Children will probably disagree, but I welcome the opening of school this week. Summer has been fun, but theres something reassuring about having school in session. It gives order to life; everyone is where theyre supposed to be again. Now we have a set time to get up each morning and a set time to go to bed each night. Our schedules for the week are pretty well established.
Besides, I love schools. Our schools are full of energy, optimism, hope for the future. Students generally have smiles on their faces. Our teachers are patient, dedicated, competent professionals.
Of course, no school, student or teacher is perfect. There will be some problems this academic year, but were very fortunate here.
While security is always a concern, our schools dont require metal detectors to keep weapons out. Serious violence is not a problem.
And while some schools have drop-out rates exceeding 50 percent, virtually all of our students graduate and most do much more.
Our North Country location has something to do with that. Were isolated, in large measure, from issues like gang violence, hopeless unemployment, crime and the like.
Our students also benefit from living in communities that value education. Most have parents who are supportive, not only of their own children, but of others, too. We have active PTAs and sports booster clubs. The auditoriums are filled for school plays and concerts. The bleachers are full for sporting events.
Much of the success of local schools can be traced to the sense of community they create. Thatll be the base when Ticonderoga Middle School hosts a barbecue/open house to kick the new school year this Wednesday, Sept. 5.
The open house is our version of the First Day/First Night celebration that schools are doing to welcome parents, students and community to the beginning of the school year, Ti Middle School Principal Bruce Tubbs said. It is our opportunity to start the year off with everyone on the same page working toward the same goals.
The event will begin with a barbecue 5-6 p.m. in the school cafeteria prepared by school staff and members of the Parent-Teacher Organization. Free to families, it will include hot dogs, chips and a drink.
At 6 p.m. Tubbs will welcome students and parents and give a brief overview of the school. Following Tubbs presentation, students and their parents are asked to go to their home base. There they will be given their class schedule. They can then visit each class, in order of their schedule.
Its an opportunity for parents to put a face with a name, explained Tina Russell, chairwoman of the Building Leadership Team committee that planned the event. When their student comes home talking about a teacher, the parents will know who theyre talking about.
The more people know about our school and our teachers the better, she said. We want students and parents to be comfortable.
It sounds like a recipe for success.