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Editor’s note: Today’s editorial originally appeared in The Columbian. Editorial content from other publications and authors is provided to give readers a sampling of regional and national opinion and does not necessarily reflect positions endorsed by the Editorial Board of The Daily News.

Well, that appeared to go smoothly.

One year after teacher strikes delayed the beginning of the school year at several Clark County districts — and around the state — the 2019-20 academic year has started on time. Only the La Center district risked a late start this year, but teachers and administrators ratified a contract Tuesday in time for schools to open the following day.

For teachers, staff and students, the beginning of school marks the end of carefree summer days. For parents, it marks the return of a routine and — admit it, parents — a bit of relief. Rather than worrying about how to keep children engaged and active during the summer, concerns now turn to getting them out the door on time.

With that in mind, we offer some tips for parents to help their students have a successful year:

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  • Be cautious when driving near schools. As the National Safety Council reminds: “It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present — especially before and after school.” With the seasonal increase in school buses and young pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the area, make safety a priority.
  • Establish a morning routine early in the school year. Leaving plenty of time to eat a good breakfast, grab school supplies, and head out the door in a timely fashion rather than scrambling at the last minute can set the tone for academic success.
  • Meet the new teacher. As PBS writes in its tips for school: “For kids, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is ‘Will I like my new teacher?’ Breaking the ice early on is one of the best ways to calm everyone’s fears.”
  • Establish a household rule that homework must be completed before the TV or the iPad is turned on. Making schoolwork a priority will help establish good habits from the start of the school year.
  • As the school year goes along, remember that guiding your student involves more than asking whether they have done their homework. Keep abreast of their assignments and provide help when necessary. At the same time, keep in mind that homework is supposed to be completed by students and not parents.
  • Make sure you are aware of the daily schedule. Different districts begin and end the school day at different times, and those times may have changed since last year.
  • For students, The Princeton Review offers several tips for successful studying. Among them: “When will you make the time to do your homework every day? Find the time of day that works best for you (this can change day-to-day, depending on your schedule), and make a plan to hit the books.”
  • We also might add that becoming distracted while doing “research” on your phone or iPad does not count as homework and can be counterproductive. Stay on task.

With the start of a new school year, perhaps the best advice for both parents and students is to be enthusiastic about learning. Having the proper attitude and approaching school as an opportunity rather than a chore can make all the difference in a student’s success.

Students are entering the next chapter in an endeavor that can be simultaneously exhilarating and a little frightening.

Focusing upon the benefits — the opportunity to learn, grow, and make new friends — can make it easier for both children and adults and ensure that the entire year goes as smoothly as the first day.

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