Yes, it’s time to start school already!

Published 10:17 am Monday, August 6, 2018

Can you believe it? It’s time for teachers and kids to return to school.
Summer vacation time is coming to a close, as teachers in both the Carter County and Elizabethton School Systems head back to school this week in preparation for the upcoming school year. Students in both systems will return to the classroom Aug. 13 to begin classes. City students will have an abbreviated day Thursday.
It’s time to shift into school-year mode, a frame of mind that changes from year to year as kids progress from kindergarten through high school. But some things remain constant, such as: What you get out of school depends on how much you are willing to put into it. And that applies to parents as well as students.
The students are the ones who (we hope) go to school every day, but their parents’ involvement can make a big difference, whether it’s helping with homework and providing a quiet place to do it, attending back-to-school night to meet their teachers, or just showing an interest in what the student is studying and, hopefully, learning. In other words, as study after study has found, the more parents communicate with their students, the greater their level of achievement in school. But those lines of communication should also extend to the students’ teachers and school administrators, and the dialogue can begin with four small words: How can I help? Perhaps the biggest contribution every parent can make is to send to school students who are ready to learn, students who realize that by applying themselves they can be as successful as they want to be. Send students who want to be challenged, not students who need to be babysat. Send students who want to help their fellow students, not bully them.
The best school experience goes beyond the classroom. Students should be encouraged to take part in activities at their schools, whether it’s participating in sports, band, or running for class president. Every school is a small community unto itself, and the students are its citizens, each with a responsibility to contribute or lead in some way.
Also, to our teachers and administrators, we say thank you for the job you do. We don’t often say it enough. Carter County and Elizabethton are blessed with some of the best and most dedicated educators in the country. They work tirelessly to give their students the best education possible and often go above and beyond what is required of them.
So whether the big decision your family will face this year is choosing the right lunch box, or choosing the right college or university, the start of school is always an auspicious occasion. Make sure this year is as good as it can be by taking an active role with your student and your school, and everyone will be better off for it.
We believe the beginning of a new school year is a very special and exciting time. There is a clean board. All things are possible.
So, good luck! We hope you and your children enjoy the journey.

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