The doors of public schools across the Shore have opened once again for the start of a new year, with many students in classrooms five days a week for the first time since the spring of 2019.

We are thrilled for the return of full in-person education for our students. And based on our trips to schools, students are thrilled to be back.

We talk a lot about the school community because that is what each of our public and private schools represent, a community. They are communities of students, of parents and guardians, of teachers and staff and administrators. Everyone in these communities and in the broader Mid-Shore community has a role to play for our children.

Moving beyond the walls of our schools, we also need to keep an eye on roadway safety, being careful around school buses and watching out for increased pedestrian traffic.

“For the first time in 18 months, Maryland schools are opening for full-time in-person learning, and we urge drivers to stay vigilant for young pedestrians and school buses,” said Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury in a release issued by the State Highway Administration.

The State Highway Administration (SHA) reminds motorists to always stop for pedestrians.

Pay attention to school buses. When they stop, the bus’ red lights start flashing. And that stop arm swinging out from the side of the bus is a signal for motorists in both directions to stop — as required by law — and wait for students to board or get off the bus.

“Motorists are reminded to allow more time in the morning to get to work, look before backing out of their driveways, and drive slow in school zones and residential areas,” the SHA release states.

We join SHA officials in recommending parents and guardians talk to their children about pedestrian safety. Remind kids to use the sidewalk and to check for cars before crossing the street. If there is a pedestrian signal at an intersection, make sure children know to push the button and wait for the walk sign before crossing.

Children also should be paying attention when walking, watching for cars in driveways and parking lot entrances and exits.

After a very long year and a half, our schools are back in session. Let’s all do our part to keep our children healthy and safe.

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