It’s the most won­der­ful time of the year!

The Dundalk Eagle - - NEWS - By NICOLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Be­lea­guered par­ents re­joice — back to school time is here!

Thanks to Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der push­ing the start of school back to its post-La­bor Day po­si­tion (after two decades of Au­gust starts), kids across Mary­land are cur­rently en­joy­ing their last week of sum­mer be­fore hitting the books for another school year.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mary­land State Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, 886,221 stu­dents were reg­is­tered in Mary­land schools last year — a fig­ure ex­pected to con­tinue ris­ing. Of that num­ber, 112,139 stu­dents were en­rolled in Baltimore County Pub­lic Schools as of Sept. 30, 2016.

With so many kids, par­ents, teach­ers and other staff hitting the roads to school start­ing next Tues­day, the past few weeks have been bustling with prepa­ra­tion.

The Mary­land Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (MDOT), AAA and other or­ga­ni­za­tions are en­cour­ag­ing both driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans to be care­ful trav­el­ing to, from and near schools.

MDOT en­cour­ages pedes­tri­ans to use side­walks and marked cross­ings when pos­si­ble, obey traf­fic sig­nals, look both ways be­fore cross­ing the street and wear light or bright cloth­ing, es­pe­cially if trav­el­ing near or after dark.

Like­wise, driv­ers are asked to pay at­ten­tion to their sur­round­ings, obey traf­fic signs, sig­nals and speed lim­its and to stop for school buses when their red lights are flash­ing and stop signs are out.

Stu­dents must also be up to date on vac­cines as the school year gets un­der­way.

Vac­ci­na­tions will be ad­min­is­tered on a walk-in ba­sis at all seven county health cen­ters, in­clud­ing the Dun­dalk Health Cen­ter at 7700 Dun­man­way, now through Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ad­di­tion­ally, or­ga­ni­za­tions across the area — from Baltimore County Pub­lic Schools (BCPS) to the Dun­dalk Cham­ber of Com­merce — have been hold­ing school sup­ply drives to col­lect fold­ers, note­books, pen­cils and other sup­plies for kids in need.

Back to School cel­e­bra­tions were also held lo­cally at East­point Mall on Aug. 26 and at the Sollers Point Mul­ti­Pur­pose Cen­ter on Aug. 29. Both events in­cluded give­aways of school sup­plies.

On Aug. 30, stu­dents en­ter­ing mid­dle and high school got the chance to test-drive their new rou­tines dur­ing an ab­bre­vi­ated Early En­try Day. Stu­dents met with teach­ers, toured their new schools and vis­ited their new lock­ers.

Many schools are also giv­ing stu­dents and par­ents a head-start on the school year at early Back to School Nights. Both Nor- wood and Dun­dalk el­e­men­tary schools will hold their events on Thurs­day, Aug. 31. Nor­wood will greet stu­dents from 4:30 to 6 p.m., while Dun­dalk El­e­men­tary stu­dents and fam­i­lies are in­vited for a block party on the fields be­hind the school be­gin­ning at 5:30 p.m. The event will in­clude re­source in­for­ma­tion and fam­i­lies are en­cour­aged to bring blan­kets and pic­nic bas­kets.

Are your kids get­ting ready to go back to school? If so, snap a pic­ture of them on the first day and send it to us here at the Ea­gle. Please in­clude the child’s name, school and grade. Se­lect pho­tos will ap­pear in an up­com­ing is­sue; all pho­tos will ap­pear on our web­site at www.dun­dalkea­gle.com. Pho­tos may be sub­mit­ted via email to nrod­man@ ches­pub.com.

En­joy the last few days of sum­mer and, from all of us here at the Ea­gle, have a safe and happy school year!

Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the writer and do not rep­re­sent the opin­ion of The Dun­dalk Ea­gle or Adams Pub­lish­ing Group.

COURTESY @MSPALMISANO TWIT­TER

New teach­ers spent time fo­cus­ing on one-word goals for the new school year at Lo­gan El­e­men­tary School.

COURTESY BCPS FLICKR

New BCPS teach­ers at­tended a sys­tem-wide ori­en­ta­tion event in an­tic­i­pa­tion of next week’s start to the school year.

PHOTO BY NICOLE ROD­MAN

Stu­dents and teach­ers took the chance to get to know one another on the first day of school at Dun­dalk Mid­dle School in 2015.

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