Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, students and families in Evergreen Public Schools won’t be spending time and money assembling elementary school supplies, while middle and high school students will not have to pay most sports, performing arts and class fees. The School Board of Directors and Superintendent John Deeder took this action, which with the support of the locally-voted on levy dollars, will buy classroom sets of supplies and pay fees, to ensure equity in the district that has seen free and reduced lunch numbers climb from 34 to 47 percent over the last ten years.

The average elementary school supply lists costs families between $25-50 per student, while a high school student that plays one sport and participates in a performing arts program would pay about $100 per year. Other activities have similar fees that will be waived. Only consumable material fees will remain in place.

Students and families will still be responsible to provide a backpack, athletic shoes and other personal items, as well as some school supplies at the middle and high school levels. However, local partners, as well as the Evergreen School District Foundation, we will be available to help bridge the gap for students and families. In addition, as the district moves to 1:1 technology devices that students in grades six-12 will use 24/7, school supply needs will further be reduced.

“When budgets were tight over the past decade, we shifted funds to ensure we kept teachers in the classrooms and made cuts of over $25 million in other non-instructional areas. Now, as the economy has improved and with the support of our community, we are able to restore funds to schools that ensure students have all the tools and opportunities they need to be academically successful and positively connected to school without an additional cost,” said Superintendent John Deeder.

These changes, are also being coupled with other resources and supports such as:

* the addition of four more Family and Community Resource Centers this fall, for a total of 14 centers at elementary schools,
* additional assistance for more than 1,000 students who have registered as “in transition,” which means they lack stable and fixed housing,
* supplying free or reduced price meals to more than 12,000 students a day while not raising meal costs for other students, and
* adding no cost activities and tutoring options, along with afterschool activity buses for middle school students.