Hustonville school tries to make student pick-up safer

August 15, 2003|EMILY BURTON

HUSTONVILLE - Traffic flow at Hustonville Elementary School is improving, though some parents are still trying to avoid pick-up procedures.

Principal Marilyn Hafley attributes the improvement to earlier release times for kindergartners and preschool students, as well as a letter sent to parents explaining the pick-up procedures. The issue was discussed Thursday at a school council meeting.

"In the past couple days, we've loaded 22 cars between 2:30 and 3 o'clock. It's really a less stressful situation for those kids, they don't have to rush into the cars and rush out," said Hafley.

Students in first through sixth grade can be checked out at any time, but will receive a tardy if they leave before 3:10 p.m., as mandated by the state.


"We're not trying to keep any parent from their children. It's just not safe for parents to walk up to the window and pick up kids, because we don't know who's on the pick-up list," said Hafley.

Parents who intend to pick up their children each day are given a numbered tag to hang on their car's rear-view mirror. Teachers give students the same number, and children are sent to their matching car numbers in groups of 10 or less.

Hafley said the procedure, though not a policy, has been in place for two years, and has worked well up to this year, when parents have begun cutting in line, sometimes walking up to the school to avoid waiting in their cars.

Last year, she said about 10 parents walked up to the window to get their children, but on the first day of school this year, about 30 parents walked up. The number was double on Tuesday.

Not only are parents causing safety problems, cutting through the line of exiting cars, but they also are generating ire among parents dutifully waiting in traffic for their children.

Hafley said that with 12 staff members in the parking lot directing traffic, the car riders have been getting home faster every day. She added that parents can pick up their children any way they want, but for safety reasons, have to let the school know with a note or phone call.

"Wherever the parents want them, we don't care, we just need to know," she said.

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