School is back in session, that time between joy and dread as children prepare for book reports, term papers and tests. This week especially there are many things to consider as school once again resumes:

No. 1

Get ready as your children head back to school

The school bells will be ringing across southeastern North Dakota Wednesday as Hankinson, Fairmount and Lidgerwood public schools say goodbye to summer vacation and its long, lazy days. Wyndmere jump started its school year one day earlier on Tuesday. Welcome back to a new year as children put away their suntan lotion to grab a backpack filled with new school supplies. Remember the wonderful smell of fresh sneakers and Crayons? Welcome back everyone and embrace this new beginning. Do these three things to set yourself up for a great school year — raise your hand and ask for help, join a new club this year and do not procrastinate. Please. School is meant to be work as nothing worthwhile should ever be easy.

No. 2

Put the brakes on unsafe driving

This is the perfect time to remind drivers that school is back in session. See children walking or riding their bikes in your neighborhoods, expect children to dart across a street or suddenly emerge from between parked cars. The biggest thing for drivers is to eliminate distractions in school zones — no talking on cell phones, texting or eating. Research shows that even taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles the possibility of crashing. Remember to slow down and pay attention when entering a school zone.

No. 3

Is it time for a 12-month schedule for schools?

Most U.S. schools operate on a 10-month calendar. Is it time to relinquish this outdated method of teaching? By going 12 months of the year, school children actually remember what they have learned and remediation occurs when it is needed — during the school year. The argument can be waged we need to give kids a chance to run in the sunshine and play. Or do we? A Harvard study found school-age children gain weight faster during the summer because they are more sedentary while watching TV or using mobile devices. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that by the time children graduate from high school they will have spent more time watching TV than in the classroom. That is sobering. So if children aren’t making the most of their summer vacation, then it is time to get back to class sooner by utilizing a 12-month schedule.

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