachers' wish lists by grade, so the supplies you buy will go directly to YOUR child's teachers. We also ask that you please not forget our World Language, Cultural Arts, EC and other elective teachers. Kids sneeze in Band, Spanish, and the library, too!
Q: Can I donate a supply kit to a Culbreth student in need?
A: Yes! For each grade's supply kit, there is a "donate a kit" option in the drop down menu.
Q: What is the deadline for ordering school supplies?
A: Friday, August 11th.
Q: Do you need volunteers to help assemble the supply kits?
A: Why yes, we do! If you have some free time on August 23rd and or 24th to assemble kits, or the morning of August 25th to help distribute kits, we would welcome your assistance. More details on specific times will be sent out via email. If you're new to Culbreth, this might be a great way to for you to meet some other parents before school starts.
Q: Why are the supply kits for some grades more expensive than others?
A: Different teachers have asked for different supplies. Some cost more.
Q: Is buying a supply kit through the PTSA mandatory?
A: Absolutely not. You are free to buy your own school supplies. If you choose to do this, here is a list of what you'll need. We have a common list for all students, and a supplemental list for each grade.
Common List (for all grades)
- 1 Heavy Duty 3" binder (Teachers have requested no zippers or accordion pockets. Students recommend Staples Heavy Duty 3" binder.)
- 200 sheets wide-ruled filler paper with reinforced holes
- 24 #2 pencils (kits contain Ticonderoga pre-sharpened)
- 24 cap ersasers (we use Ticonderoga)
- Handheld pencil sharpener with receptacle
- Sturdy zippered pencil pouch for binder
- Additional binder pouch for cougar cash, locker combination, permission slips, passcodes, lunch numbers, notes to school and other small pieces of paper that middle schoolers tend to lose.
- 2 different colored highlighters
- 8 sturdy plastic tab dividers with pockets for binder (our kits use Avery Big Tab plastic pocket dividers)
- Portable 3-hole punch for binder
- 6 retractable pens in different colors (Our kits contain Pilot G2 premium retractable gel pens, highly recommended by students.)
6th Grade Supplemental List
- 6 Elmer's glue sticks
- 2 single-subject spiral notebooks
- 1 marble composition book for Science
- 1 set earbuds
7th Grade Supplemental List
- 3 Elmer's glue sticks
- 4 single-subject spiral notebooks
- 1 1" 3-ring binder
- 1 2" 3-ring binder for math
- 1 pack of colored pencils (kits contain Crayloa brand)
- 1 4-pack of multicolor fine-tip dry erase markers (we use Expo low-odor)
- 1 set earbuds
8th Grade Supplemental List
- 3 Elmer's glue sticks
- 2 single-subject spiral notebooks for math journal
- 1 marble composition notebook
- 1 sturdy (plastic-covered) single-subject spiral notebook for Science
Thank you for supporting your Culbreth PTSA!
Thanks to Culbreth dad and photographer Mark Terry for the "after" photos.
At our first PTSA meeting, Principal Rudolph mentioned that she would like to provide a relaxing wellness room for the teachers. Several parents stepped up to that night to volunteer to make this happen.
The room Ms. Rudolph had in mind was a dark, windowless storage room that was anything but a serene space. Here's what it looked like when parents checked it out that night.
The first step was to lighten the place up a bit, and Culbreth mom and decorating visionary Kristin McMahon had just the right shade of calming greige in her garage. Here are some of the members of our volunteer paint crew, Tiffany Allen, Michele Varma, Carol Taylor, Melinda Easterling and Kristin McMahon.
Next, the cheap-looking bookshelves had to be stabilized and painted. Culbreth dad Jim Pugsley, a master carpenter, remodeler and all-around handyman, added crown molding and made the shelves look like expensive built-ins. Wow!
Every year, the PTSA does a "Thanksgiving Thank You" for the teachers, which usually involves painting, cleaning and stocking the teachers' lounge. The PTSA thought that the wellness room would be an excellent Thanksgiving Thank You project for this year, so we allocated the $300 budgeted for the Thanksgiving Thank You project to the planned relaxation space for teachers.
The Wellness Room interior design team, Kristin McMahon, Michele Varma, Melinda Easterling and Tiffany Allen, came up with a cohesive color scheme, scoured yard sales, Craigslist and their own homes for rugs and furnishings that would create the zen atmosphere they envisioned. The design team and other parents donated generously to help purchase furnishings and accessories.
Jeff and Melinda Easterling, Jim Pugsley, Schreiber Construction and Michele Varma created an up-to-date tea and water station with floating shelves for cups.
And, for the finishing touches, Kristin McMahon created some custom Culbreth-themed art.
The wellness room was revealed to teachers and staff the week before Thanksgiving. Principal Rudolph, who had not seen the work in progress, said, "I knew it was going to be nice, but I had no idea it would look like something you'd see on HGTV!"
The PTSA thanks the following parents and businesses who made it possible to create such a lovely space on a shoestring budget, as well as the parents who donated Target gift cards:
Jeff and Melinda Easterling, Easterling Fine Homes
Jim Pugsley, Master Carpenter
Tim Schreiber and Tom Hammond, Schreiber Construction
Mark Terry, Mark Terry Photo/Video
Carole G. Labrum
Every student at Culbreth benefits from funds raised by the PTSA. Here's a breakdown of our 2015-2016 expenses. If you'd like more details about the budget, please attend one of our PTSA meetings. Once the 2016-2017 budget is approved, we'll post it on this website.
Now, let's talk about where our PTSA funding comes from. As you can see from the 2015-2016 sources of income chart below, the biggest piece of the PTSA pie is membership and donations, followd by grocery cards, which don't cost you a cent, but add up to thousands of dollars for the PTSA. The PTA Thrift Shop and Public School Foundation's Walk for Education, and Spirit Wear sales also make significant contributions. If we don't make our membership and donation goals, we will add other fundraisers, but the easiest way for the PTSA to raise money is for you to join and make a tax-deductible donation.