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Need a backpack?

If the musical Sears commercials haven’t propelled you to the mall yet, you might want to hold off on shopping for back-to-school supplies until Sunday — which, of course, is the last day of summer vacation.

The Oakland Natives Give Back Fund organized a Back to School Expo at City Hall from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The event is co-sponsored by the City of Oakland and the Oakland school district.

Organizers will give out backpacks with school supplies to the first 600 families who show up. While you’re there, you might also catch a youth fashion show, a talent search for the city’s best young poets, and … yet unnamed celebrities.

Laura Moran, the school district’s chief services officer, says it’s an effort to encourage families to send their kids to school on Day 1 — and for the whole community to take responsibility for lowering the truancy rate. About 16 percent of middle and high school students have missed three or more days of school, unexcused, Moran said.

Yes, school starts on Monday. If you’ve been assigned to a new school, you need to register. Just bring your assignment letter, along with the student’s birth certificate and immunization records to the school. But call ahead, as most schools have set times for registration.

If you just moved to Oakland, and haven’t yet enrolled in the school district, head to the district offices on Second Avenue. According to the OUSD Web site, the student assignment office is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. all week. Its phone number is 879-8111.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Sue

    Got the school clothes shopping trip over last week end.

    Got the registrations done last Wed. and Monday.

    Got the gym clothes yesterday.

    Still have plenty of binders, paper, pens and pencils from last year.

    Don’t have the backpacks, yet. I think we’ll be getting them at the Ashby fleamarket on Saturday. Last couple of years that’s been the best quality (my boys are hard on everything, and cheap/flimsy backpacks have had to be replaced before the winter holidays) at the best prices.

  • Rita

    It is good to know that the backpacks are available. With the rising cost of just about everything we need all the help and encouragement we can get for our children who are our future but have been slighted in many ways in the school system