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The Scoop - Reading, writing & emotional support
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By this time next week, Warren County Schools will be in session.

The way things are going, our schools are trending more toward counseling centers than institutions of learning.

Remember the days when you could have a conversation about school and that conversation was about reading and writing? Me neither.

Since guns, cellphones and cyberbullying have pushed their way into our nation's classrooms, it seems the emphasis is on safety and emotional well-being as much as academics.

When you think about it, it's really mind-boggling all the responsibilities that keep piling up for our school system to handle. I can't say enough about how our local schools embrace each challenge and find a way to address them.

Not only do our schools provide two meals a day, now there are programs to send food home with students on the weekends. There are even programs to feed students over summer vacation.

Our schools are a distribution center for kids who need coats -- or even a Halloween costume. The way things are going, the next classroom accessory will be a washing machine.

Smartphones and social media, for all their perks, have created an easy way to make fun of students and have it spread quickly through the entire school.

I couldn't imagine sitting in a classroom where everyone was equipped with a cellphone video camera prepared to capture my next embarrassing move. It's easy to see how today's kids can get overwhelmed with anxiety.

It's also easy to see how WCHS has five guidance counselors and two professional support counselors available. They're needed.

Thankfully, our schools are showing the ability to adapt to the times by offering programs like social emotional learning.

New WCHS executive principal Clark George must have one of the toughest jobs in the county. He talked about the need to have ready access to emotional support when he said in an interview with the Standard, “My hope is to give each student at the high school every type of support, whether it’s academically, socially or emotionally to give that student everything they need to succeed in living a happy and healthy life during their high school career and after graduation."

Schools are being fitted with new safety entrances to provide more security for faculty and staff. This is undoubtedly the greatest need of all because a good education is worthless if you're killed by a nut job with an assault rifle.

All of this is a long way of saying I admire the work of the educators, support staff, and the SROs in our school system. On the eve of a new school year, a mountain of challenges await.

Support from parents can often be minimal. In some cases parents, and grandparents, are more focused on providing resistance than support.

We haven't quite reached the point where a school system official takes children home from the hospital after birth, but we're not far from it. 

With pre-K now a part of every school, our education system is getting involved at an earlier age than ever before and providing more services than ever.

It won't be long before our school system starts buying gifts for our underprivileged students at Christmas. Or do we already do that too?

We should all give thanks for our great school system. It certainly does its part, and then some.