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Heading back to school can be costly for teachers, students

Some school supplies parents donated to Sarah Woody's classroom. (WCHS/WVAH)

It's time to start thinking about going back to school and getting your supplies ready.

For some teachers, getting their classroom set up for the first day of school can be a challenging task.

Sarah Woody is a third grade teacher at Piedmont Elementary School in Charleston.

She co-teaches a class of around 50-students, and she said getting her classroom set up with supplies, decorations and bulletin boards was not an easy task.

"I have spent, I don't want to say how much money out of my pocket just to get this classroom ready to go, and I'll definitely spend more money throughout the year,” said Sarah Woody, teacher at Piedmont Elementary School.

Woody teaches at a year-round school, so there is a constant need for supplies.

She said teachers are only given $100 a year to buy those supplies.

"Are you really going to have a successful classroom is what it comes down to,” said Woody. “Without the supplies, your classroom is obviously going to lack in some areas."

When you hear "back to school shopping", you may think about the extra money that's spent to buy school supplies and even new clothes.

Woody said asking parents to pitch in isn't always easy.

"I noticed through all of the placements that I've had and my first year that parents being able to supply the supplies is obviously not what it used to be,” Woody said. “That's why we can't really require it because not everyone can do it and not to mention spending money on school clothes is obviously very expensive because clothes are super expensive."

Not all students need the same supplies in the classroom.

Students in fifth grade and up in Kanawha County Schools receive iPads, which eliminates the need for some supplies, but that doesn't help Woody's third graders.

"I didn't really have enough markers to get me started, and I didn't have any crayons, so I had to go out and personally buy crayons for the classroom, which isn't a huge deal but if we had more of that coming in, that would be helpful,” Woody said.

Other items Woody said her class will need plenty of this year are pencils, crayons, highlighters and lined notebook paper.

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