Let’s make this a great school year

By Chuck Kajer

Parents are getting ready to send their children off to school for another year. They have made the trek to stores for clothing, notebooks, pens and pencils and other school supplies. In less than two weeks, they will send their children out the door and to the bus stop, entrusting them to their new teachers, hoping and praying that they will do well, meet new friends, work hard for their teachers and do the best they can.

But it takes more than just good teachers—and New Prague's schools are blessed with good teachers—for a school to succeed.

It all begins with custodians and maintenance personnel, who make sure the school is warm on a winter's day, who clean up the messes that the kids leave behind, who make sure that when a light bulb burns out, a new one is quickly put in place, who clear the snow from the sidewalks and make sure the building is ready for each new day.

It continues with the bus drivers, who are well-trained and work hard to ensure a safe trip to and from school.

And then, there are the paraprofessionals, the ones who work one-on-one or in small groups to help a child who needs extra time on a lesson, the ones who work with the special needs students, the ones who help with any number of tasks.

The food service staff makes sure there are good, nutritious meals ready for the students at lunch time.

Clerical workers and secretaries answer phones, make phone calls to parents, assist teachers and administrators with countless tasks throughout the day and maintain a cheery outlook when a visitor comes into the office.

Administrators—superintendents, principals and others—make daily decisions on the day-to-day operations of the school district, implementing school policies, hiring workers and maintaining a good working and learning environment.

School board members meet regularly, study the issues, set policies and work to give the professional educators the tools they need to succeed.

These, and many others, help to keep a school running smoothly. But it's important to remember that a school functions best when it has a group of dedicated, involved parents, working hand-in-hand with the teachers, administrators, board members and other school personnel to build a strong school. When all parties sit down and work together, great things can happen.

As a community, we owe it to our children to make those great things continue to happen this year.

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