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BTS: In Sedro-Woolley, kids only need an empty backpack to start the school year

Sedro-Woolley school gets ready for first day of class (KOMO Photo)

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. -- As kids count down to the first day of school, parents are adding up the cost of back-to-school shopping.

“The average family with two children in the elementary grades is probably paying $200 to get their kids ready for school," says Brett Greenwood, business operations manager for the Sedro-Woolley School District.

It can be tough for families in the North Sound school district, as nearly half of all students in Sedro-Woolley qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches.

But this year, elementary kids only need to bring a backpack to class. Everything else—is waiting for them.

"We're feeling good that we're able to do this," said school superintendent Phil Brockman.

This summer, pallets were delivered to area schools loaded with classroom supplies like crayons, pens, paper and glue.

The school district has been working on this plan for more than two years. They’re using money from a levy passed in February and the McCleary settlement to buy supplies for all kids in all 10 elementary schools.

They hope to eventually include middle and high schools too.

“On our social media and phone calls and just the parents we run across in town are very happy about this," says Greenwood.

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