Education is a sacred part of our society. We all too often take it for granted. Already, some of us have forgotten the challenging and unprecedented times we face today and forget we need to be patient and attempt to be understanding and flexible.

Quality schools are the bedrock to a community, and it takes quality people to make it happen.

That’s in a normal year, and this year is anything but.

The year 2020 has shown us the kinds of people we have working in our school systems, from teachers to administrators to support staff, and anyone who has a part in the school day.

In March, with little more than a weekend’s notice, schools put together online instruction options to keep students engaged as a pandemic spread through the communities. Was it perfect? Nope. But it was a substantial undertaking and there was no opportunity for advanced planning.

While the kiddos were released on summer break, work continued through the summer. Teachers, administrators and others all put in extra time to make in-person schooling during a pandemic work.

Yet again, society calls on educators to face a challenge. And, yet again, they do.

The battle is far from over, it’s merely just beginning. There will be districts that must press the pause button for an outbreak. There’ll be positive test results. There’ll be hiccups.

But through it all, there will be educators doing their damndest to give these children the best they can. After years and years of under-funding and cuts, our school districts continue to move forward.

As many schools close their first week back in their socially distanced classrooms, we urge our readers to make sure the educators, administrators and support staffs in the area feel their love, gratitude and support — in a way consistent with social distancing protocols, of course.

There have been many sacrifices made, and there will probably be some more moving forward. But educators will rise up to the challenges; they always do. The least we can do as a society is make sure they know we are there for them the entire way.

Provided it can be done safely, in-person instruction is necessary for the betterment of our children; there’s just not a replacement for it. We’ve taken issue with the one-size-fits-all approach and have questioned the protocols put in place by state and federal governments in their mandates to return to in-person learning. But that’s because of the strain it puts on the educators that we know are best-suited to decide what’s best for our local children.

It’ll seem like a longer school year than most for many districts. There will be difficult decisions lying ahead for administrators and educators. So for the rest of us, it’s important we show patience and support for them.

To the educators: thank you for your efforts — you have our support.

Here’s to a school year of learning for all of our area districts.

P.S. Hey drivers, slow down in those school zones and take it easy around those school buses.

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