Most families in this area with school children are enjoying what will be the final weekend of their summer vacations today. For those already involved in extracurricular activities — including football, volleyball, tennis, band, cheerleadering and other fall semester pursuits — the summer ended several weeks ago. The sales tax holiday on clothing and other items will be history after today. The teachers have already moved into their classrooms and are completing preparations for the new year. It is indeed time to head back to school.

Numerous preparatory activities have been scheduled as the first day of class looms, and several of them have already been held. Several are planned for Monday. These include the popular “meet the teacher” events and similar programs where young people can ease back into the scheme of things, or examine a school new to them for the first time.

Activity has picked up as well around the Howard Payne University campus as faculty, staff and students gear up for the first day of class Tuesday. A new semester with what is expected to be increased enrollment opens this week at the Brownwood Center of Texas State Technical College-West Texas, and Ranger College will begin offering classes at its Heartland Mall space, which is still under renovation.

Several churches and some civic groups are also welcoming the return of the school year with programs.

The return of the school bell is also a reminder for motorists to again pay attention when driving near any campus, because speed limits drop at certain times of day when children are present. If the hours are not posted, lights flash when the reduced limits are in effect. The best that can happen when motorists ignore these warnings is that they have to pay a traffic ticket with added penalty. The worst that can happen is that a child will be hurt.

Where did the summer go? Time passes quickly. As the new school year moves to the launch pad, best wishes for a successful year to all students and educators.

Brownwood Bulletin