BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Every student at Boston Public Schools will be getting a $50 gift card to Staples to help with back-to-school shopping expenses.
According to Mayor Marty Walsh, the 54,000 in-store shopping cards are being provided through a partnership between Staples and the City of Boston. BPS said the $50 cards were distributed to schools in recent days, and schools are currently arranging distribution with families.
There are a few rules; BPS said the gift cards can be used at any time until November 30 in any Staples retail store, but they are not eligible for online purchases. The cards must be redeemed in one transaction, and some additional restrictions apply.
"As students begin their school years, we want them to have all the supplies and support they need for a successful year, whether they're learning in a classroom or at home," said Mayor Walsh. "I'm grateful for Staples' generosity in helping us give Boston's learners all the tools they need, and for making the back to school shopping season more manageable for BPS students and families."
With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, Staples said it has been a longtime supporter of BPS students, families and educators.
“At Staples, we know that parents, students and teachers will all face new challenges this upcoming school year as they adapt to a new remote or hybrid learning model,” said Mike Motz, Staples US Retail CEO. “Through our collaboration with Boston Public Schools, Staples is proud to be able to support every Boston Public School student with the resources they need to succeed, no matter where they are learning from.”
Since schools closed in March, BPS has provided over 40,000 Chromebooks to students and is providing additional tools this school year to assist with remote learning, including headphones and microphones. BPS said it is also collaborating with the City of Boston and its community partners to ensure all students and staff have reliable internet access.
“BPS has respected family choice throughout our planning for the fall. Through this incredible partnership with Staples, families will be able to purchase supplies according to their individual needs,” said BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. “During this unique time, it is critical that our students have access at home to the learning tools they need to be successful in school. Thank you to Staples for continuing to support our families and invest in our community.”
Beginning this evening, eight Staples Stores in the Greater Boston area will host special shopping times set aside for the BPS community. Students and their families can safely shop in-store, while maintaining physical distancing. Staples said it is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of all shoppers, and masks are required while shopping inside the stores.
The school year began for BPS students on Monday, September 21. All grades started the year learning remotely five days a week. Remote learning will continue throughout the fall for families who selected that option.
For families who selected the hybrid learning option, BPD leaders have said students can begin to return to school buildings in phases, "if public health data allows." Students with high needs who are prioritized for in-person learning will return to school buildings beginning Thursday, October 1.
(Photo: Getty Images)