McClain's Catalog
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Online Students

Dear Teacher,

We work very hard to ship quickly and give everyone the best customer service we possibly can but we are running into a big problem. We are very short staffed with only three people here each day and this will continue so long as social distancing is necessary, probably well into the fall. It also looks like many campuses will be closed and students will be taking online classes from their homes. If this is the case for your class, we are going to need your help.

We cannot ship to every online student

Having us ship supplies directly to each student seems like the solution but it will be impossible for us to do so. We tried it this spring and learned that even working seven days a week, as we continue to do, we slipped further and further behind in getting out orders. If we are flooded with hundreds if not thousands of individual orders from students across the country, that delay will stretch into months.

We can ship student supplies to you or the school

The only way to assure that your online students have the supplies they need is for the school to order their supplies for them. We will ship the supplies to the school or to your home if the school is closed. Then you will need to pack and forward the supplies on to your students. The advantages are that the school will receive all the appropriate volume discounts plus you will know exactly what supplies your students are receiving and when. If you have other supplies or instructional materials to send to your students, you can pack and send everything out at the same time.

Please email or call and talk to us about what you plan to order. Many of our suppliers are also either short staffed, closed or running into supply and shipping issues of their own. Working together we can find alternatives and solutions.

What will happen if students do place individual orders?

If you decide to have your students place individual orders, let me warn you that 1) orders are filled in the order they are received. Period. Students are notorious for waiting until the last minute and we will not put their orders at the front of the line because they procrastinated. 2) The supplies you want them to order may not be available and you will have to work with them to figure out alternatives, further delaying the process. 3) It may be months before your students have the supplies they need because if a lot of teachers do this, we will be swamped and unable to keep up.

I wish this were not happening and we could continue to give you the great service you have come to expect from McClain’s. But here we are. I hope that this information helps and please let me know if you have other ideas, questions or concerns. Working together I am sure we can make this work. Thank you so much and stay safe, stay well.

Alex Prentiss