Drive by any public school in the City this weekend and you will see a parking lot full of cars. Many of the district’s teachers and staff members are hard at work putting the finishing touches on classrooms, libraries, hallways, and cafeterias in preparation for Monday’s start of school. Some administrators are out knocking on doors in the neighborhoods around their schools reminding parents that summer vacation has ended. The sense of promise, of new opportunity, is almost palpable. The momentum of that excitement could carry a school - and a kid - a long way into the academic year.
I believe that it is important that the good feeling remains alive - and I know that nothing will kill the buzz faster than a first day of school missed by a third of the district’s students. After all, why should even the most dedicated teachers care more about their students than parents (grandparents, aunts and uncles, older brothers and sisters) care for their own charges?
I am asking all City employees whose children or grandchildren attend the public schools to make an extra effort to get them to school on time on Monday, August 18. And I am asking the City’s police officers to take a moment on Monday to find out whether the children they encounter on their patrols should actually be in class, rather than on the street