A fresh start

Published 8:54 pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

Much is said and written every August about the work that students and their parents do to prepare for the start of a new school year. Back-to-school sales inspire epic shopping trips, last-minute vacations help burn off excess energy and the release of bus routes, class schedules, reading lists and classroom supplies lists all help put students back in school mode.

But school faculty members, administrators and maintenance workers are busy long before the first back-to-school circulars appear in local newspapers, preparing their facilities for the rush of students on that first day of the school year. Theirs are jobs that are important all year long, but there’s a special sense of urgency in the waning weeks of summer.

At schools all around Suffolk, teachers, administrators and maintenance crews have been busy this summer with some of the mundane jobs that aren’t often noticed by students or their parents. From buffing and waxing floors to painting walls and installing new HVAC systems, maintenance crews, in particular, have stayed busy while students and some teachers enjoyed their summer break.

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Now, with just a little more than a week to go before students in Suffolk’s public schools return to the fresh lockers, refitted restrooms and gleaming floors of their schools, teachers have moved into overdrive to get their classrooms outfitted for the year.

Bulletin boards are getting new decorations, bookshelves are being built and loaded and desks are being arranged just so, all in an effort to provide the best learning environment possible for the young students.

One of the underlying goals of all this hard work is to give those students the subconscious impression of a fresh start. That’s what the first day of school should represent, after all. It’s a chance for students, quite literally, to turn a new page in their academic careers. Whatever might have happened in school for them last year matters far less than what they will accomplish this year.

Here’s to fresh starts — and to the people who help make them happen.