Mary Welsh Pick Up and Drop Off Reminders

Mary Welsh Pick Up and Drop Off Reminder
Posted on 08/22/2019
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Mary Welsh Elementary parents and caregivers:

My purpose today is to share some reminders with you and to make some requests of those of you who pick up and drop off students at Mary Welsh Elementary this year.  Much of what you’ll see is just like the note we sent last year. Hopefully, by following these reminders, we’ll be able to alleviate driver frustration and most importantly, ensure student safety.


Please read the following carefully, even if you remember your routine from last year, and pass it along to family members and friends who may help you with pick up and drop off on occasion.


As you enter the drive and parking area at Mary Welsh Elementary, please:

  • Slow down.  Allow extra time.  While you may not be able to control the drivers around you, I know you can control your own speed and the time you’ve allowed yourself to drop off or pick up.
  • No passing in the entrance lane to school.  Stay single file.  Think of it as modeling “taking turns,” which is something we regularly tell all of our kids at school.  
  • No passing in any of the drop off and crosswalk lanes.  Please wait your turn.  When we have two lanes of traffic moving side by side, it increases the likelihood of a traffic accident, or even worse, a child-vehicle accident.  We talk to our kids about watching for traffic, but sometimes, they’re watching for a parent or for a friend or for breakfast inside...and not for traffic.  Please don’t pass. It only increases the distractions and potential perils for drivers and kids.  
  • Have your child exit your vehicle from curbside and prepare them to exit the vehicle promptly when you are safely stopped.  Have them ready with final well-wishes, lunch account checks, and after-school instructions prior to pulling up to the curb.  If you need to visit with your child prior to drop off or take care of a last minute responsibility, please do so in a parking spot.
  • Curbside exit is safer.  Let your child out of the vehicle as close to the school building as possible. 
  • Remember that its okay at drop-off for three or four vehicles to have kids getting out at one time.  If everyone is getting out curbside, it helps to keep the flow of traffic moving if you allow your child out of the vehicle even if you aren't the first car in line. 
  • If you need to help your child get out of the vehicle, please park in a parking spot to do so.  
  • No cell phone activity while entering or exiting the entrance lane, drop off areas and crosswalk lane. Focus on the road.  I know it’s hard not to check a message, look at the weather forecast, or take a phone call.  But wait to do that until your vehicle has safely left the Mary Welsh parking area and you can do those things safely.  
  • Fill available spots to keep the driveway open.  We know that there aren’t always spots to park when you come to pick up, but please use available spots to keep the drive way as clear as possible.  In the afternoon, please leave the driveway that approaches the crosswalk open.
  • Give the crosswalk a little extra space.  We ask that kids use the crosswalk to pass from one part of the parking lot to the other.  Give that crosswalk area a little extra room when you approach it. Rather than a front or rear bumper pushed to the edge of the crosswalk, give that safe zone a bit more room.  
  • Be attentive to yield signs. Yield to vehicles coming from the west parking lot and the front entrance drop off.  We’ve all heard of “Iowa nice.” Please extend it to the parking lot and follow the road signs, and when in doubt, wave your neighbor on.  
  • Use 10 minute parking, only during designated times, curbside.  We know that some occasions will require you to get out of your vehicle and escort your child to the schoolhouse or classroom door.  But honor that ten minute parking expectation so that we can keep traffic flowing as it should, and keep the bus parking area clear between 8:00-8:20 and at least ten minute prior to dismissal.  

The Williamsburg School Board, building administrators, and PALS have taken some steps to ensure safe and orderly pick up and drop off.  We’re currently working with Emergent Architecture and Axiom Consultants, and over the summer, they’ve provided a proposal for a different parking lot configuration, as we discussed during our recent PPEL election.  While we evaluate yet another possible configuration, and determine estimated costs, we know that you can control your speed, your attention, and the courtesy with which you treat your fellow Raiders. I ask that you model the Raider Way for your child and your child’s peers and family...Drive safely, drive respectfully, and drive responsibly.  

My intention is to spend some time in the parking lot again this fall.  Our purpose isn’t to “catch” anybody and we’re not here to write tickets; our purpose is to serve as a reminder of the need for patient and safe driving in the parking lot at Mary Welsh.  As always, “Go Raiders,” and please drive carefully and respectfully.    Chad Garber