Vent thread: School drop-off/pick-up - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-14-2011, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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? 


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Old 12-14-2011, 06:19 PM
 
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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


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Old 12-14-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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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.

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Old 12-14-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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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.


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Old 12-15-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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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.


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Old 12-15-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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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.

 


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Old 12-15-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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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.


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Old 12-15-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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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. 


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Old 12-15-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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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). 


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Old 12-15-2011, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 


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Old 12-15-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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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. 


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Old 12-15-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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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.)

 


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Old 12-15-2011, 08:45 PM
 
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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.


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Old 12-15-2011, 10:06 PM
 
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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.

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Old 12-16-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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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!

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Old 12-16-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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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...

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Old 12-16-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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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. 


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Old 12-16-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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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.

 

 

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Old 12-16-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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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.

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Old 12-16-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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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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Old 12-16-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

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.


 

This sounds horrible!  I know I complained by dd usually takes the bus 98% of the time.  I am stunned the school could be so callous towards the aggrivations that all of the parents are going through.


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Old 12-16-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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 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. 


This is exactly like our school, except the kindergartners aren't released until the teacher sees the kid's adult.  So there is no car pick-up - we all have to park 2-4 blocks away depending on the time we get there, and battle the throngs of people picking up their kids.  It's just chaos.

 

I'm one of those who parks 30 minutes before school gets out so I get a better parking spot.  My toddler doesn't want to get in the stroller but won't walk the whole way if I park far.  Like the PP said, the whole process just consumes such a big part of the day, and dictates whatever I do when DS is at school.  Today they have a half day and will be out at 11:05, which means I'm going to leave the house at 10:30.  Doesn't really give me much time to do anything!

 


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Old 12-16-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

 

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.


hug2.gif

 

Can you send someone to pick up the kids on occasion (even a paid someone - perhaps a mom already in line at the school) or hire a mothers helper (perhaps a Homeschooling teen or teen who gets out of school early) to stay with the younger kids while you pick up the older kids.  Even if you can only swing this a few times a week.....

 

Can Dh pick them up - ever?  This is his idea, if at all possible he should ante up in the responsibilty of drop off and pick up.

 

Can you children have an ongoing "appointment" every Friday about 20 minutes before school ends winky.gif?  You may be able to escape the whole thing once a week.  I know it is not ideal, but your sanity and that of your other children count for something.

 

Lastly, and I know this may not apply to you as it sounds like your school does not have bussing (maybe it will for someone else though)- but asking for bussing even if you do not qualify sometimes works. 

 

About 9 years ago I had my oldest in school, a 4 yr old and a newborn.  My oldest (who was 7) did not qualify for bussing as we live 0.9 km from the school and the cut off was 1 km.  We had a cold snap  (think -20)  and my car would not start.  I was not walking a 4 yr old and a newborn close to 4 km a day in minus 20 weather.  I called my son in sick.  I called him in sick the next day.  The 3rd day, I called the school, told the school he was perfectly well I just could not get him to school - and voila!  I had bussing in less than 48 hours.  Maybe they will work with you in a compassionate way if they know you are struggling?

 

 

 

 

 

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Old 12-16-2011, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

I'm one of those who parks 30 minutes before school gets out so I get a better parking spot.  


Me too. DS gets out at 2:45 but DD and I leave the house at 2:00 to get a good parking spot so that we can just zip out as soon as DS gets to the car. I never leave the car running though -- luckily it's warm enough here in the winter that we don't have to, and on hot summer days I just get there later and battle my way through the line. We also keep DD's Leapster in the car and she's only allowed to play it while we're waiting for DS, so luckily she's happily occupied and I can pretty much just veg out in the front seat, listening to the radio or reading a book. I guess it takes the same amount of time (about half an hour) either way, but at least this way DS isn't standing outside waiting for us all that time. I wish there was a better solution. 


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Old 12-16-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post


hug2.gif

 

Can you send someone to pick up the kids on occasion (even a paid someone - perhaps a mom already in line at the school) or hire a mothers helper (perhaps a Homeschooling teen or teen who gets out of school early) to stay with the younger kids while you pick up the older kids.  Even if you can only swing this a few times a week.....

 

Can Dh pick them up - ever?  This is his idea, if at all possible he should ante up in the responsibilty of drop off and pick up.

 

Can you children have an ongoing "appointment" every Friday about 20 minutes before school ends winky.gif?  You may be able to escape the whole thing once a week.  I know it is not ideal, but your sanity and that of your other children count for something.

 

Lastly, and I know this may not apply to you as it sounds like your school does not have bussing (maybe it will for someone else though)- but asking for bussing even if you do not qualify sometimes works. 

 

About 9 years ago I had my oldest in school, a 4 yr old and a newborn.  My oldest (who was 7) did not qualify for bussing as we live 0.9 km from the school and the cut off was 1 km.  We had a cold snap  (think -20)  and my car would not start.  I was not walking a 4 yr old and a newborn close to 4 km a day in minus 20 weather.  I called my son in sick.  I called him in sick the next day.  The 3rd day, I called the school, told the school he was perfectly well I just could not get him to school - and voila!  I had bussing in less than 48 hours.  Maybe they will work with you in a compassionate way if they know you are struggling?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for writing all that. It's a tough situation all around with no easy solution. I've looked for someone to watch the little ones or pick up the older ones and so far it's a dry well. 


DH definitely does pick them up. When he's here he picks them up more than I do because I insist on it (his idea with the school, his work to make it happen). The stressful part is when he's off for training or deployed which is 4-5 months out of each year. This year most of that time occurs during the school year so I'm stuck with all the work. 

 

The school doesn't have any busses for anyone. Private schools in the state we currently live in do not have busses unless they pay for them themselves and the school said there wasn't enough interest. Where we live the public schools are horrible, more people than not send their kids to private schools. We're catholic so we're not comfortable sending the kids to one of the many christian schools. There are no non religious private schools so we're left with this catholic school or homeschooling. DH works with several other people who have kids and this school and they all say the same thing, it was that school or nothing and the school knows that parents have no other options so they do what they want and is easy for them. There are so many annoying things about the school, mandatory volunteer hours and mandatory fundraising are the two that come to mind - they really are mandatory, if you don't do them they add it to your bill. 

 

I've kept them out of school a few times for my own sanity and picked them up early a few times as well. They have a rule that kids cannot miss any more than 10 days per year with early pickup, even 10 minutes, counting as 1/3 of a day so it's not something I do too often. I need to save those days for when they're really sick. Last year several kids in our oldest's class were held back because they missed a day or two too many. 

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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We attend a small private school 20 minutes away. There are around 100 kids there from PK-8th grade and everyone gets out the same time, 3pm. Public elem school gets out at 2:50 and middle or high school gets out at 3:30. We have families that have kids here and then have to drive like a crazy person to get across town to pick up their other child at middle school. Or make any sports across town. If DD1 gets in my car at 3:05, it takes me 17 minutes usually to drive to dance which starts at 3:30 and she still has to get dressed. So yeah, the ones that clog up the parking lot, I want to smack them over the head with a large object, repeatedly. 

 

PK and K students have to be signed out in their classroom. 1st-4th graders are released from the "kid corral", a small corner of parking lot near the pick up lane. The 5th-8th graders are released farther down the parking lot by the church. It can be a nightmare for families with different age groups of siblings. The parking lot is tiny, there are very limited spots near the PK or K rooms, otherwise you park on the other side of the parking lot, have to cross the quick pick up line to get to the school to find your child(ren). There are two entrances to the school which is attached to a church. The school is located on the very outskirts of town on a rural road. The speed limit is 35, the county refuses to put up flashing school signs and most drivers are doing 45 by the time they hit the school area. You have to turn left on a two lane road to get to the school, I am just waiting for someone to crash into me because everyone stops traffic trying to turn in. And then turning out is always fun. The church refuses to make one entrance an entrance only and the other an exit only. So the school puts up signs during the school day and you are supposed to enter the farthest entrance and exit the closet entrance to the school only half the people ignore the signs and do whatever they want. And even if you do follow the rules you get stuck trying to find a parking spot or with parents who stopped in the middle of the parking lot to scream for their child to jump in. Or their are the parents that gave up or didn't want to walk across the lot and just parked and LEFT their car in the middle where you are supposed to drive or they park in front of you blocking you in. My other pet peeve is the parents that only have a K student and park in the very few closer spots and sit in their car talking on their phone as the rest of us have to park at the other end of the lot and defy death dragging all of our multiple little kids through all the traffic. 

 

I have  PK and a 3rd grader. I get there 15-20 minutes early just to back into a spot by the PK building so I don't have to cross the crazy parking lot with a baby and a bolting 2 year just to go in and sign out the PK student. I can not strap the 2y in a stroller because there are stairs up the school. I sign her out, drag everyone back to the car, buckle them all up and stand there waiting to grab the 8y as she walks by to the kid corral because if I miss her then I have to walk down and grab her leaving the other kids in the car. Then I am yelling at her to  buckle up as I throw it into gear and get out of my spot as fast as possible before I get blocked in by someone hence the reason I back up into my spot, every single second counts. 

 

My sitter is doing a lot of school pick up and drop off right now because of the baby and THANK GOODNESS but soon enough I will be duking it out 5 days a week in the parking lot again. 


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Old 12-16-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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Ours has front walkers, back walkers, and two different parent pick up locations.  Kinder is picked up on one side and one side only.  If they have a sibling than there sibling will be with them.  1st through 5th goes to the other location.  Our school is in the middle of our neighborhood so most people walk.  There have been a few situations where parents try to zoom through.  Our Vice Principle chases them down.  It's pretty funny.  Other parents get warnings and once a week a cop is on duty across the street... helps him reach is quota.

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Old 12-16-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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Our school is a charter (with a purpose built building) and has no buses; there is a narrow parking lot the length of the front with a lane going around the back--there is also a passing lane for people to go to park or to get out of the pick-up lane. Last year K-3 had an earlier release time so I would just arrive early and park in the pick-up lane -- now everyone gets out at the same time (though K comes out about 5 minutes earlier so the little ones don't get lost in the gaggle) and I would have to get there an hour early to be near the front of the line, so I park across the street now.  Also, with ds in 2nd I would clog the line waiting for his class to get out and I check with his teacher each day on his SN issues which normally takes 2-5 minutes.

 

There is a crossing guard who keeps traffic moving (the children have to cross to the pick-up area). The traffic problem (from my POV) is that the turn out of the school parking lot from the lot and pick-up line crosses the part of the pick-up line that is still in the street and wrapped around the outside of the school property, and that the street isn't marked with straight/turn lanes. The school complains about people parking in the fire lane in front of the school building.


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Old 12-16-2011, 09:24 PM
 
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this is a good thread. before i read all this from other parents all over the country (countries?), i thought our local school itself was f'd up for the way school drop off and pick up goes. now, i know it's just "the way it is". everywhere. 

 

i must say, that i have doubled back and driven past the school a few minutes *after* the frantic morning rush for drop off and it's like a totally different scene. peace. and quiet.

 

with all the chaos *everywhere* has anybody ever seen or heard of an accident happening? esp. a serious one, such as a child being hit by a car? seems that is just so primed  to happen in these types of situations, which are apparently, everywhere.

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Old 12-16-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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I very nearly saw a little boy get hit when he crossed the street from between two cars and a car going the other way sped passed since he wanted to capitalize on his opportunity of an opening.  had I been at work (hospital) I would have filed a near miss report.  he was literally inches from being hit.  I had quite a chat with the principal that day.


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