It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
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.
New teachers spent time focusing on one-word goals for the new school year at Logan Elementary School.
New BCPS teachers attended a system-wide orientation event in anticipation of next week’s start to the school year.
Students and teachers took the chance to get to know one another on the first day of school at Dundalk Middle School in 2015.