Back to School During a Pandemic
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Back to School During a Pandemic

With so many questions yet to be answered with the upcoming school year, makes for difficult planning during an already difficult time. Back to school budgets will need to be flexible and well planned out. Where do we begin?





Ask questions, a lot of questions.

  1. Will school take place online, in person or hybrid?
  2. If online or hybrid education, will dress code or school uniforms be mandated?
  3. If in person, will my child be required to wear a face mask? If so, will the school provide them? Disposable mask can add up quickly, where cloth masks are washable and reusable.
  4. Will the school district provide hand sanitizers, cleaning or disinfectant wipes, tissues etc. in order to comply with CDC guidelines?)
  5. Will lunch be provided at school or will you need to plan to pack lunches?


Track the school district.

  1. Sign up for the school or districts alert and information hotline.
  2. Check and re-check the school’s website and/or the districts website before making purchases.
  3. When in doubt or unclear, call the school or district to clarify.


Plan to spend

  1. Obtain supply list from the school or district website (not a from the big box retailer).
  2. Make a list and stick to essential supplies only.
  3. Shop online ads before going to the stores or shopping online, then compare those prices on Amazon.
  4. Use the in store pick up option if available (this will cut down significantly on impulse purchases).
  5. If age appropriate, give your children a budget and allow them to shop for their own supplies from the list you have made. 
  6. Withhold expensive purchases until the school year is off and running.  Wait for the dust to settle and see if schools remain open. Then plan to spend on big ticket items like clothing, shoes, back packs, tablets etc.



  1. If struggling financially to meet the basic back to school needs look for assistance with community resources. Call United Way’s 211 for help locating agencies who can assist with supplies.
  2. Connect with other parents and parent groups for support and encouragement.
  3. Consider the PTA or other associations within the school or district that will keep you connected and up to date.


“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

— Henry B. Adams