Fewer Fliers Sent Home as Schools Put More on Web

Winnie Hu:

The back-to-school packets sent to all 7,800 students here in this hamlet on Long Island’s North Shore grew thicker each year with dozens of pages of notices, fliers and forms — adding up to more than $12,000 in postage alone last year.
Students at Commack High School on Long Island. The Commack School District has limited mailings and put back-to-school packets on its Web site.
But this year, amid a lingering recession and increasing online activity, school officials decided to stop the madness. Teachers and principals were given strict instructions: Limit mailings to a single, first-class envelope per student — and post the overflow on the district’s Web site, in a newly created back-to-school section. The savings: $9,000 in stamps plus $12,000 in salaries for clerks who used to spend up to two weeks assembling the packets.
And, for parents like Debra Miller, a shrinking pile of paperwork to keep up with.
“Since the kids have been in school, there’s never been a pile less than 12 inches high on my kitchen counter,” said Mrs. Miller, a mother of two, who shoves the unsightly pile into a cabinet when she has company. “I can never get out from under the pile, and I’m not alone. We all talk about it.”