In a blink, it seems, the summer is over fore our area children. And while most of our attention was focused on the projected path of Tropical Storm Emily recently, there is another important event that has returned to Estero Island again.
On Monday morning, local youngsters flocked to Beach Elementary School as the 2011-12 academic year began. Whether you're a school-aged child, the parent of a student or even if your days of reading, writing and arithmetic are long since past, the beginning of another school year is a special time.
It's also a time to pay special attention on the roadways.
Throughout the summer, drivers along Estero Boulevard may have become complacent when passing school, maintaining the posted 25 mph speed limit along that stretch of roadway. However, with school about to be back in session, drivers should pay special attention to the caution lights during the morning and afternoon drop-off/pick-up times.
When the yellow lights are blinking - typically from 7:30 and 8 a.m. during the morning and 1:45 and 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon - the speed limit in the area of the Beach school is 15 MPH and strictly enforced.
Parents are also requested to do their part in preparing their children to get back on their "normal" school routine. Here are a couple of helpful "Be Safe At School" reminders:
n Instruct your kids to always walk, bike or travel with a friend, both going to and coming home from school. Always follow sidewalks or proper bike paths; never take a "short cut."
n Never let your children talk to strangers or people they may not be familiar with. If they encounter a stranger, have them walk away immediately - with a friend or a group of friends - until they reach a safe place.
n If your child sees somebody following them, instruct them to move as quickly as possible to somewhere they feel safe.
n Children should never hitchhike or accept a ride from a stranger.
n If your child carries a cell phone, have your number(s) programmed in their contact list. In case of an emergency, tell them to dial 9-1-1.
Starting the school year off right is everybody's top priority, so we encourage everyone to make every effort to "Be Safe At School," this year and always.
- Observer editorial