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EDITORIAL: Keep safety in mind for new school year

Another school year is now underway in the New Richmond, Somerset and St. Croix Central school districts.

For parents, teachers and school administrators, that means it's time to get accustomed to new routines, whether they include, waking up at a different time, putting on different clothes, dropping kids off at a new location, picking up kids after extracurricular activities or many other adjustments.

Parents and students usually make the adjustment quickly. Teachers, who were on three-month hiatus, have been thrust into the challenge of starting a new school year with a new group of students.

Community members who don't have school-age children, or any ties to the school district also need to adjust to back-to-school time.

For anyone who drives a car, this time of year means keeping your eyes peeled for kids on foot, kids on bikes, kids hopping out of buses, kids scurrying into streets to chase kickballs, and even kids on the cross country team running all around town. And don't forget to keep an eye out for crossing guards, safety personnel and school buses.

If a school bus has red lights flashing, traffic must come to a stop -- that means traffic in both directions. Flashing amber lights do not require a stop, but it is still important to proceed with caution when that situation arises.

Remember, however, not all students are bused. Many walk to school or ride bikes. Students must take it upon themselves to follow good safety procedures, but it is up to all drivers to take extra care when students are going to and from school -- always expect the unexpected.

We look forward to another productive school year and send best wishes to our local students, staff and teachers.