With apologies to the well-worn holiday song, this is the most wonderful time of the year. There's something about the return of students and teachers to classrooms, hallways, playgrounds and playing fields that makes these waning weeks of summer and early days of fall come alive. It's not just any kind of energy in the air. It's a positive and optimistic energy, one that views the world as full of possibility. If we could bottle it, we'd put Starbucks out of business. If we could feed it to Congress, we'd put lobbyists out of business. Maybe it's the way the temperatures dip into the 50s or even lower at night and early morning that charges the air with energy — and afternoons that welcome you back outdoors with sunshine and hints of the fall colors to come in the trees. Perhaps it's the anticipation of something new and the return of the familiar, all at the same time. The friends you haven't seen all summer are back, and the school building is the same except for a new coat of wax on the floor. But there's new expectations and responsibilities to wrap your mind around, new knowledge to learn, new skills to master. It's a chance to start over, no matter how the last school year ended. Maybe you weren't much of a math student in May, but now your mind is a blank slate and you're ready to try again. Maybe you really hit your stride in band last year, or read a book that changed the way you looked at the world, and now you're coming back to class with a new purpose and perspective.Early fall is kindergartners, wide-eyed and not quite sure of themselves as they line up for that first walk into school. But it's also high school seniors at the first sports practice of the year, ready to show the freshmen how it's done and make one last run at a special season.And it's teachers wondering if this year's batch of students will be as much fun as the last.For all of you, here's to a rewarding, fun and safe 2017-18 school year.
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