Ready for school? The Sun wants your questions about education

It’s hard to believe, but just last week, we saw the first back-to-school advertisement on TV. It took us by surprise. “Oh, no,” we thought, “did we sleep through all of July?”

Of course we didn’t; it’s just stores trying to get ahead of the game and boosting sales in a traditionally down month.

It got us thinking, though: We have been presenting back-to-school coverage in The Sun for quite awhile now, in many different towns, but how can we make this coverage better?

Our quick answer — by being better prepared.

So, even though the beginning of the next school year is the last thing on your mind here in mid-July, we’re asking that you put it at the forefront of your brain — or at least in part of your brain — for a few moments.

What will be different about this school year?

We’re going to find out. Right now, our reporters are compiling lists of questions for school leaders about the new school year.

Are there new classes students and parents need to know about?

How about scheduling changes?

Was any work done at the schools over the summer?

Generally, we’ll be asking school leaders to tell us about things that you — parents, taxpayers and students — need to know before the 2014–15 school year begins.Then, we will pass that information along to you.

Do you have any questions you’d like our reporters to ask? If so, the time to act is now. The more questions we get from you, the better prepared we can be, and the better information we can pass along to you.

Maybe you are concerned about the budget (who isn’t?). Or maybe you’ve heard about a new program that you think might be ideal for your child. Or perhaps you are wondering about repairs that were scheduled for your child’s school.

We’d love to get those questions from you. Just send an email to us so that we can include them on our lists.

Most school districts have done a lot in recent years to be more responsive to questions submitted by the public. It makes sense. Everyone wants to have great schools. Everyone wants to keep taxes as low as possible, while still providing great service. One of the best ways to achieve these goals is to build a true public-private partnership between schools and the communities they serve. And building that relationship starts with effective communication.

So send us your questions. We’ll do our best to get answers.