Summer vacation is over, and as the school administrator, you have worked hard getting the school grounds in shape for the return of the students. Before you open the main doors for the first day of school, review the following items to ensure the safety of your students, staff, and visitors.
Streamline Your School’s Drop-off and Pick-up ProcessAs the school administrator, it is critical to develop a safe and efficient way for students to be dropped off and picked up from school. Remember: these procedures are for the security and protection of the student, not necessarily for the convenience of the parent or guardian. The school administration should have Drop-off/Pick-up procedures printed in the school handbook and posted in the school office or on the school website. Many schools will include a map of the parking lot with arrows demonstrating how the parent should proceed through the parking lot.
Two major items any school administration wants to avoid at all costs are:
- Students getting hit by a car, or
- Students getting into a vehicle with someone who has not been designated to pick them up.
Pre-Designated and Authorized Parents and GuardiansBe sure the adult picking up the student has been “pre-designated.” If someone claims they have the authority to pick up the student, but the monitor is unaware, the monitor should instruct the adult to go to the school office for clarification before the student leaves with him or her. Once the administration clears the adult, the student may get into the vehicle.
Safety While Kids WaitIf a child is waiting for their pickup, be sure to supervise the children in a classroom or safe space away from traffic or extreme weather elements. Proper supervision provided by trained individuals is crucial in keeping students safe while they play or do their homework. Having the appropriate number of supervising staff is important and can depend both on the activity’s level of risk and the needs of your students.
Before and After School Care ProgramsIt is important to have a system in place that addresses providing before and after school care programs to accommodate parents whose jobs prevent them from arriving at the designated time for Drop-off/Pick-up. Be sure to communicate time restraints, locations, and any other relevant information that parents should know before leaving their child in your care. Every school is unique in size and location, and procedures will vary from school to school.
PARENTS: SET THE BEST EXAMPLE!It’s important to show students that these safety precautions are ultimately for their safety. Parents and school administrators should work together to be an example to the students.
- Only Drop-off/Pick-up at designated times and locations. Make other arrangements if necessary. Dropping students off before school or failing to pick up promptly puts students at risk of harm.
- Parents should wait in their vehicle until the student has been dropped off or picked up.
- Don’t talk on the cell phone while driving, even if in the school parking lot.
- Work together with the administration to create better solutions for the safety of the students rather than the convenience of the parent.
- Be courteous and follow all safety guidelines at all times.
Have a great school year!