School bells ringing already; Key mission is a timeless one

School bells are ringing as early as we can remember. The Muncy School District was back to class last Thursday. East Lycoming and Montgomery returned Monday and Montoursville today. The rest will follow up until Sept. 1.

If it seems like summer went faster than winter, you may be correct. Once school starts and Labor Day beckons, it feels like summer is over, even though the calendar says otherwise.

There is a plus side to a shorter summer break. Perhaps the worries about how much students retained from the last school year will be lessened.

And retention is the concern of all parents, teachers and school administrators. If students don’t retain what they are taught, the hours in the classroom and hours of homework serve a limited purpose.

Besides full retention of a previous year’s learning, we have other wishes for this school year.

Our top one is that teachers and students get unfettered time. But that means discipline among all students in classrooms so that teachers can spend all their time on what their mission is teaching students. Unsettled classrooms are a major detriment to education.

Our other major wish is that everyone, from teachers to administrators to teachers and students, does not forget the basics of education. Students can be technical whizzes and be capable of using a cellphone like a high-end computer, but if they can’t read, write, spell and speak with proficiency, they will be behind the learning curve eventually.

We are a fast-paced society dominated by gadgetry that is capable of producing a generation of smart yet dysfunctional hermits.

But our world still revolves around, and always will, communication and comprehensive.

We wish teachers and students throughout the region a productive school year.