The 2019-20 back-to-school season has officially begun. The state’s annual tax-free weekend, which ends Sunday, is in full swing, and summer days are slowly coming to a close.
Even if you don’t have a school-age child, all of us should be aware of the ins and outs of back-to-school. It’s time to look out for children walking to and from schools in our neighborhoods. It’s also time to pay attention to the school-zone signs that will be flashing — alerting you to slow down.
And, don’t forget that using your cellphone during school zones is prohibited. Remember, in 2009 the state made it illegal to use mobile devices in active school zones where signs are posted. Offenders of the law could face a fine of up to $200. Ouch.
Along with the anticipation of more cars on the roads and more traffic in the mornings and late afternoons, it’s best to plan ahead and to remember to stop while a school bus is loading and unloading children.
For parents and guardians, here are a few back-to-school tips to make this school year a successful one:
1. Get familiar with your child/children’s school. Visit the school and get familiar with teachers, administrators, crossing guards and policies concerning early arrivals or late pick-ups.
2. Learn that “new” math. Make homework a priority and a daily habit during the school year. Set a quiet atmosphere in your home where your child/children can complete his or her homework. Get tutoring help through your child’s school if need be.
3. Take charge of screen time. Limit the time you let your child/children watch TV and play video games during the school year.
4. Set a routine for bedtime. We all know that a good night’s rest is essential for a healthy and productive day. Help your child/children get back on track sleep-wise after the long, lazy days of summer vacation at least a week or so before school begins.
5. Make sure immunizations are up-to-date. Schedule an appointment with your pediatrician and/or visit local clinics that provide back-to-school shots and vaccines.
Here’s wishing children, parents/guardians, teachers and administrators a successful school year. Stay safe.
• Angela Wilson