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"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."— Benjamin Franklin

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As the long days of summer wane and evenings turn chilly, it's time to savor precious unstructured time before the start of the school year. Looking ahead, take some time to address any hurdles you may encounter regarding family schedules or individual needs in school. Most families will be adjusting to the Bend-La Pine school schedule changes this year, and it could take a little time to figure out who and what needs attention in your family.

Are you anxious about an ongoing behavior problem? Does your child have trouble transitioning? Perhaps your child is on the autism spectrum and has special needs. Problem solving before things get started is a great idea. Consider scheduling an appointment with your child's school counselor to discuss strategies for a successful year. You may be surprised at the resources available.

In this issue, we have a wonderful collection of back-to-school articles to share.

For starters, there's a new school in town! North Star Elementary opens its doors September 4. Peter Madsen takes us behind the scenes with the new principal. In Community, learn about an inspiring non-profit with a strong presence in the schools. Family Access Network takes care of immediate needs while leaving students to focus on their education. As a rule, it's always best to be involved in your child's world, but sometimes parents cross a line and find themselves making all the decisions. In Parenting, Annette Benedetti addresses this problem and emphasizes ways to make kids accountable. Local chef, Donna Britt, makes her debut in Bend Nest and shares some fabulous easy weeknight dinners and tips on how to stock your pantry.

In Culture, catch up with local happenings at BEAT, a children's theater group preparing for the production of "Frozen JR." coming this November. And for the fun stuff – how about a little family trip to an observatory to check out the fall night sky? Surprisingly, Central Oregon has several state-of-the-art telescopes and programs for the whole family.

Happy fall and smooth sailing through the new school year!

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