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Story Last modified at 2:55 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Don't forget to set those alarms, kids.


Another summer comes to an end on Tuesday, Aug. 16 when the Anchorage School District begins its 2011-12 school year for students in grades two through 12. Kindergartners and first-graders start the following Monday.

While it may seem like the summer has flown by, there's still plenty of fun to cram into the next few weeks, including a packed sports calendar that kicks off this coming Saturday with cross country running and football both contested on the grounds of Chugiak High School.

At the Star, we believe extra curricular activities are an important part of the school experience and a way for the community to interact with its young people in a positive way. Because of that, we've devoted much of this week's edition to previewing the high school football season for our readers. Inside these pages, you'll find everything you'll need to follow the gridiron action all the way through the state playoffs — which will be held right here at our own Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

Of course, sports aren't the only thing about back-to-school time worth mentioning. So we've also included articles about personnel changes at our two local high schools and a new policy affecting anyone planning to participate in sports at the middle or high school level.

And, avid readers may have noticed, we've also included an informative column about the history of our local schools written by none other than Star founder Lee Jordan – as much an authority on the area's history as anyone we know.

Hopefully, you'll enjoy the emphasis we've put on our young people in this week's edition. We firmly believe that education is a key component of a healthy community, and our role as a newspaper should be to encourage and report on all aspects of what's going on at — and around — our local schools.

Finally, it's always worth noting that the dawning of another school year means lots more kiddos will soon be hitting the streets. Combined with dwindling daylight hours, this means that drivers should be extra cautious out there, especially in the morning and afternoon hours when children are most likely to be walking or riding their bikes to and from school.

We're looking forward to another year of reporting on the great things that happen with our school-aged children. So please be vigilant and patient — especially in school zones.

After returning to work from a three-month vacation, our kids could probably use a break.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.