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Local Editorials

Our View: Planting seeds as a new school year starts

The last half of the calendar year is not typically a time one thinks about starting anew – that mentality is usually associated with the spring and the growth that comes with it.

But August is truly a time of planting seeds – at least in the minds of area students.

The first districts in Will and Grundy counties head back to class Monday, with others starting throughout the week and a few next week. The signs of that are everywhere: From the school supply displays in area stores to the teachers who have been setting up classrooms in buildings recently cleaned by area custodians, it’s evident we’re on the cusp of a new academic year.

Whether you’re a parent wondering how your child will do this year, an educator aiming to plan that perfect first day or a student hoping they will be seated next to a best friend, there likely is some anxiety as that first day approaches.

But there also is a sense of excitement, as a new school year also comes with the hope that this could be the best grade level yet.

That hope can be realized if all involved take on a team mentality, with every member committed to providing a successful educational experience.

Teachers have to plan engaging lessons and provide opportunities for all students to explore different ways to learn. Administrators need to implement goals that can be met. School boards need to be good stewards of tax dollars. State lawmakers need to make sure any new laws they pass do not add any more unfunded mandates to already taxed districts.

Parents need to partner with educators by making sure their child does homework, is attentive and respectful in class, and encourage them to do their best.

And the students themselves are more than just passengers along the way – in many ways, they should be the drivers on their educational journey.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

That is sage advice from the incomparable Dr. Seuss. Students have the power to have a great school year be investing in their education by participating in class, engaging in extracurricular activities and setting personal goals to continually add to their body of knowledge.

Our wish is that the excitement and hope that permeates that first day of class remains throughout the year, and the seeds planted now yield a great crop when students hear the final bell of the 2016-2017 academic year.

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