First Day of School

Parker's children, like these on the playground at Blake Primary School, are back in school for the 2019-20 school year. Watch out for them as you're driving around the town.

It’s hard to believe, but summer vacation is over for the kids. The 2019-20 school year started last week in the Parker Unified School District. Other districts in the county will be starting soon as well.

The start of a new school year can be an exciting time. Students get to meet new teachers and catch up with old friends. It won’t take long at all until they’re involved in all kinds of school and after-school activities, including sports (Go Broncs! Go Frogs!) Let’s not forget the main reason for schooling: getting an education. Students and teachers have a lot of work ahead of them as they go through the process of learning their subjects.

The school years can be the most exciting and frustrating times of a person’s life. Please remember that the students in school today will one day be adult members of society. They need help to get there, and they look to us grown-ups for that help.

It’s been demonstrated time and again that when the parents and grown-ups care about the education of their children, those children will do well in school. Who knows? They may actually find subjects that they like and will want to learn all about them on their own. That’s when young people discover the joy of learning, and it can be a wonder to behold.

Let’s also do what we can to keep bullying in check. Children learn a lot better when they’re not afraid to go to school. Going off every day to school knowing you’re going to be terrorized is not a good thing for any child.

I want to take this time to remind motorists to be careful and watch out for children as they go to and from school. You have to watch out for them because they may not be watching out for you.

Motorists need to be especially careful in the morning and afternoon hours when children are headed to class and returning home. School zones are clearly marked, and motorists need to observe the 15 mph speed limit. However, there are other areas where motorists need to be careful, like around school bus stops.

One area where motorists need to be careful is around Pop Harvey Park and the intersections of Mohave and Navajo Avenues and Agency Road. There are many children going to and from school on Mohave Avenue, and several places where children tend to congregate are located there, including the Parker Public Library, Players Ninth Street Youth Center and the Gingerbread House and Mish Mash Studio.

Here’s a bit of advice for both motorists and students:  pay attention to what you’re doing. That means putting the cell phone away for a time. Putting away or turning off the cell phone in class is also a good idea. Learning to pay attention when someone is speaking to you is a good way to learn things, and it’s a good habit to get into for success in life.

Here’s hoping the 2019-20 school year is a safe, happy and productive one for students, parents, teachers and staff alike.

This is an updated editorial that first appeared in 2017.

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