Washington County School District funding for school supplies ends

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington County School District received state and federal funding to help buy school supplies for students.

That funding, which lasted for the past five years, is now expiring–meaning the District will no longer be able to provide supplies. 

“We’ve been very grateful we’ve been able to do that,” District Director of Federal Programs Jiranda White said. 

Parents, too, have reportedly been grateful for the assistance. 

The District will now look to the community to band together and help raise money and gather collections for school supplies. United Way of Northwest Florida, for instance, will be doing their annual Stuff The Bus drive.

The District received advance notice the funding would end and, in turn, informed parents a year ago. 

“Parents should be watching for notifications from your schools that will provide families with a list of needed supplies for the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year,” the District said in a Facebook post. “The supply list will be specific by school and grade level.”

Though the District won’t be able to give students supplies anymore, they will be able to provide free lunches until 2028. The District will continue to participate in the community eligibility provision under the National School Lunch/Breakfast Programs.  

Participating sites are Chipley High School, Roulhac Middle School, Kate M. Smith Elementary School, Vernon High School, Vernon Middle School, Vernon Elementary School, Washington VPK Center, and the Washington Academy of Varying Exceptionalities (WAVE). 

“Lunch is another priority of the District,” White said. “We want to make sure no child goes hungry.”