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Vent thread: School drop-off/pick-up

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

DS started a new school this year, which is great, but one source of stress was thinking about getting used to the idiosyncracies of a different school's parking culture. Every school seems to have its own particular way of doing things, and every school seems to have lots parents who think the rules don't apply to them. Add in the fact that parents often are rushing around drop-off/pick-up time, and it's a recipe for etiquette disaster. 

 

So vent all about it here! What annoying things happen in your school parking lot? 

post #2 of 40

Younger kids get out 15 min before the older ones.  If you have kids in both categories, you are supposed to come late.  People with older kids come through the line at 1st dismissal and then sit there and clog up the flow of traffic for the rest of us.

 

Another thing that bugs me is all the people who park and walk up to get their kids because the line "takes too long".  I wonder how many of them will never realize that the line takes so long because we have to keep stopping to let all the damn people cross!  haha

post #3 of 40

My son goes to a school that merged a 6-12 program with a K-6 program last year and is housed in an elementary school.  It's a magnet school so no bussing.  There are staggered start times for HS/Middle then elementary.  We are all supposed to travel West to East.  So, it would work great in theory but not in practice.  They took the crosswalk out, so now everyone just crosses the road wherever after they drive East - West, pull u turns in the middle of the street, get out of their cars leaving their cars in the drop off lane to walk their cherub into the building (it's only 6-8 cars long).  Plus it was a neighborhood elementary school where kiddos were supposed to all walk so there is very little parking to begin with.  Then add in High Schoolers who are new/inexperienced drivers with kindergarteners darting out in traffic and it's UGLY!

 

How do I know it could be different?  My older 2 went there for elementary and it was nothing like the chaos it is now.

post #4 of 40

HUGE PET PEEVE FOR ME!  The DROP-OFF MEANS "DROP-OFF"!  It doesn't mean get out and go around the car and then look for junior's back pack and then crawl in the back and unbuckle him, then watch in your car as he walks down the long sidewalk to make sure he goes inside.  Do you not feel the burning eyes boring into the back of your skull willing you to move?  There are plenty of parents who park in the lot that is RIGHT NEXT TO the drop off that they use sensibly when they must or want to get out to help their child get into the building!

 

/end rant

 

 

I feel much better now.

post #5 of 40

Ugh, when DS was in an after-school program I'd have to pick him up afterwards, and there'd be a line of cars.  No biggie, wait your turn, or if you see your kid outside wave him over to get in.  Except some people would see their kid waiting outside, *drive around the line*, stop, and yell for their kid to come over and get in the car.  Meanwhile, all of the cars they drove around are stuck in line because dumb@ss is parked in the middle of the lot and nobody can get around them.

post #6 of 40

I don't even know where to start.......this is DS's first year of school and I CANNOT wrap my head around people's behavior. 

 

My #1 drop off annoyance -

 

People parking in the handicapped spots that have no business doing so.  Our school has a drop off lane and a seperate, park your car and walk your kid to the door lot.

 

There are at least 7 kids in DS school that are severely handicapped (in wheelchairs with full time aids) and a number of others that walk with walkers and braces.  Point being, there are two spaces and a number of families and caregivers that need those spots to drop the kids off  and I cannot believe that some parents are so lazy/impatient that instead of waiting 2 minutes for a regular spot, they will park in the handicapped spots.  It shouldn't matter but I know these offenders, they are stay at home parents.  Really, their schedules are so tight they need to take a handicapped kid's spot?

 

And yes, I have said something to these people.  So far, I have gotten only angry glares.

 

post #7 of 40

Ugh.  Please, for the safety of all involved don't stop your car in the middle of the crosswalk and let your kid out.  I mean, really.  Also, the bus lane is for buses and handicap spots are for disabled.  The world won't end if your kids is 5 minutes late to school.

post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmom4 View Post

Ugh.  Please, for the safety of all involved don't stop your car in the middle of the crosswalk and let your kid out.  I mean, really.  Also, the bus lane is for buses and handicap spots are for disabled.  The world won't end if your kids is 5 minutes late to school.


 

This is my #2 annoyance.


At DS's school, the bus area is completely seperate from the drop-off.  Buses and emergency vehicles are the one things allowed in this area.  It could not be marked any clearer.  Yet people try to sneak in to the bus area all the time.   There is a drop-off monitor who has an extremely loud whistle, which she blows when she see people breaking the rules.  She goes ballastic when parents sneak into the bus area.  She blows that whistle non-stop as she sprints across the parking lot.  She told me that some parents figured out they could "draft" behind the buses and stay hidden from her sight. 

 

Someone could write a sit-com about the drop off at DS's school. 

 

One thing I noticed is that the parents/families breaking the rules as the ones that appear to have the most time on their hands (small town, everyone knows everyone.), just follow the rules and keep the kids safe, an extra 30 seconds isn't going to wreck your day. 

post #9 of 40

I live next door to a middle school, and the traffic is horrid at p/up and d/off times.  But my biggest pet peeve is actually the city planners.  They commissioned all sorts of traffic studies when WF wanted to put a store on the corner across from the school.  And then they ignored the results of the studies.  So instead of putting the light at the blind intersection where the crosswalk and (city) bus stop is, they figured the parents (and drivers and kids) would obey the rules and put the light in a block further down at the driveway to the school. 

 

The school has a (school) bus lane that is bus only (and like others have said is completely ignored), there's a (city) bus lane with a bump out in front where drop-offs can (safely but improperly) happen, but the rules state that the parents are supposed to go another block down, turn right, turn into the driveway of the school, go through the parking lot and exit back where they started, at the new light they put in.  Do I really need to say it doesn't happen?  When they did all of this they also said they were going to move the city bus stop down a block so it was right across from the school so the kids would cross at that light.  Yet they didn't, and 3 years later, we still have floods of kids crossing in an unprotected blind crosswalk on a 4 lane road. 

 

I try to arrange my day so I don't actually leave the house (in the car) between 8 and 9 or between 2 and 3.  Because there's a string of cars sitting and blocking traffic waiting to get into one of the bus lanes.  I'm usually trying to make a left, but these people won't even leave a space so I can edge out and make the left around them.  I really want to slap some sense into the city planners.  But that would be assuming they had the mental capacity of a ferret (no offense intended to ferrets). 

post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 

Sounds like it's the same everywhere -- ugh! 

 

So at DS's school, protocol dictates that you're supposed to turn down the narrow residential street, pass the entrance to the drop-off lane, make a u-turn at the dead-end, then line up and wait your turn to enter the drop-off lane. But there are invariably people who just turn into the drop-off lane, effectively cutting in front of tens of people who have gone to the end of the street and made the u-turn. The school has sent home letters and done a principal robo-call about it, but people still do it, and they still leave their cars in the drop-off lane and then wonder why the line moves so slowly. eyesroll.gif

 

I try to remind myself that the people who live on that street chose to live there, but I can't help feeling bad for them -- it would be a nightmare having people over, or just trying to get out for an errand. You'd really have to coordinate your life to avoid those super-congested times of day. 

post #11 of 40

The traffic around ds's middle school is absolute hell.  So I drop him off and pick him up a couple blocks away.  He needs the walk anyway. 

post #12 of 40

this was one of my biggest concerns about dd starting school this year!  she qualifies for bussing (based on distance between home and school) but I drive her to school in te morning and she buses home at lunchtime (2.5 hour school day).  the reason I do drive her is because the bus wants to pick her up at 7:18am,get her to school before 8:00;  bell doesn't ring until 8:20!  no way is that going to happen!  however, driving her is every bit as crappy as I thought it would be.  and now that it's so cold, it's extra crappy (three kids wearing parkas needing to be buckled into their carseats safely (ie. removing parkas once we get in the vehicle, etc.)

 

post #13 of 40

People will actually drive on the wrong side of the road to pass people going straight to then cut them off and turn right into the parking lot.  These are the values we're trying to teach our kids??  It's definitely a poorly planned setup, but the parents absolutely don't care about safety or consideration of anyone around them.

post #14 of 40

wow, sounds like it is the same everywhere. my DD is in kindergarten. in the beginning of the school year, they had an "open" drop off time of anywhere between 8:15 and 8:25. it was *beautiful* b/c parents could just pull up in front, let the kid out, see him/her run in and walk through the doors, then drive off. 

 

after a month, they did away with that, and instead have the kids line up in front of the school and everyone goes in at once at 8:25. now we have parents arriving at 8 am to sit in front of the building and occupy the parking/drop off spots for a full 25 minutes, until the kids go in. if you get there at, say 8:15, there is no where for you to park, and if you just drop off (from a double-parked position), you cannot see your child cross the threshold *into* the school and can only take it on faith that they will eventually get in.

 

my solution has been to time my morning arrival time right around 8:25 or 8:26, after the line has gone in, but before they force you to go in through the "office" and get a tardy slip (which happens after 8:30). so i've discovered there is still a "leeway" time, between 8:25 and 8:30.

 

it's hard work, drop off is. but like others have noted, going on the bus for 50 minutes to an hour before school starts doesn't sound like a good situation either.

post #15 of 40

This used to be one of the things I hated most about my kids being in school (we homeschool now-yay!) First of all, they got out and went at different times, which took a big chunk out of my day. In order for me to place the car in a safe spot where they wouldn't have to cross, walk far, etc. I'd have to get there very early and sit. No way would I deal with driving through the line-that was a total nightmare!

post #16 of 40

that reminds me, the other thing i don't like about being there early is the exhaust fumes. they are CONSIDERABLE. especially when the buses have to sit and idle on the road, waiting for parents to move their cars. and the kids in the line are just breathing it all in. parents, teachers, too. it is UNHEALTHY. so i guess i've found the loophole of arriving a minute late. and it works for kindergarten. we will see what i have to do next year when she starts 1st grade...

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

after a month, they did away with that, and instead have the kids line up in front of the school and everyone goes in at once at 8:25. now we have parents arriving at 8 am to sit in front of the building and occupy the parking/drop off spots for a full 25 minutes, until the kids go in. if you get there at, say 8:15, there is no where for you to park, and if you just drop off (from a double-parked position), you cannot see your child cross the threshold *into* the school and can only take it on faith that they will eventually get in.

 

 We have that at pick-up.  

 

The same people who break the rules in the morning to save 30 seconds show up at 2pm to sit in their vans, smoking (and school rules prohibit smoking on the property) for 55 minutes until dismissal.  I could care less how long they want to sit in the parking lot, what frustrates me is the entire clan clogs up the works in the pick up area.  Seriously people, it doesn't take 4 adults and 6 dogs to pick up one child from kindergarten. 

 

There is no drive-up lane at pick-up.  You must stand outside the doors because the staff bring the kids out one at a time.  Once the kid says "there is my adult" they let the kid go.  The problem is, the kids can't see their adults because there are too darn many people.  If your kid can't see you, they are sent to the back of the line to try again.  There are more than 200 kindergarten students and I would guess more than half are "walkers" or do not ride a bus for whatever reason.

 

So we end up with a sea of bodies, the kids can't see their adult, adults are pushing and yelling because they don't want their kid to go to the back of the line (because, you know, they have been waiting since 2pm).  My husband didn't believe my stories and was so horrified the first time he did pick-up, he called the principal to complain. 

post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

that reminds me, the other thing i don't like about being there early is the exhaust fumes. they are CONSIDERABLE. especially when the buses have to sit and idle on the road, waiting for parents to move their cars. and the kids in the line are just breathing it all in. parents, teachers, too. it is UNHEALTHY. so i guess i've found the loophole of arriving a minute late. and it works for kindergarten. we will see what i have to do next year when she starts 1st grade...



Yup.  Most people are at drop off and pick up for 5-10 minutes, but keep their car running.  Makes me want to be behind your car!

 

Thankfully the 2 out of my 3 kids that go to school usually take the bus.

 

 

post #19 of 40

Drop off/pick up is the worst part of the day. I feel like it's ruining my life and the lives of our younger kids. The drop off isn't too bad but it's at 7:30am and the school is a 15 minute drive from our house. Getting four kids seven and under up, dress, fed, and in car seats with their backpacks and lunches (for the older two) is a nightmare.

 

In the afternoon you have two choices - 1) get there 45 minutes early and start lining up, remember those screaming kids? now they've just been woken up early from their naps and are extra ticked about being in their car seats in a non moving vehicle or 2) get there 20 minutes after school lets out (over an hour after people started lining up), miss out on that time with your kids, and hope the last bit of the line goes fast enough that the kids are in your car before 3:30 when 'late pickup' kicks in to the tune of $5 per minute per child. It takes forever because they have a rule that kids must be accompanied at all times (it's a small private school with about 170 students) and parents are not allowed to leave their cars for whatever reason so four teachers have to fetch each child individually or in sibling groups and walk them to the vehicle. They release cars in groups of about 20 so, inevitably, 19 cars will sit there waiting for one kid to slooooooowly dawdle with a teacher out to their car. 

 

What gets me is that the school knows how awful it is for parents. They auctioned off the prime front of the line spot at the beginning of the year as a fundraiser. This person/family gets to bypass the line and back in right at the front, whomever is behind them has to wait longer for the kids of this family to be walked out, that family doesn't have to wait for the whole group, they get released from the line immediately. The spot went for $2800 and it was bought by a family where both parents are lawyers and have other people picking up their kids for them most of the time anyway. 

 

It's a nightmare and I've driven home in tears more than once, in a few months it will be the four kids plus a newborn and that much worse. We home schooled for two years and I've been begging DH to homeschool again. Between all the driving, sitting in line in the parking lot (with crying kids), homework, fundraisers, lunch packing, and all the other things it's more time consuming than homeschooling and we lose all our freedom....not to mention $11,000 a year in tuition. I think about all the trips and special activities/classes the kids could do with even half that money. Having the older two in school was supposed to make my life easier but it's made in much more complicated and stressful.

post #20 of 40

we have this one woman and I think it's just that her car is TOO bog for her to handle that just parks her car in the turn around. In the morning she even parks it then gets out and waits for her friend to drop her kid off and then they hang out at the school for the first 30 minutes of the day AFTER the second mom gets there . or anyway they did this last year the 2nd mom doesn't go to the school anymore. First mom still has her giant car and waits and drives down the center of the pathway. Then the one dad who speeds up the drive every time he brings his kid to school, he even did it on halloween when the kids were having their little parade and more kids then usual were in the walk.  and the people hanging out in their cars for a half hour with car on while they wait for their kids.

 

I have also found going just a little late avoids the line ( I park on most days but drive through the line on rainy days or if my baby falls asleep) you drive right through with no problems

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