EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 26, 2013

N.H. students return to classrooms

Schools open in Derry today, kicking off the first week of classes across Southern New Hampshire.

It will be a short week for many, as will next week with the Labor Day holiday giving everyone at least a three-day weekend.

There will be fewer students returning to schools statewide, with enrollment continue the decline of the past few years.

But AAA Northern new England is spreading the word that children will be walking and biking to school and reminding motorists to take it slow.

“As a new school year begins travel patterns change and school zones become congested. There is an increased number of children walking and biking to and from school and waiting at bus stops,” said Pat Moody, AAA Northern New England’s public affairs manager. “Drivers must watch for children walking or riding a bike, reduce their speeds in school zones and stop for school buses.”

AAA Northern New England is distributing more than 3,000 back-to-school safety posters to schools, libraries, community groups and law enforcement agencies as part of its annual “School’s Open—Drive Carefully campaign.

Some 55 million children across the United States will return to school, 13 percent of them walking or biking.

AAA warns drivers to be especially vigilant for pedestrians and bicyclist before and after school hours. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous. Over the last decade, more than one-fourth of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 and 7 p.m.

Atkinson: School opens Wednesday.

Danville: School opens Wednesday.

Derry: All students start today.

Hampstead: School opens Wednesday.

Kingston: School opens tomorrow.

Londonderry: School opens tomorrow.

Newton: School opens tomorrow.

Pelham: School opens Wednesday.

Plaistow: School opens Wednesday.

Salem: School opens Wednesday.

Sandown: School opens Wednesday.

Windham: School opens Wednesday.

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