Monday marks the start of a new school year and with it comes the seasonal change in routines.
That makes student safety a concern, one addressed in a joint press conference on school safety last week hosted by superintendent Kurt Browning and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.
Their word to the wise: Don't hit the snooze button.
That goes for everyone, including students, parents and commuters who might be frustrated by all those buses out on the road, starting around 5:30 a.m.
"Get out a little bit early. Learn the new patterns and take your time," was the advice from Nocco. His deputies will be out and about watching for those speeding through school zones or illegally passing school buses while students are getting on and off at their stops.
Parents also should take note of any new route changes and be familiar with their children's route whether it be by bus, bicycle or on foot. Maybe take a dry run today, if you haven't already. And make note of the time your child will be heading out in the morning. If it's dark, make sure they are wearing light colors while walking or waiting at their bus stops.
So pay attention to those flashing lights and the safety bar swinging out from the bus with the big red "Stop" sign. And remember, patience is a virtue .
With school's start also comes the return of Top of the Class, our weekly feature that puts a spotlight on the positive things going on in local schools. As usual, we're looking to our readers to help spread the good news, whether it be a student who's making strides, a teacher who's instructing in an innovative way, a volunteer who's making one heck of a dent, or perhaps, a handful of kids who spent part of their summer vacation working on ways to make their schools a safe place for all.
In the coming weeks, you'll be reading about those kids along with the safe school/anti-bullying initiatives being brought forth by the school district and the Pasco Sheriff's Office. And we already have a couple of awesome teachers to tell you about.
Still, we're looking for more great stories. Got one to share? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org