Describe dismissal at your school (esp. Grades 1-3)

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Sarge, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jun 30, 2009

    I see the underlying problem where I am. When the dismissal bell rings, a student in my class could be going to any of about 5 different places:

    • Church parking lot
    • Curb in front of office
    • After school program
    • Older sibling's classroom (I forgot to mention, many parents tell their kids to do that. We can't stop them.)
    • Bus

    So basically, I have no choice but to have my class scatter.
     
  2. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    We haven't had walkers so we don't have to deal with that. We will this year, however. A SPLOST didn't pass and one of the results is that students that live within 1.5 miles can not be picked up, they have to walk now or be a car rider. It's always been a GA law but until the SPLOST didn't pass and the budget cut, they were able to ride. So that will be a new issue this year. :(

    Our go home procedures are about the same for every grade, with the exception of K. Since K has a para, they break the duties up. Anyway, usually there is a designated Car Rider teacher per grade pre week. That teacher will send her bus riders to another teacher's class and will then stand in a particular spot for the car riders to line up behind her. She then takes all students into the lunchroom, where each grade level has a designated table or tables. Students must be quiet and have their head down. They are listening for their name or number from a walkie talkie that is on each table. At the beginning of each year, all car riders are assigned a number. Parents are given two laminated signs for their car with the number on it. The sign is put in the windshield. The specials teachers have permanent outside car duty. One is in the driveway with a walkie talkie adn calls the numbers. The student hears their number, and goes to the door for a teacher to escort them out to the car. If parents don't have their number, they have to park and walk to the office to show ID to pick up their kid. Some parents will walk up with their number in their hand, and they are called by another teacher who has a walkie talkie and is designated for walk ups. The Car rider teacher stays with the kids until the last one from her grade is gone or until the P (who is always on car duty) takes the stragglers to the office. The beginning of the year stinks, because it takes a while for parents and kids to get into the routine. But after about 2 weeks, everyone knows their number and the routine is pretty smooth.

    Bus procedures--certain specials teachers are assigned to bus duty for the year. The Bus Duty teachers for each grade line kids up and walk kids to bus area. Some teachers will stand in one spot and call out each bus number and those kids will leave for that bus. Other teachers walk from bus to bus and leave kids that way. Each bus rider has a "ticket" to get on the bus. The ticket has their name and their bus number on it. The kids must have a ticket or they can't get on bus. The driver has a bag and when the last kid is on the bus, the bag is given to the AP (alwasy has bus duty). If a parent calls and says their kid didn't get off the bus, we can go thru the bag for that bus and see if kiddo got on.

    Afterschool go with the bus kids and are sent to afterschool from there.

    :)
     
  3. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Jun 30, 2009

    We are basically the same Sarge. We walk the students out to make sure there are no fights. The first graders go out the door in the front of the building their parents are usually out there to meet them. Our VP and P are out in front and I know the first grade teachers are out there until their students all leave.
    It seems to work, there is the occasional student left. Our big problem is the parents in cars picking up their students. Right now our parking lot is all tore up at school to redo it for better and safer traffic flow.
     
  4. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Are other teachers unhappy with this situation or see the danger? If so, maybe you can work with admin to make a change. Sadly, most won't change until something bad happens.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    So how long is it from the end of instructional time to when the P takes the kids to the office? How many students are at your school?
     
  6. misteacher

    misteacher Companion

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    I currently use large colored tongue depressors for dismissal. I have the child's name on each stick. A blue stick for walkers, a yellow stick for bussers, a red stick for parent pick up, a green stick for bikers, an orange stick for SafeKey, and a pink stick for afterschool campus activities like choir, chess, or tutoring. The kids are dismissed at our dot on the playground and may not leave until they hand me their stick. I have 4th graders so they leave once I have their stick, but they know if they change plans without informing their parent or me and their parent can't find them, they will be in big trouble with the parent, me, and the school. This has worked so far for me. It also eliminates confusion when the child's schedule changes. Students who are not picked up are walked up to the office for parents to be contacted. It also helps me know how kids got home since having them tell me doesn't ensure that I will remember once I return to the classroom. My principal really likes my system and compliments me on my organization.
     
  7. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    About 15 minutes at the start, usually about 10 the rest of the year. We have less than 600. We used this system for about 6 years now--going from about 400 kids to where we are now. Apparently there were issues mainly with kids not getting off the bus when/where they were supposed to. We also had a lot of parents walking up and if the classroom teacher wasn't there, no one was positive who they were going home with. This is pretty cut and dry. School lets out 30 minutes before our "contract" day does.
     
  8. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    We have 7 buses that drive students to and from our school. The buses usually (not always) have regular numbers, but they are given color names at my school. (The kids seems to get it, but it confuses the heck out of me.)

    For example, we have the purple bus (#55), red bus (#121), blue bus (#34), etc. Thankfully, we don't ever have a yellow bus because that would be confusing for everyone all around. Sometimes the bus numbers are changed and we are informed, and sometimes the bus numbers are changed and we aren't told - those are very confusing afternoons.

    We are expected to walk our students to the buses, but in reality only K and 1st grade teachers do. With 7 buses and 5 minutes of transition time, we don't have the time to walk the kids to all their buses. (We dismiss at 2:30 and transportation expects the buses to pull out at 2:35. We have about 450 students, and all but about 25 ride the bus...) In the beginning of the year, I dismiss my students about 5-10 minutes early so I can personally put each of my students on the appropriate bus.

    At the very beginning of the year, it is very confusing to figure out which bus each student rides. We are supposed to get lists, but that rarely happens and students don't know. We tried a system last year where each student got a colored square (corresponding to the assigned color of their bus) when they disembarked in the morning. Upon arrival in our classrooms, they were supposed to give us the colored squares. It definitely helped more than no system at all, but we have plenty of students who ride a different bus home or whose parents drive them to school the first day, so I'm always stuck scrambling to figure out who goes where.

    I keep a clipboard with me at dismissal time with a current bus list on it. It has the color and number of each bus, along with first and last name of each of my students under the appropriate transportation. (I also have a section for walkers/students who are picked up.) I carry this with me out to dismissal and keep it with me at bus duty. It has helped numerous times, whether my student doesn't remember what bus they ride or another student doesn't know the number of their bus (only the color) or only knows the color but not the number; it is all on my clipboard.

    Our school policy is that if students are getting home in a way that is different from their usual routine (they are getting picked up instead of riding the bus, for example) the parents must send a note to school. If they don't send a note, we are required to send them home the usual way. This works some of the time, but we still have parents rushing up as the buses are pulling away to pull their child off the bus, and they aren't always there on time.

    Our school newsletter talks about this policy, I talk about it with parents at open house and I also send it home in my beginning of the year letter. I also mention how I will not check phone messages 5 minutes before the bell rings, because my first year I had tons of parents trying to catch me before we walked out the door to tell me to keep their child off the bus. After I became much more explicit about the bus change expectations, I haven't had that problem anymore.

    Our contract ends 30 minutes after the students are dismissed, so we are expected to do bus duty in the afternoons. In the past we have rotated bus duty each quarter, but I really like the idea of staying in the same area for the whole year - it does help to become familiar with the kids and certain buses!
     
  9. adellesmama

    adellesmama Companion

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    Last year, we changed our dismissal procedures to make sure students were being supervised as they got to their buses. We line our kids up in the order that they'll be getting on the buses, with kids who are getting picked up lining up in the front and leaving to meet a teacher who takes them to the cafeteria, where their parents meet them. After that, each teacher walks his/her whole class around the bus circuit and drops each student off at the correct bus. It is a pain in the winter, but it really seems to keep the kids on the right track and gets them to where they need to go.
     
  10. silver rain

    silver rain Comrade

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    Jul 1, 2009

    My school does almost the same procedure. It works well and only takes about 15 minutes. We have a school population alittle over 500. My P is very strict and if you aren't where you should be at duty time she will hunt you down...:p
     
  11. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Sorry, Sarge. We have Meet the Teacher Night the Friday before school starts. That night, parents fill out emergency forms for the teachers use (they get a ton from the office as well) and they fill out a "how I get home" form that they leave THAT NIGHT. Maybe you could do something like this and they could note that they are a bus rider and then ask them if they know which route. I think most parents should know the route shouldn't they? I don't know. We don't have any buses at our school.
     
  12. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Where is the jaw dropping smilie??
     
  13. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I like this plan.
     
  14. CiniMini

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    At 2:35 the bell rings for K-3 to dismiss. K and 1 try to be outside or at least on our way out by that time. We send our car riders to our instructional assistants (one in each building) and each teacher is responsible for putting her kids on the bus. The first 6 weeks of school I walk the whole bus line with my kids but after that I usually stop where I can see the end of the bus line and watch my last few get on.

    At 2:40 the bell rings to dismiss 4-6. This is why we try to be heading out no later than 2:35. 4-6 teachers just let their kids run. I have gotten run over more than once by some of the olders kids because most of them are bigger than me.

    After all the buses have gone the car riders get put with their folks by our instructional assistants.

    Beside the older kids taking off running this system works really well at our school!
     
  15. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Here's what we do Sarge. We have 800 students and no bus riders.

    2:58- I dismiss my in-school, after school program kids to go to gym or cafeteria. Dismiss my daycare kids to go to the cafeteria where they will be met by a specials teacher who sees that they get on the bus.

    2:59- We walk as a group to the Kinder/ First grade car loop.

    3:00- we arrive there and are met by exhaust fumes and several parents on foot ready to take their kids. I let them go with either a hug, high five, or handshake (kids not parents).

    Bike riders go to their bikes and must walk them on school property.

    • We have specials teachers watching crosswalks of parking lot and regular crossing guards.
    • We do not have a lot of parking so parking and getting your kid is sort of discouraged.
    • Older siblings must come to this side to pick up their brother or sister.
    • All first and kinder teachers are outside with their classes. If it is not too wet or the concrete not too hot, the kids sit down.
    • All cars waiting in line have signs. One color is for first and another for kinder. They are bright colors and would say MARYand the under that Ms Lemonhead.
    We then have one kinder person on a radio at the front of the line(near where kinder sits), the AP is on a radio in the middle (by where 1st sits). One first grade teacher goes down about 10 cars deep with radio and calls names from those colored signs: "Mary in Lemonhead, George in Baker". Then the people on the radio get these kids ready to load. If they are my kids, they must give me high five handshake or hug. If I am the one 10 cars deep, they let another teacher know they are leaving.

    3:07 If you don't have car duty you are allowed to go in. 2 first and 2 kinder teachers must stay on duty.

    3:15 Any remaining kids go to the office. It's always the same kids. Teachers are excused to go to their rooms and the office tracks down where the kids should be. Normally on our kinder/first side, there are 2-5 kids left at this time out of the 300 in those two grades.

    Honestly, our biggest problem is parents thinking they are not in the way, parents not following rules, and kids who goof around at dismissal.

    2nd through 5th are dismissed in another area. That's another 500 students.
     
  16. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Wow! This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen!

    Our district gives a list of the whole school with address and bus route on it. We have to go through and find our kids to find out what bus our kiddies are on.

    Some kids don't get bussing those kids are "walkers" even though mots of them get picked up. The little ones can not walk home alone...they must have an older sibling/buddy to walk home with or have a parent pick up.

    Other kids go to after-care.

    I keep a list of every kid right by the door.....it is posted clearly and ready for me or any other adult doing dismissal to see!

    As far as how it works:

    After-care kids are picked up before buses are called. This assures they can be settled and out of the halls with attendance and snack started before the busses start.
    Then, busses are called over the annoucement system one at a time. Those kids file out of the rooms and out to the buses (teachers and assistants w/o homerooms rotate schedules and are in the hall and outside to supervise).
    AFter all busses have been called, teachers walk the walkers outsdie for pick up. Teachers stay with them until they are picked up. Some parents park, some stay in the circle.

    Without a note all children are sent home their "regular" way! Also bus drivers will NOT drop the little guys off if no one is home or at the stop. They are instructed to bring the little guys back to school.
     

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