Lost & Found Form: Reuniting Students With Their Belongings


Claudia Rosales, Staff Writer

Given how in the previous school year alone, an abundance of clothing and valuables weren’t returned to their owners, staff had no choice but to donate or discard the items; however, could a new system at Elkhart High solve the ongoing dilemma of the lost and found overflow? 

Items delivered to the lost-and-found are almost never returned to their original owners. Plenty of students aren’t even aware of the lost-and-found system at the school, or are unsure of who to contact for their missing belongings. This all contributes to the over abundance of items–such as clothes, earbuds, and lunch bags–that have to be donated or trashed by the end of the school year.

Mr. Jeff Miller, the head of student activities at Elkhart High School, gives his firsthand experience on how hectic the situation truly was: “Last school year, the process for our lost-and-found was a disaster, mostly because there wasn’t a process. People would just bring items to my room, and it would pile up. Kids would randomly come and look for an item, but there were also a great deal of kids who had no idea where to come look!” This year, however, Elkhart High staff took the initiative to create a new system in which students can be reunited with their personal belongings more swiftly: the lost and found Google Form.

Ms. Allyn Pizaña Alvarado —who’s based at the Elkhart Freshman Department as a student receptionist—and Mr. Miller manage the lost-and-found at their respective buildings. They’ve described their team’s thought process behind the new system, “We wanted to improve the process by offering a chance for people to provide an electronic record of items, descriptions, contact information, last known locations, etc. This makes it much easier to simply contact people directly if an item is turned in that matches a description.”  The new submission form offers a broader chance to get items back. The link to the Google Form has been converted into a QR code, which is posted around school and can also be found in the announcements slideshow.

Once at the form, students are asked to answer questions regarding themselves as well as information concerning their lost belonging(s), such as what building and room they last remember seeing their valuables in. Nonetheless, the submission form is not just strictly available to students but to staff, as well! 

Mr. Miller is happy to report back that the new system has significantly improved the organization of the lost and found, “As of right now, the form has been completed 57 times between both campuses. We have returned six items so far, which may not seem like a high number, but I am willing to bet that is more instances of reuniting items and owners than all of last year at the 10-12 Campus.” Following this statement, Miller shared a story that has coincidentally happened minutes before: “Just a few minutes ago, we were able to return a cell phone a girl lost this morning, and her joyful reaction is relatable to anyone who has felt that panic and anxiety.” As interpreted, it’s certainly exciting seeing students successfully reuniting with their misplaced belongings!

Based on the positive feedback from faculty, Elkhart High’s newly developed lost-and-found submission form truly proves significant development in reuniting lost valuables with their owners. Next time a student happens to misplace an item, be sure to suggest for them to scan the QR code located around school!