The safety of the students is always a top priority for the school district. Policies and procedures are put in place and practiced for emergency situations such as fire, severe weather and reunification with parents in such emergencies. Although no district has protocols in place for every possible scenario, the district is always working to improve.
One area where there is a potential safety issue for students is during dismissal time at the end of each school day. Elementary students are dismissed prior to the middle and high school students. Some students get onto the buses, some are picked up by parents, others ride bikes or walk, and many of the older students drive themselves home. With all of the students going in various directions, the district has been studying how to improve procedures so that students are safe regardless of how they get transported home after school.
The district has discussed possible modifications to the current procedures with the Facilities Committee, EMC Insurance, the Iowa Department of Transportation and Homeland Security. The School Board has considered recommendations from many sources and decided that some changes need to be made.
Probably the most significant change will be that beginning with the 2015-16 school year, parents who come to pick up their children will use the circle drive where the buses have been parked in the past. Also, parents will need to stay in their vehicles and wait for their children or if the parent is walking home with their children, they need to wait for them outside the building. After the children have been picked up, the parents driving will circle around back to the south and out to 4th street.
Buses will be loaded farther north near the greenhouse. After loading, all buses will exit to the north and onto 6th street as they have in the past. Students who drive will need to exit the parking lot to the west and turn north to get to 6th street or turn south to get to 4th street. Students will not be allowed to exit the parking lot to the east as they have in the past.