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First day of school for most is Sept. 2; McCleary begins next week

With East County schools opening the 2014-15 school year in a handful of days, local law enforcement wants to remind people to obey laws in regards to school zones and school buses, or it could cost you — a lot.

“We just want people to remember that the speed limit is 20 mph in school zones,” said Lt. Jay Staten of the Montesano Police Department. “Also, watch for and abide by laws around school buses. Drivers should also know that officers will be watching to make sure they do.”

Staten said, when it comes to school buses, an officer doesn’t necessarily have to witness the infraction.

“School bus drivers will report people passing school buses or driving recklessly,” he said. “They will give auto and driver descriptions and the license plate. They will call us.”

Staten also said that in Montesano, there are some school zones that can be tricky.

“The one thing that a lot of people don’t think about is the back side of the high school — Sylvia Street — is also 20 mph during school hours,” he said. The 20 mph school zone enforcement hours around schools also “include some school activities,” such as football games and school dances.

And the fines can get hefty:

$394 for illegally passing a school bus.

$216 for failure to stop for a crossing guard.

$189 for up to 5 mph over speed limit in a school zone.

$210 for 6-10 mph over the limit in a school zone.

School starts and buses will hit the road early on Sept. 2 for most East County school districts, the day after the Labor Day holiday. The McCleary School District will begin Thursday, Aug. 28.

Most school and district offices are now open until 3 p.m. each day. Here are some important dates and facts regarding East County school districts.

McCleary

Monday, Aug. 25 — Middle School open house.

Tuesday, Aug. 26 — Open and barbecue at the school, 5 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 27 — kindergarten and first-grade welcome day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 28 —first day of school.

Elma

Wednesday, Aug. 27 — high school registration, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 28 — middle school registration, orientation, and pictures.

Montesano

Montesano Junior/Senior High is, for the first time, attempting online registration for all returning students, including incoming seventh-graders. Registration forms will not be sent to homes. Online registration opened on Aug. 1 and is required before a child comes back to school on Sept. 2. For those without access to the internet, there is a computer set up in the school’s counseling center and Timberland Library also has internet access available.

All high school fall sports will begin on Monday, Aug. 25, except football. High school football will began on Wednesday, Aug. 20 and junior high football begins on Monday, Aug. 25.

School starts on Tuesday, Sept. 2. School pictures will be taken on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

Beacon and Simpson school — Registrations may be completed in the school office between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.