Home School News HSW’s (Not So) Shortage of White Paper

HSW’s (Not So) Shortage of White Paper


Starting in early spring, Half Hollow Hills High School West has been in the midst of what many have deemed to be a paper shortage. As a result, a slew of colorful papers were used in lieu of the traditional white. Red, blue, yellow, green: name any color that comes to mind— chances are High School West has used it for fliers in the past month.

Everyone has their own theories, the most popular of which is that the thousands of pages High School West prints monthly have caught up to them. While this is, in a sense, true, it was not to the severe degree that most people think.

For starters, people wrongfully assume that Hills West completely ran out of white paper, and colorful paper was the only alternative option to no paper at all. According to Mrs. Grech, the purchaser of the paper, “running out of paper” is never really a possibility. This is because, she explains, there are humongous printing machines located in High School East that provide services to every school in the district. If worse came to worse, Mrs. Grech would merely borrow paper. So, contrary to popular belief, Hills West was never in danger of running out of paper.

The real issue is not that the school had no more paper, but rather that it began to run lower than expected on white paper due to unforeseen printing jobs by teachers who did not process their printing order in advance. It is, she explains, “advantageous to the school/teachers to send it to the print center at High School East.” For whatever reasons, many teachers were not able to facilitate the two weeks prior notice to get their papers printed at the Hills East printer, rather than Hills West’s. Unfortunately, that resulted in more of Hills West’s paper being used than expected.

Many have questioned why it took so long for new paper to come in. Although Mrs. Grech ordered white paper immediately after she received information that it was running low, she explains that “it can take up to two weeks for a purchase order to be processed since there are “zillions of PO’s waiting for approval.” The delay could not have been avoided. Although the school was not out of white paper entirely, Mrs. Grech and Mr. Ebanks perceived that, if that paper was to be used on worksheets and review packets, then there would be no more for tests.

Thankfully, the white paper supply has been officially replenished as of last week. White paper is once more being used for everything, unless, of course teachers, perhaps endeared to colorful paper over the past few weeks, have requested otherwise. Overall, there seems to have been no harm done; in fact, a few teachers do prefer colored paper now. So much so, that there has been a “reversal of roles,” in a sense, requiring the school to now put certain colorful paper on reserve for special events in the fear that it will all be devoured by a handful of teachers enamored with the lively colors of the makeshift paper. If Hills West is not careful, we might have a similar crisis on our hands, except this time, ironically, concerning colorful paper. The most important lesson to take away from this event, it seems, is for teachers to try as hard as they can to avoid unscheduled printing.