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Have you ever wondered how it is that the first day of school moves ahead so smoothly? Children arrive to find attractive, thought-provoking classrooms. Books are unpacked, neatly arranged and ready to be enjoyed. Materials are prepared and learning begins at once. There is a sense of readiness and structure that provides children with a kind of "homecoming." They are back. They are safe. They are ready to move, to learn and to grow.

All of this doesn't just happen. The teachers of Port Washington have been diligent in their preparations for the opening of school. They have read, studied, planned and produced materials. They have structured this re-entry into the world of academics, so that every child will welcome the stimulation and challenge. The teachers have been on the job.

Now it is time for the board of education to be diligent as well. They need to assist teachers in their task. The best forward move that the board of education can make is to settle the teachers' contract. They need to show faith in, and support for a faculty that provides children with an excellent education. They need to be prepared to give respect and dignity to dedicated professionals. They need to reach a successor agreement. They need to do it now.

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