School carline? How about a car rectangle
In the mornings, we line up in our usual snaking minivan line around the school, through the parking lot, and precariously on the main road with our blinkers on. We inch forward and shove the kids out the door when we reach the designated drop off mark, or as some parents seem to do, 2 miles before it just to mess everything up. This process is then repeated in reverse in the afternoons, only with the addition of a complicated number system that always seems to be just a couple of cars off so that most afternoons I end up taking the wrong kid home.
Okay, I exaggerate just a little, but the afternoon carline system does seem to be wrought with minor problems and inconveniences. That’s why I was so intrigued by the way our new school handles it.
Instead of the afternoon carline, parents arrive by 2:55 and back in to parking spaces in the lot. No car movement is allowed after this (if you’re late you go to another part of the lot) and at 3:00 the children are dismissed and go to their respective cars. Older and younger students are designated to different areas of the lot and there are plenty of spaces for everyone, but people end up parking in the generally the same areas every day to make it easier for the kids to find you. When EVERY child is safely into a car, they dismiss the cars one by one in an orderly fashion, and the entire process takes ten minutes.
Granted, this system only works if you have a school parking lot large enough to accommodate that many cars at once, but I love the fact that there are no moving or coasting cars when little ones are present, and no one parent chatting on a cell phone or a friend can hold up the line. Without having to arrange students in the gym by number for several minutes before dismissal, it allows them to remain in class longer rather than preparing for home.
Again, this only works in schools with more parking spaces than parents and those who can safely back into that space, but it sure does make for a kinder, gentler, less chaotic carline. Er, car rectangle.
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