All systems are go

The 2013-14 school year began this week, with nearly 4,000 students attending the local public school system, and several hundred more attending the two local parochial schools in the New Prague school district.

The school district is one of the strengths of this community. It is supported generously by area residents, who have agreed to make investments in new, modern facilities and in an educational curriculum that prepares students for the world they will face after graduating.

As parents are finding out, schools today operate much differently than they did a generation ago. At the same time, many of the things that made for a good school in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s still apply today. A well-trained, dedicated teaching staff that engages the students and helps them become learners for life, a strong,curriculum that gives students the knowledge and skills they need to solve problems, involved parents who not only support their children, but also support the educators by teaching their children respect and courtesy, and a strong administration that empowers the teachers to challenge students in order to make them stronger.

We have all of these qualities in our local school system, and recent test results show that the New Prague Area Schools is providing a strong educational foundation for its students. There is a lot of discussion about new technology in the classroom and how it will help students, and there is a lot to be said for tablet and notebook computers being available for all students. But all the gadgets and technology in the world won’t help if the student is not motivated, if parents are not supportive, if teachers are not engaging or if a community doesn’t support the schools. We are fortunate in this community to have those things.

We wish the students and staff of all area schools a good and productive year.