As hard as it is to believe, especially as hot as it is outside, summer recess ends this weekend for the majority of the region’s youngsters.

A new school year starts Monday for Valdosta and Lowndes County school systems as well as many surrounding counties’ schools.

This means early-morning drivers should remember they will again be sharing the road with youngsters waiting at bus stops or walking to school.

This means morning traffic should heed a city warning to avoid school zones and Valdosta State University for the first week or two of school until a regular school drop-off routine is developed.

This means that many parents will no longer have to scramble seeking activities to fill their children’s days.

This means the end of vacations as not only do the youngsters return to school but adults re-dedicate themselves to their jobs, charities, events, sports and other activities that arise during the coming of late summer and fall.

But mostly the return to school means a renewal of a promise. Education is the key to both an individual’s and a society’s future.

School is a promise to ready young people for the challenges of tomorrow. This promise is a two-way street. Schools must prepare our students but students must be willing to learn.

Parents can help broker this promise. They can hold high expectations of teachers while holding high expectations for their children.

Monday shouldn’t just mean a return to school for the youngsters in a household. Monday should mark back to school for the entire family.

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