Every fall, office supply stores, drug stores and general stores, such as Target and Wal-Mart, set up displays and stock up for the surge of customers who buy high school supplies in preparation for the beginning of the school year. These supplies are essential to a high school student’s academic performance. Make sure that you have the supplies you need before school begins.

The Basics

Every student needs common supplies necessary to function the first week. Writing utensils, such as pens, pencils and colored pencils, as well as pencil sharpeners are basic supplies. It’s important to bring more than one writing utensil because many students misplace or lend their supplies to friends, who sometimes forget to give them back. A five-subject spiral bound notebook with college-rule paper is another basic supply. Some students might need to buy more than one notebook as teachers often require their students to keep a notebook just for their class. In addition, a pack of graphing paper will be essential for math classes. Highlighters are used during class and for homework to emphasize key points. Many teachers like students to use them when reading novels or exploring new concepts in textbooks. Glue sticks might be needed for cut-and-paste projects.

Technology Tools

Purchasing a USB flash drive with enough memory is important in order to save class work and graphics. Many high school students use computers in class or in the school’s on-site computer lab to work on essays or projects. A flash drive allows students to take their work home with them. Make sure to clearly label the flash drive with your name in order to distinguish it from others.

Scientific calculators provide additional options, such as graphing, which is necessary for advanced math that students will be learning in high school. In addition, these calculators also will be used for chemistry and physics formulas.


High school requirements state that students must take a foreign language, thus purchasing a foreign language dictionary provides students with quick reference tools in class or at home. It is a vital tool to have within reach when completing class assignments or projects.

High schools offer AVID elective classes that focus on college preparatory curriculum. Some might require that students buy SAT preparation materials, which can be found in many bookstores.

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