The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

August 3, 2013

Avoiding the school daze

It seems like school starts earlier every year. However, all calendars aside, school is here again and there is not much anyone can do about it except sharpen pencils, put one’s nose back in the books and pack an apple for the teacher.

Unfortunately for school administrators, a summer that should have been spent worrying about swimming holes, iced tea and backyard grilling, was spent worrying about the validity of ISTEP+ scores and their affect on public perception and actual funding.

When one mixes in the recent scandal involving former Superintendent of Public Education Tony Bennett and the loss of credibility he brought upon the changes he enacted, it certainly leaves anyone involved with education a reason to scratch their collective heads.

However, we at the Times Herald know, that all politics aside, there are certain things that everyone can do to ensure success at our schools locally — by being involved in your child’s school life.

Communicate with school staff, attend conferences, check on homework and volunteer in the classroom if you can. Most teachers will tell you that very few problems can’t be resolved if they are addressed at an early level. If you are an active parent, there is a good chance they will be active students.

Technology is a wonderful addition to the educational process, however it can also be a tremendous distraction if left unchecked. Know who your children are communicating with and where the line between school work ends and social media begins. A smartphone can provided a portal to infinite information — or infinite trouble.

The start of the school year is here, and while our state educators wrestles with issues on how they measures themselves, we can still do what is available to us — to do our part.

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