It's that time again

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Although summer won't officially be over until Sept. 23, the summer break is drawing to a close as area school children head back to the classroom next week.

While teachers and school districts are held accountable by the state for ensuring that students learn what they're supposed to, it's up to parents to see that their children get to school on time each day, do their homework and study for tests.

All schools are pushing for greater parental involvement these days, because it takes more than just presentation of educational materials for students to learn.

It's more of a geometric effort - a triangle between schools, students and parents. If any of the three shirks their responsibility, then there's a break in the process and students won't learn what they need to learn.

Having adequate school supplies helps, but that can sometimes cost more money than many families have to spare. So be sure to watch for sales and local churches' and resource centers' supply giveaways. They're eager to help local families.

Most schools have relaxed their dress codes in recent years, but students still need to focus on their education rather than what others are wearing.

Also, with more and more of today's children having cell phones, it's important to know the rules at school. Most require that such phones be left in lockers or turned off.

While most homes seem to have at least one computer these days, not all students have regular access. Remember that the Taylor County Public Library offers free use of its computers to patrons. So, students, don't panic if you're assigned a tough research paper. The library has all you need.

Even those of us who don't have children heading back to school have a responsibility as well.

Students of all ages will be on the streets and at bus stops waiting for school buses. We all need to drive extra carefully and watch out for the little ones who might not have yet learned how to keep themselves safe.

Here's hoping that this school year gets off to a great start.