Our View

A big back-to-school welcome to our students, parents, teachers, staff members and administrators.

Most of our local school districts return to the classroom this week, and we know many of you are excited to get another academic year underway.

You have your classrooms decorated and your pencils sharpened. Your first-day-of-school outfit is all picked out, and your backpack is hanging off your bedroom door, ready to be filled with supplies. You've spent the summer vacationing, relaxing, reading and preparing for this week — and you're ready.

To the rest of us: Are we ready for another school year?

Are we ready to pay attention to the kids waiting at the end of driveways and street corners for their bright yellow bus to pick them up and deliver them safely to their classrooms?

Are we ready to watch for the blinking lights that let us know when our vehicles are entering a school zone?

Are we ready to heed the dedicated crossing guards who slow and stop traffic to help schoolchildren get across the street safely?

It's not only time for students and teachers to head back to school — it's also time for the rest of us to make sure they head back to school safely. We've had some serious (and fatal) accidents in our communities over the past couple of years involving schoolchildren, teachers and vehicles just before the school day begins or after it ends, and this can be an accident-free year if we pledge to be a little more watchful.

Let's commit to slowing down during our morning and afternoon commutes, to watch for kids getting on and off a school bus, to driving 20 mph in a school zone and to stopping for buses when their stop signs are extended and flashing.

It's on all of us to get this school year off to a good start.