• By Kirk Gaw

Back To School Time! Preparing for The 2018/ 2019 Session

It's that time of year again! Time for kids to be challenged, inspired, and encouraged with support for excellence in an ever-changing World. Students reported to homerooms this morning for distribution of Chromebooks, planners, handbooks, and class schedules.

The Walkerton area has excellent facilities between John Glenn High School - ranked 24th best high school in Indiana (by US News & World Report) to NCAVC affiliated Oregon-Davis Schools (connected to Ancilla College and IVY-Tech). Both remarkable school systems serve the vicinity. Their outstanding facilities are the pride of our community!

We have students from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2032! They are getting involved in Reading, Art, Theater, Choir, Band, and all sorts of athletics! They are running Cross-Country, playing Volleyball, Football, and getting ready for the Swim Team at Oregon-Davis.

They are practicing Acting for the Theater departments, studying answers for the Academic Decathalon, learning how to paint, and operate a kiln for Art Class! Students are fixing cars, welding, and even building houses! They are preparing for the alphabet, writing cursive, and building robots! Dedicated teachers, committed students, and willing parents!

As a parent, sending your child to school, off into a world without you, can be an anxious time. Give yourself some peace of mind by following these safety tips to make sure they stay safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground:

1. Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.

2. Walk the route with your child beforehand. Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields and other places where there aren’t many people around.

3. Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.

4. Be sure your child walks to and from school with a sibling, friend, or neighbor.

5. Teach your kids — whether walking, biking, or riding the bus to school — to obey all traffic signals, signs and traffic officers. Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather.

6. When driving kids, deliver and pick them up as close to the school as possible. Don’t leave until they are in the schoolyard or building.

7. If your child bikes to school, make sure he wears a helmet that meets safety standards. Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent.

8. If your child rides a scooter to school, make sure she wears sturdy shoes, a helmet, kneepads and elbow pads. Children under age 12 should not ride motorized scooters, according to recent recommendations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

9. Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early, stay out of the street, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street, watch for cars and avoid the driver’s blind spot.

10. Remind your children to stay seated at all times and keep their heads and arms inside the bus while riding. When exiting the bus, children should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, exit from the front using the handrail to avoid falls and cross the street at least 10 feet (or 10 giant steps) in front of the bus.

11. Tell your child not to bend down in front of the bus to tie shoes or pick up objects, as the driver may not see him before starting to move.

12. Be sure that your child knows his or her home phone number and address, your work number, the number of another trusted adult and how to call 911 for emergencies.

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