Summer vacation has effectively ended for students in Pittsburg County. McAlester Public Schools return to classes this Thursday. Many school districts already are in class for the 2019-20 school year.

There are some important things to remember for each of us as another school year opens.

For all drivers, it is critically important that you pay attention — particularly around schools and before the first bell and after the last bell.

Children will be more active at those times — hustling to get to class on time or rushing to make it home.

Drivers should put down the phone and pay attention to their job — driving. They should forgo checking email, talking or texting friends, or surfing the internet. There is time for all of that and when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle is not that time.

Watch out for distracted students. Children are just not as attentive as we expect drivers to be at all times.

Your cell phone is not as important as a child’s life.

For students, remember this will be some of the best times of your life and maybe the most important.

You won’t ever again have this much opportunity without the responsibility of being an adult. You will make lifelong friends now. You will create memories that you will be discussing at your 10th, 20th, 30th and 40th high school reunions.

Enjoy.

But remember that this is the time where you are most likely to set a foundation for the rest of your life. Getting a quality education is more your responsibility than anyone else’s. That’s because the quality of your education will affect the rest of your life. Educators will have a new class each year. Students aren’t likely to get a second chance to get a quality education.

For parents, please remember that your devotion to your child’s education will determine how devoted your child will be to their education.

Show an interest in your child’s studies. Ask your children what they are studying and ask them to explain it to you. Help quiz your child prior to tests.

If you want your child to have a better life than you, you should help ensure their education was better than your’s.

For educators, please understand how much we value your contribution to society. All the support staff, administrators and teachers at any given school will have an impact on students’ lives and, of course, their education.

It’s a difficult job at times, but it’s a critical one for society.

School not only prepares students to enter the workforce, but it also prepares them for life.

Educators have the future leaders in their classrooms. Teachers are the first step in the progression of our new doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, military and educators.

The very fabric of our society depends on students receiving a quality education. It is the responsibility of all to help facilitate that process.

We wish all involved the best as this new school year begins.