This is surely insider baseball – and really just applicable for those of us who are school operations geeks. Part of what Possip aims to do is tap into the positive power of gossip to help schools and parents. We hear from parents A LOT about pick up and drop off – and we have been at a few schools recently where we saw some car line wins so wanted to share them here:
- Put teachers and staff on carline duty. This way parents don’t have to get out of the car but rather can just have their kids sent to them. At one school I talked to multiple teachers and staff members who said carline duty or pick-up duty was one of their highs. They loved the opportunity to see families. Now they’ll have to see car duty as more than a purely logistical task. It has to be one of joy. At one school the French teacher is out there saying “Bon jour” every morning. We laughed as one kid got out of the car and asked how to insult his sister in French.
- Use cones to direct where you want traffic to go – and have signs ready to go and visible directing traffic. You can intersperse directive signs with encouraging ones (with quotes, quick sayings “We love you!” or “Your day will be great!”)
- Put staff in brightly colored vests (of course you’ll want to determine what makes sense based on the location – but if there are lots of people out, especially with high schoolers, having staff
- Use cell phones as walkie-talkies and to text information. Have parents use placards with their kids’ names. As parents come to pick up kids text someone inside with the order of kids who should be coming out based on the order of parents in the car lines.
- Create a designated space for parents who prefer to park and walk. Some parents aren’t in a rush and may be content parking and walking. Give them some direction of where they can go.
- Create a separate space for each group of transportation (buses, walkers, and car pick up). Consider letting your bus riders dismiss even a few minutes before the bell rings to get them cleared out and on their way.
We know drop off and pick up is no small feat. It is driven by the actions of parents and families, strangers, physical facility constraints, and even weather! So we don’t have a silver bullet – but wanted to share some of what we have seen.
We’ll keep adding to this list as we see and learn about best practices! If you have great ideas to share with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!