With more students having their parents take them to school in the mornings and pick them up in the afternoons, Seymour High School is implementing new drop-off and pick-up procedures this year.
Principal Greg Prange said there have been no rules or directions for parents to follow, and that has led to a couple of accidents involving students getting hit by vehicles and some near-misses over the years.
Beginning on the first day of school Wednesday, all students who are not driving or riding a bus are to be dropped off and picked up in the student parking lot to the north of the school building.
“For 34 years, we’ve not had an official drop-off/pick-up area or procedure as the elementaries and the middle school do,” Prange said. “We’ve had about 250 or 270 of those individual ones that are unofficial.”
Vehicles will have to enter the parking lot off of Stadium Drive and will not be allowed to drive through the parking lot. They will continue along the now one-way driving lane adjacent to the sidewalk until they reach the student drop-off locations on either side of the gymnasium.
After dropping off students, drivers will have to exit and turn right or south onto Community Drive.
There will be signs in place along with police and staff to help direct traffic and make sure things go smoothly. Prange said he also planned to explain the new procedures during freshman orientation at the high school today.
“We’ve also mailed home the maps and instructions,” he said. “We’ve put a lot of work this summer into planning this.”
In the afternoons, parents will use the same entry on Stadium Drive and then will park and wait for students in the first three rows of parking spaces on the far west end of the lot. Students will not be allowed to park in this area, Prange said.
Upon exiting, parents can follow the driving lane east to Community Drive or circle back around to the Stadium Drive exit.
Parents are not to use Community Drive, West Second Street or the teacher’s parking lot behind the school to drop off or pick up students, Prange said.
“The idea is to keep the parents out of the way of student drivers and vice versa,” he said.
The new procedures are to help alleviate traffic congestion and most importantly to make it safer for students, he added.
Although it may seem like an inconvenience to have to wait in line, Prange said once people get used to the changes, it should make things easier.
“Student safety is not only more important than driver convenience, it is most important,” he said. “We’re only talking about a half-hour to 45 minutes in the mornings and the same thing in the afternoons.”
Students who drive themselves to school will have to enter the parking lot either off of Stadium Drive or the entrance on Community Drive nearest the football stadium. At the end of the school day, they can exit from either of those points.
The procedures are no different than those in place at other Seymour Community Schools.
“The elementary schools have had something like this in place for years,” he said. “It’s going to take a little bit of time to get everyone in line, but it’s really a simple procedure.”
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Back-to-school safety tips
The Seymour Police Department would like to remind everyone Seymour Community Schools students will start classes Wednesday.
With school starting, there are several additional traffic/pedestrian hazards that motorists need to remember. The department reminds drivers of the following:
- Don’t pass a school bus when its red lights are flashing and the stop arm or arms are extended.
- Be careful around/near locations where students are waiting for their buses.
- Be careful around/near locations where students are exiting their buses and walking toward their homes.
- Remember when you drive near or into a school crossing area/school zone, drivers should exercise extreme caution to ensure the safety of the children in/near the school crossing zone/school zone.
- Remember to always drive safely and wear your seat belt.