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All across Northwest Arkansas this morning, kids are realizing the sleep habits they've enjoyed throughout the summer don't serve them so well when a new schedule demands they rise a little earlier.

Or a lot earlier, in some instances.

Today is the start of the school year for most public schools on the traditional calendar. So if you run across some school-age kids this week and they seem just a little grumpy, cut them some slack. The first few days of school demands an exhausting level of energy.

While we're at it, let's extend some of that grace to all the teachers, staff, administrators and bus drivers. They've been preparing for days or weeks now, but it's a lot of work when students show up and the new academic year demands much attention.

Thousands and thousands of kids across the region will venture out of their homes every day to get to school, hopefully on time. They're walking, riding their bikes, loading up into buses and also driving themselves to school. Starting today, it's the job of everyone in the community to keep a watch out, to be mindful of their presence on city streets and sidewalks, and to exercise great care so that tragedies can be avoided.

Key to that are Arkansas laws regarding school buses. When their red lights are flashing, it generally means the buses are unloading their precious cargo. That means S-T-O-P. Stop and wait. Let those kids unload and make it onto the sidewalks. When the bus starts moving again, with red lights no longer flashing, that means everyone else can start moving, but all drivers still need to be on the lookout for unpredictable youngsters.

Here's hoping everyone headed to school this morning will embrace the day as the start of a productive year of learning, of developing new friendships and investing in old ones, and building themselves and others up. It's going to be great.

But don't be surprised if you need a nap today after you get home.

Commentary on 08/13/2019

Print Headline: And so it begins ...

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