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August 27, 2013 9:38 am

EDITORIAL: Get involved to ensure positive school year

Written by Ilene Olson

Drivers, be alert: Students head back to classrooms in Powell on Wednesday, the first day of the 2013-14 academic year for Park County School District No. 1.

Buses are running, and some students will be walking to and from school.

But drivers aren’t the only ones who should be paying attention. We encourage students to apply themselves to make the most of their exceptional education opportunities.

We also urge parents to encourage their children to achieve, and to be involved in their children’s education.

Among other things, parents can do that by setting time aside during the evenings for homework, keeping communication lines open with teachers and attending attending parent-teacher conferences and school activities.

Parents also would be well advised to limit children’s and teens’ screen time — time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet or smart phone — to allow time and attention for homework, as well as needed physical activity.

Eating dinner as a family also can provide opportunities to discuss events, issues, lessons and difficulties at school. It’s an old American tradition that needs to be revived and honored.

With two new elementary schools, a new high school and the first phase of a new middle school complete, Powell schools have some of the best educational facilities and classroom technology available. The second phase of middle school construction is expected to begin sometime next spring.

But the hearts of the schools are the dedicated teachers who work diligently to teach and guide students and make a difference in their lives, and the administrators and staff who support that mission.

Northwest College classes also started this week. Monday was the first day of the fall 2013 semester there, and a new president, Stefani Hicswa, is at the helm to provide leadership in established and new directions. We look forward to seeing the future she envisions and maps out for the college.

That future will be aided by the new Yellowstone classroom building, now under construction on campus at Seventh and Division streets. It is scheduled for completion in July 2014.

We look forward to watching the school year unfold, and we hope it is a happy, safe and productive one. You can ensure it is by getting involved with education.

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