2/20/2020 2:37:00 PM Principals asking for caution at student drop offs
Different drop off options have been explored at Washington Grade School, but for now, the routine will remain much as it has been. Traffic in front of the school routinely backs up out onto the street causing safety concerns for drivers and for students. (Angela Downing photo)
By ANGELA DOWNING Daily News
Local school principals are sharing some of their concerns involved with the morning drop off routines.
"These concerns may have an impact on the safety of our students," Washington Grade School Principal, Jason Stark said.
He explains that the drop off line can be long on school day mornings. Usually parents and guardians arrive between 7:45-7:55 in the mornings to drop off the students which can cause some congestion.
Different options for drop offs have been explored by personnel, but for the time being, will remain the same.
"For the safety of our students, our best option is how we currently conduct drop offs." Stark said. "So please be patient in the mornings with the lines. Student safety is what's most important."
Stark stresses that it is illegal to pass another vehicle in a school zone in Illinois.
According to the school procedures, drop offs must occur in the circle drive or along Prairie and Condit streets. The east faculty parking lot is off limits for drop-offs with the exception of those who have a handicap placard.
"We have reserved this lot for buses to do drop offs and for our staff.," Stark said. "Our bus drivers are focused on students unloading, and I have seen a number of students released from their parents vehicle and walk between the buses. I fear this is going to lead to a travesty that none of us want to see happen."
Parents that would like to walk students up to the building after 7:45 a.m., are asked to park along Condit Street or Prairie Street and use the designated crosswalks.
Washington school is working closely with the Robinson Police Department to resolve these issues as they have become serious enough to warrant their intervention.
Stark also reminds parents that the district has a transportation system that will be able take students to school each day if parents want to avoid the drop off lines.
Lincoln Grade School said their issues are not with the morning drop offs, it is more with the afternoon pick ups.
"Parents are to pick up their students on Lincoln Street," LGS principal Kathy Bemont said.
"The issue we are running into are parents are parking all over the place and having the kids walk to the cars," she said. "Many are not using the crosswalks to get to the parents cars."
Another issue they are having is cars are parking behind other cars in the parking lot north of the building and school faculty are unable to leave until the cars have moved.
"Safety issues are my biggest concern," Bemont said. "The pick up and drop off lines move quickly if people get in line."
Nuttall Middle School prinicpal Craig Beals stated that their morning and afternoon routines are fairly normal.
In the mornings the drop offs go through the parking lot to the gym doors where the students are to enter the building.
Afternoon pick ups are released after the busses have arrived so that the parents, busses and students are not all arriving at the same time.
"There are plenty of students who are eligible to ride the busses and it would help alleviate some of the traffic we have," Beals said. "We have a slight increase of students walking and on bikes when the weather warms up, so people need to keep an eye out for them."
Robinson High School is having some temporary issues due to construction at the front entrance to the building.
"Parents may still drop students off in the circle drive in front of the school," RHS p[rincipal Victoria McDonald said. "On the west side of the circle drive is a sidewalk where the students can go when they are dropped off."
"There is a temporary area where the secretary and school resource officer is at," she said. "The parking lot on the west side of the building is a little hard to maneuver around it, so this works at better for everyone."
The construction is expected to take two weeks.
An issue RHS has ran into during pick ups is many parents park in the fire lane at the circle drive which makes it hard for cars to pull out of parking spaces and causes a safety issue.
All four schools agree that the safety of the students is their number one concern.
If you would like to have your child ride the bus, you can call the school office to set up arrangements.