Be Alert As School Returns After Summer Recess

The new school year kicks off next week, and whether you’re excited to be going back or wishing the summer would stretch on forever, it’s time to get back to the daily grind.

The first few days of school are always hectic, rife with confusion as everyone settles into a rhythm. Drivers who have noticed a summer lull in morning traffic will once again find the streets full, while parents dropping their kids off will once again have to get used to the inevitable traffic cycle. We at the Town-Crier urge everyone to be aware and be safe. All too often, motorists don’t heed school speed zones or seem to have forgotten that if a bus is stopped to pick up or disembark riders, they must come to a full stop and must not pass the bus.

Drivers must also get used to looking extra carefully for kids crossing the streets — not every child knows the rules of the road and when it’s safest to cross.

It seems like common sense, but every new school year there are violators, and what we don’t need is an accident to mar the beginning of what should be an exciting time for kids. So shake the summer cobwebs away and be on the alert.

With new schools in our area, drivers must also be on alert for new traffic patterns. For example, there is a new traffic light on Crestwood Blvd., north of Southern Blvd., where the Renaissance Charter School at Palms West will be open for its first day of school Monday. Drivers in the area should remember there is now an operational light at that intersection and take extra precautions.

Next week is an opportunity for everyone to start the year off on the right foot. Students begin the new school year with clean slates. What happened last year is in the past.

What’s most important is that students know they have the support to succeed, not only from parents and other family members, but from their communities. And community members need to set good examples by being good role models for students and for being good neighbors who look out for each other.

The new school year is a time of firsts and lasts. For kindergarteners, it’s the very beginning of a lengthy academic career. For seniors, it’s the beginning of the end of an era and for some, an end to school altogether. For middle schoolers, it’s making the transition from elementary school. For high schoolers, it’s making the transition from middle school. Sometimes these changes aren’t always as easy to make as they seem.

So, at least at the beginning of the year, let’s give everybody the benefit of the doubt that they’re trying their best and if somebody is struggling, lend them a hand.

For some teachers, it will be the last time they face a class, as retirement comes at the end of the school year. For others, it will be their first time leading a class and they might be more than a little nervous.

Remembering that we are all in this together might go a long way in getting the first days and weeks of school off to a smooth start.