Skip to main content
Transparency Reporting

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Lost and Found

It’s time to go on an end-of-the-school-year adventure to a place known for its misplaced treasures. We’re not traveling to a remote island in the Caribbean, just taking a trip to the school lost and found.
As the school year comes to an end, administrators everywhere are trying to clear out their stack of “treasures,” those seemingly random items left behind on playgrounds, hallways, or lunchrooms.
 Small items at North Saginaw Academy
Several of the smaller items left at North Saginaw Charter Academy.

Nearly a dozen National Heritage Academies school administrators opened up about the most common items that end up in their school’s lost and found. Topping the list: coats and sweatshirts, followed by water bottles, lunch boxes, and glasses.
Canton Preparatory High School, which outperforms the surrounding schools in every subject, has quite a collection of forgotten items, everything from purses and shoes to jewelry.  Some of the more unique items include a men’s shaving kit, a well-loved blanket, and a cuddly teddy bear.    
Many schools report technology is high on the list. There are lost cell phones, AirPods, Chromebooks, and chargers all waiting to be claimed before summer break.
 New items added to lost and found.Recent items added to Greensboro Academy’s lost and found.

At North Saginaw Charter Academy a mystery, or at least someone’s door, will hopefully soon be unlocked. Administrators said at least one house key is among the many abandoned items at the school, which has outperformed the local district.
Some schools have boxes of wayward belongings to dig through, while others display their finds on tables or rolling carts. Administrators say smaller or more valuable items are often kept in the office.
 Greensboro Academy lost and found.
Sweatshirts and jackets in the lost and found at Stambaugh Charter Academy.

“We get a lot of the usual stuff like hats, gloves, and lunch boxes,” said Tracey Duhaime, principal at Greensboro Academy, which has outperformed the local district for 15 years. “If items go unclaimed, we do Goodwill donations quarterly, but keep anything that says ‘Greensboro Academy’ for students who might need a change of clothes while they’re at school.”
More lost and found items.

Many of the schools reported similar strategies when it comes to unclaimed belongings. Some have already made their end-of-the-year donations, while others say they will have a “claim day” coming up.
So, before you give up on your favorite sweatshirt or that missing AirPod, you may want to take one last journey to your school’s lost and found.
And remember next year, don’t forget to label, label, label. Writing your child’s name inside that coat or lunchbox could be the key to quickly getting it back where it belongs.

Check out a school near you!

About Canton Preparatory High School
Canton Preparatory High School is a tuition-free, public charter school in Canton, Michigan, serving students in ninth through 12th grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

Visit Canton Preparatory High School's blog to read more stories like this.