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A fresh start

Students at Nansemond-Suffolk and Suffolk Christian academies headed back to school this week, while those who attend the city’s public schools will enjoy a couple more weeks of vacation before returning after Labor Day. Summer has come to its bitter or glorious end, depending on one’s perspective on the matter.

There’s plenty of excitement about the first day of school, whether you’re a student, a parent, a teacher or an administrator. For each of those groups, there’s also a certain amount of trepidation that comes with going back to school.

How much harder will the courses be this year? How attentive will the new crop of students be? How much homework can students expect, and will parents be able to make sure their children keep up with the load? What sorts of new distractions will intervene to potentially derail students? Will there be any unusual safety issues this year?

Teachers have been preparing for this day for weeks, and some have worked all summer to improve their methods and increase their subject knowledge. Administrators have been working to make the first day and all the days that follow go as smoothly as possible and to ensure that the best people are in the various jobs at each school. And it’s a safe bet that some students have been working hard, even during their summer vacation, to get themselves ready for the new challenges they will face.

We encourage every person who works in the area schools to make his or her personal goal this year to be better at his or her job than last year. Seek for the ways to work smarter, not just harder. And we want to encourage students to look at the first day of school as a chance to make a new beginning. Whatever may have happened last year, this one is a fresh start.

Now, go out and make us all proud.