How To Create a Back-to-School Supply List for Distance Learning

Updated 09/1/20

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TeacherLists sat down with Weatherford (Texas) ISD to discuss how the district implemented remote learning back-to-school supply lists for fall 2020.

by Heather Harrington

How To Create a Back-to-School Supply List for Distance Learning


Like many school districts nationwide, Weatherford, Texas, has adjusted its back-to-school plans to include traditional classroom as well as remote learning curricula for the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. This is being done with plans to implement remote, asynchronous learning through online content and curriculum providers inSync (K-12) and Edgenuity (secondary).

To help prepare students to learn in the classroom and at home, Hernandez and the Weatherford ISD have made it easy for parents to shop back-to-school supply lists without having to leave the comfort and safety of home. All of the district’s “online learning” and “learning at school” supply lists have been posted on TeacherLists, allowing families easy and convenient access to what their children will need to transition to the new school year.

Weatherford ISD first heard of TeacherLists through its partnership with Vanco and the RevTrak online store. Parents can click directly from the Vanco web store to the district’s page on TeacherLists and find their child’s exact supply list, regardless of how their child is returning to learning this year.

Check out Hernandez’s best practices and tips below to create your own back-to-school supply lists. Need help starting your own virtual school supply list? Click here to get inspired.



Best Practices

Reference previous academic year supply lists; ask teachers what can be eliminated and what should be added.

Work with curriculum content coordinators for input on what students need to work effectively in remote environments.

After supply lists have been edited, have school staff review before uploading to TeacherLists.


Parameters for Creating Back to-School Shopping Lists

What is most cost effective?

  • Weatherford strives to keep list cost per student at $60.
  • TeacherLists helps make it easy to price out the cost of supply lists.
  • After adding items to their TeacherLists supply list, schools can review shopping carts at retail partners to look at the cost of each list in the shopping cart and ensure the overall expense is effective for families.

What tools do students need at home for online platform learning?

  • Communal supplies regularly needed for classroom learning like Kleenex and disinfecting wipes might not be needed for remote learning.
  • Other items typically used for transporting supplies between home and school might not be needed during virtual learning but could be needed once in-school learning begins (backpacks, folders, etc.).
  • Students might need other supplies that are routinely provided in the classroom (pencil sharpeners, rulers, etc.) for at-home learning.

What can we eliminate or add to a list to make it most effective for students?

  • Think about families with multiple children; items might be more easily shared by multiple children in a home setting.
  • If children are attending classes at school, remember that more supplies could be needed to prevent the sharing of communal supplies—extra pencils “just in case.”
  • Many teachers might recommend keeping additional supplies at home to use if schools return to remote-only learning.

Originally posted 2020

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