School safety is one of the top factors parents consider when deciding where to enroll their child for school. School safety covers many facets in every day school life from bullying and harassment to parents arguing in the parent pick-up line on who was there first to parents not being notified of their child’s whereabouts.
Your school may already consider itself safe, but school safety is not a destination you arrive at. School safety is an active, proactive process of reducing the risks inside and outside your school, including the drop off in the morning and the pick-up after school.
Are your parents complaining that other parents are driving too fast when dropping off their students? Are your parents annoyed with the long waits afterschool in the pick-up lines? Or if you are not lucky enough to have a car pick-up line, are your parents concerned with the chaos that occurs with a “free-for-all” dismissal style? Have your parents criticized the lack of information they receive regarding whether or not their child was picked up and by whom?
Here are 5 simple tips to improve drop-off and pick-up at your school:
- Identify an easy flow of traffic. Build and share a routine traffic flow with parents to reduce any confusion. Hand out directions with visuals to parents before school begins AND at parent meetings to ensure a successful adoption.
- Post signs! Images will help guide parents. It is important to communicate to your parents their role in maintaining school safety. If you have bilingual parents, consider having the signs translated as well.
- Delegate Leadership. Assign one or two staff members to stand outside to greet students as they’re getting dropped off to or picked up from school. This will help build a better rapport with students and parents, while ensuring students are being secured and monitoring which parents are not heeding your safety protocols.
- Select a key location. Determine one central dismissal location to help dismissal staff keep track of student releases. Centralizing student pick up will keep parents and staff up to speed, for efficient, hassle-free dismissal.
- Track the time! Use a class log for dismissal, either paper or electronic, to track what time each student left the school and by what method of transportation.
Update and communicate your school safety protocols with faculty and parents because success is determined by the procedures we practice beyond the classroom walls. Hence the saying, “It takes a village.”
Maya Younis is the Content Strategist and Digital Designer at SchoolTron, a premier multi-platform tech solution for schools and childcare centers that streamlines school attendance and dismissal without compromising student safety.