Students head back to school with a community’s renewed commitment
The Park Record editorial, Aug. 26-29, 2017
If we could write the perfect end-of-the-school-year headlines right now they might look something like this: “Park City students set new academic records in STEM programs,” “District’s new policies for supporting diabetic students heralded in national education journals,” “More Latino students than ever heading to college,” “Officials report dramatic decrease in teen drug use,” “State legislators approve massive increase in education funding.” We could go on and on.
This week, throughout the Park City, North Summit and South Summit school districts, parents have been sending their kids back to school with their hearts full of hopes and worries. There are the age-old dreams that their children will find fulfillment and success, and that they will be surrounded by supportive friends. And there are the usual worries about whether they are getting enough sleep, getting homework done and not getting sent to the principal’s office.
But these days there is also a whole new slew of challenges and concerns. Each year, it seems, we lose a little innocence and with it the sense of security we used to enjoy knowing our kids were tucked into their desks at school.
That innocence has been shredded by the evening news and by our own experiences. Students these days are faced with tougher competition, in both academics and athletics and their teachers are scrambling to keep up, too – not only with technology but with enrollment increases as well.
As if that wasn’t enough to keep moms and dads up at night, new dangers lurking on the Internet have snared children in our own community. Fatal attractions like online availability of synthetic opioids and cyber bullying are now part of our everyday concerns.
But, as Park City and Summit County demonstrated last year, when it comes to our kids, we are ready to meet these challenges head-on. With renewed commitment from every sector — from school administrators and teachers, to law enforcement personnel, health care professionals, elected officials and an army of citizen volunteers, we have a good chance of making those dream headlines come true.
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