Motorists urged to take caution as school starts


(Posted Aug. 13, 2015)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

Buses are rolling and students are on their way back to school as classes resume this week in the Jefferson Local School District.

Doors at Norwood Elementary and the middle/high school complex open on Aug. 17 for the 2015-16 school year. The floors are polished, cafeteria shelves are stocked, and teachers are ready to greet their new students.

“The buildings are in very nice shape,” said Superintendent William Mullett during the Aug. 10 school board meeting.

Board President Dave Harper urged caution for motorists and students throughout West Jefferson, especially during the first few weeks of the new school term.

“You have to look out for those students not familiar with the flow of traffic,” Harper said. “Kids get so focused on getting to school, they sometimes don’t pay attention to what’s happening around them.”

Harper emphasized the need for parents or guardians to review basic safety practices with their children who walk or drive to school, such as not texting in either case. He said that children need to focus on walking to school and not become distracted by “playing around,” to be aware of any suspicious car activity and not be afraid to contact an adult if they are afraid or concerned.

“Communication with parents is important,” Harper said. “Children need to follow a certain, pre-determined path to school and not deviate from it. The bottom line is to be aware of their surroundings, car movement and people movement.

“Drivers need to be focused on the young people out there. And young drivers should not follow anything or anyone other than what their parents have told them. They need to be strong enough to say ‘no’ if they’re asked to do something they should not do.”

Harper also reminds drivers to stop well behind and on the opposite side of the roadway of buses with their red lights flashing.

“You need to follow the rule of the road when a school bus has stopped to pick up students,” he said.

Parents and guardians of incoming seventh grade students are reminded their children need proof of a Tdap vaccine. Ohio law requires that all incoming seventh-graders have the vaccine; without it, they will be excluded from school and school related activities. Vaccines are available from doctors or the Madison County Health District. To schedule an appointment at the Health District, call (740) 852-3065. No one is turned away due to inability to pay.

Additional back-to-school information about supplies, fees, school meal payment plans, sports and special events, and the overall school calendar can be found at

The next meeting of the Jefferson Local school board is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 14 in the high school auditeria.

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