READY for SCHOOL

HARLINGEN — It’s that time again.

Time to crawl out of bed while the sun is still asleep, eat breakfast and head off to school.

This first week of school is expected to be as hectic as always, with the streets filled with the customary traffic jams. The gridlocks at campuses across the city will be fueled with confusion, frustration, excitement, anticipation – a smorgasbord of emotion.

Part of the problem is the resistance by parents to let their children ride the buses the first day of school.

“Everybody gets dropped off the first day of school,” said Shane Strubhart, spokesperson for the Harlingen school district.

“We have maintenance staff helping to move traffic the first couple of days,” he said.

To avoid as much hassle as possible, parents should bring their children to school at least 30 minutes early. Oscar Tapia, assistant superintendent for operations, strongly advised parents to carpool.

Of course, there’s a way to avoid all this hassle.

“Trust the busses,” Tapia said.

Teachers, students and parents in the elementary schools will find a bold and eye-catching new look. New furniture, which created such a sensation earlier this year, has now been installed in the classrooms.

“The tables fit together to create an environment where kids can communicate and work together as a group and share ideas,” said Lorena Rodriguez, a third grade teacher at Travis Elementary.

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School Driving Safety

• Observe school zone speeds — slow down.

• Obey the crossing guards.

• Exercise caution around school bus pickup and drop-off areas.

• Watch for children darting in and out around vehicles and into traffic.

• Avoid double parking when dropping off children.

• Do not load or unload children across the street from the school.

• Carpool to reduce number of vehicles at the schools.

• Do not block crosswalks — stop and yield to pedestrians in cross walks or at intersections.

• Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

• Never pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

Source: Harlingen Police Department