The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Where’s my jacket?

A deep dive into the lost and found system and where items go after
Josh Zhou
“We are revamping the lost and found to be more labeled and organized for students,” safety and security assistant Calvin Robertson said. The lost and found, in room 10, reopened at the start of the new quarter after remodeling into a fresh new system.

It’s two days back from winter break and you’re wearing a brand new sweater that your loving grandmother painstakingly knit for you. Right before 3rd period, you’ve started to feel too warm, so you remove your sweater and place it in a cubby.

After stumbling onto your bus to end the long day, you realize the sweater remains in that cubby. The next day you rush to school and speed down the halls until, finally, you reach the lost and found in room 10 where you find it neatly folded in a basket.

Most students are no strangers to losing their possessions. A North Face jacket here, a hand-knit sweater there. Students at Jefferson are aware that their missing items eventually find their way into the lost and found in room 10, but students have also noticed that their items do not stay in this space indefinitely.

Once every quarter, parents and students are given one final chance to reclaim their property before the items within are cleared by the security team, who decide where to donate the items. 

“At the end of the quarter, I start by gathering and laundering the clothes,” safety and security assistant Calvin Robertson said.  “Then I take it to the local shelter where they distribute it out to the homeless population and families.” 

Some items—like water bottles and books—and more valuable items like jewelry, are unable to be donated and thus thrown away because the team cannot ensure they are clean enough for donation or reuse.

“I lost my water bottle which I’d had for years, I was devastated,” junior Rohith Yelisetty said. “I eventually found my water bottle in the lost and found which left me jubilated. I was overjoyed and shocked at the ease I found my water bottle because I thought I for sure lost it forever.” 

Valuable items are stored and managed in a completely different way. More expensive things like TI-84 calculators, jewelry, and earbuds are kept in room 130 where students can come to collect them at any time. 

“We wait until a certain point before the end of the year before leaving all these items on a table in the [Auditorium Lobby] where we invite students to take a look,” Robertson said. 

Afterward, some valuables that are not easily donated or reused, such as jewelry or singular AirPods, are thrown out. In contrast, others like calculators and smart devices are cleaned and given away to different organizations.

“I left my laptop at school over the weekend and was so nervous because I knew my parents would be mad if they found out so I prayed and prayed and at 8:00 AM on the next Monday I ran to room 130 where I found my laptop in pristine condition,” sophomore Ahwanith Islam said.

Although many students were able to find their lost items, some weren’t so lucky.

“I checked the lost and found every day for weeks, but, unfortunately, I never did find my pencil pouch,” senior Shubhrangshu Deb Sarkar said. “Even then, I think the lost and found is a very useful system that can help us students find our lost items and mostly guarantee anything we lose can be found again,”

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  • K

    KevinMar 17, 2024 at 3:05 pm