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Our View: New school year set to begin

Summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22.

But summer vacation is over for some local children beginning this week, when school will start for children living in three DeKalb County school districts.

Students in Genoa-Kingston School District 424 have their first attendance day on Wednesday. At Indian Creek School District 425, students return Thursday. And the first day of classes at Hiawatha School District 426 is Friday.

The next week, students at Somonauk School District 432, Sycamore School District 427, St. Mary’s Catholic School in Sycamore, Hinckley Big-Rock School District 429, and Sandwich School District 430 all return.

The remaining DeKalb County school districts fall in line shortly after that, with DeKalb School District 428 the last to resume classes on Aug. 28.

The new school year can be an exciting – but sometimes anxious – time for children. New teachers. New classmates and friends. New things to learn. New daily routines.

Parents can help their school-aged children transition more smoothly into the new school year by following a few tips:

• Help them get organized. Clear up a work space at home that is quiet where they can do homework and other school assignments.

• Talk to them each day about how their school day went, and what they learned. Review their homework assignments with them and make sure they completed those assignments at the end of each day. Depending on the child’s age, review the homework with them.

• Prepare for the next school day the night before so the morning is less rushed. Have backpacks packed; lunches made and in the refrigerator; and discuss the next day’s schedule in case there are any special activities planned.

• Make sure children are getting enough sleep by adjusting their nightly bedtimes. Regardless when your children are to resume classes, now is a good time to get them in the habit of going to bed and waking up earlier.

• Communicate with your child’s teacher. Most have email addresses where you can write to check on progress, ask questions or discuss concerns. Also, plan ahead so you can make parent-teacher conferences.

Drivers should also should not forget that back-to-school time means that in many neighborhoods, children once again will be walking local streets on their way to class. Please obey the posted speed limits in school zones when children are present.

Let’s help make the 2013-14 school year a great one for our children.

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