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

    After announcements, teachers walk the class to the front of the school (not a building, but rows of classrooms that all open outside).

    There the kids basically scatter. Some go to the bus (I get no official list of bus riders. We're supposed ask the kids and they're supposed to remember). Others find their parents. Others wait by the curb for their parents to pick them up. Others go to the church parking lot next to the school if their parents don't want to wait in traffic and are too lazy to get out of their cars.

    Since I am given no official list of how a child is supposed to get home or who picks him or her up. I've had students who ride the bus some days, get picked up other days, and walk with friends on other days and never seem to be able to remember what they're supposed to do.

    I've had this conversation many times after a kid is still standing there after everyone is left.

    ME: Do you remember how you get home today.
    KID: I think I ride the bus, but I'm not sure.
    ME: Do your parents both work.
    KID: My dad does, but my mom always picks me up.
    ME: Is your mom home right now.
    KID: Probably not.

    In this situation, I have about two minutes to decide whether to put the kid on the bus or keep him to wait for his mom. If I put him on the bus, he risks being dropped off at an empty house. If I keep him, he risks never getting picked up by an angry parent.

    Now as far as which bus the kid goes on, we're supposed to know that too. Apparently, on the first day of school, I need to figure out, from looking at their addresses, if they ride the bus or not and which bus they ride based the routes of the buses (which is not distributed to us, nor is it on the district website.)

    Of course this doesn't account for kids who live in one neighborhood and go to daycare in another. These kids will have instructions to ride bus 4 to school and bus 1 after school. Except that if their parents are college students they might ride bus 4 home from school on Tuesday's and Thursdays. Except for the days they go to their Nana's house. They have to remember this themselves.

    Mind you, these are first graders. Some of them don't even know for sure what their last names are.
     
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  3. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Yikes! Although, we do have some similarities here.

    We begin dismissal at 3. Prior to that, any dismissal changes have been brought to us (by a 6th grader) on a bus note from the office. That's only a problem if you aren't in your room - they are supposed to tape it to the door, but are often creative with the placement and I have found them the next morning! Bus drivers are also given a copy of this note (1 per bus). Students may not do anything other than their "normal" unless we have a note or phone call from a parent.
    Over the intercom, one of the secretaries reads off the list of students who are being picked up and they leave the room when their name is called. Parents wait their child in the main hallway and are not SUPPOSED to come to the classroom at this time. (though that doesn't stop some) After that traffic has left the main hallway by the office, they call the first 3 buses over the intercom. (the buses have names that we use when referring to them in school - but when the kids get to the bus, they need to remember what number their bus is... it really only seems to confuse us teachers) After all of them have loaded they called the last 3 buses. Then they call for our after school child care and walkers. (in total, it takes about 15 minutes most days)
    There are non classroom teachers at the buses making sure the kiddos get on their proper buses. (Those adults also have a walkie talkie in case they need to ask the office what bus the child is supposed to get on.) Like Sarge, I am supposed to figure out what each child's "normal" end of day routine is. This last year, the office kept track (and included the info on the bus notes) those kids who went one place M, W, & F and somewhere different on T, Th. We do have LOTS who come in on one bus and leave on another. Last year I sat down with the secretaries and went through each student in my room to know where they normally needed to go at the end of the day. (but most take the kids' word for it!)
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 30, 2009

    As a parent, I would be horrified if my kids were in a school that was that disorganized. Something needs to be done about that before tragedy happens. I've only ever taught middle school kids and college students, so I have no real input on how to make it better.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Our kindergarten students are dismissed in the kindergarten yard--they come to the teacher (who is at the only gate) and give her a high-five once they see their parent (or whoever is picking them up) and the teacher makes eye contact with them. All of our other students (grades 1-8) are dismissed into the school yard. Bus students proceed to the bus lines, where teachers are on duty to ensure that students get onto the correct buses and that all students are accounted for. Teachers are also on duty in the yard, to ensure that all students leave school property promptly. Any students who are being picked up or met who are still in the yard 10 minutes after dismissal (when the teachers' duty is over) are taken to the office to wait.

    At the beginning of the school year, parents must indicate how their child will be going home from school and who has permission to pick their child up. Any changes to this must be done with a written note to the office. In the few cases where there are custody or access issues, the students are only dismissed through the office.

    During the first couple of weeks of school, when things are often a little chaotic, most teachers go outside with their classes to help things run more smoothly.
     
  6. FootballGal

    FootballGal Companion

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Dismissal starts at 3:10.. They use the intercom to call. If I'm on duty I stand in the hall, if not, I am in the room with the kids.. First they call car riders then the buses two at a time in the order that they are lined up. After that they call after care and tutoring and then it's over. It takes about 10 minutes maybe until everyone is gone. It works pretty well.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Wow, my school is going to sound really lax compared to what I'm hearing from the rest of you, but here's the truth:

    Once the bell rings, we're able to open the classroom door and release our kids without being responsible for where they're going. However, the kindergarten teachers usually walk their students to the front of the school & wait with them until all kids are picked up, on the bus, or with the appropriate person. Some first grade teachers do the same thing, but like I said, it's not mandatory. I always walk my kids to the front of the school and wait for them to get picked up (I rarely ever have bus riders) and the parents really appreciate it.

    Most teachers at my school don't like to deal with the after school hustle and bustle, so they simply let the kids go when the bell rings and never look back! Can't say I blame them, but I feel more comfortable knowing where they're going. Just my preference.
     
  8. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jun 30, 2009

    The first to get called are the "walkers" and those with notes their parents have written. They go to the front door where whatever teacher has that duty that day checks their notes and makes sure their parents are there to pick them up. (All others remain in class.) Then, the children for the after school program are announced. Then we call buses by number as they pull in. The buses pull away when all are accounted for on the bus.
     
  9. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2009

    The dismissal at my school feels really crazy, too. Our duty day is officially over at the same time the kids get out. Therefore, we can't be required to do anything with them. I think that's horrible! I walk my kids out and this year I waited until they were all gone. I liked being able to say hi or wave at the parents who come to pick up their kids, and I think it helps reinforce the sense of community in our classroom.

    I didn't usually wait last year, and this year I had a prior student say, "You didn't do this for us last year. Guess you just couldn't wait to get away from us, huh?"

    He was teasing, but needless to say, I'll be waiting next year too! :p
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 30, 2009

    When I taught 2nd, we had two teachers that went outside with car riders/walkers and stayed out there until they were all gone. One teacher walked the bus riders to the cafeteria and stayed in there. The music teacher would call bus numbers and those students would be led out to the bus.
     
  11. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Our Kindergarten classes are dismissed about 5 minutes before the rest of the school. Two K teachers take the 'pick-up' kids to the K playground for dismissal and 2 take the bus riders to the bus circle. The first grade teachers also walk their children to the bus circle. They call the buses by 'silent dismissal' over the TV and the car riders, walkers and bike riders are dismissed. Most teachers have some type of duty or if not, we are expected to stand in our doorway until the halls clear. The first weeks are chaos, then it settles into a fairly decent routine.
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 30, 2009

    me too :wow: youngteacherguy and sarge - these 'systems' sound like accidents waiting to happen - yikes :eek:

    Are teachers and more importantly parents happy with this situation? Is this why you are asking? Man - this just sounds so hap-hazard to me. What would they do if a child did get home on time? How would they know were to start looking?
     
  13. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jun 30, 2009

    What about sending a form home at the beginning of the year, Sarge? Have parents fill in the usual schedule, etc. and return it to you.
     
  14. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jun 30, 2009

    If there is a change in how a student is to go home, parents either call the school or write a note. I send any notes to the office. The office staff sends out an email at a specified time daily with any changes.
    If there is no note, we can't take the child's word for it....too many times a child has said, 'I'm supposed to go home with amy today." only to find out that the parents had no idea of this arrangement!!!:p

    Dismissal is at 3:25. At 3:23 I walk a line of kids to the bus lines and the teacher next door walks a line to the porch for parent pick up.

    Bus kids sit in their lines and are escorted to their bus one line at a time by an EA with a master list of all kids on each bus and any notes about changes.

    Walkers stay on the porch until their parents show up and same with car pick ups.
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Our school sounds like a boot camp compared to ya'all. Each grade level K-5 does dismissal for their own grade. The teachers decide at the beginning of the year who will handle walkers and bikers, car riders, and bus students. The same teachers take the same students to dismissal all year. Students have to bring a note on a special form from home if there is a change in dismissal. That goes to the office to be accounted for and then back to the teacher. Phone calls and emails are not acceptable. All teachers have afternoon duty in the same place (walkers, car, etc) all year. Parents are not allowed to park and walk to the car rider line to pick their child up. The teachers get to know all the students in their care so that mistakes don't happen. Students are walked to each bus. No students are allowed to be dismissed without supervision. Our P is a stickler for following dismissal rules and if she sees a child walking unattended she will first deal with the child and then call the appropriate supervising teacher on the carpet. I like the structure we have because someone on campus knows how every single child has gone home every single day.
     
  16. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2009

    Our contract time isn't over until 20-25 minutes after the children are dismissed, so teachers leaving before the students are gone isn't really a problem.

    We each take turns with bus duty (the majority of our students ride a bus) and there are some teachers/assistants who are paid a stipend or have an adjusted schedule for doing dismissal duty since they may have to stay later waiting on the last bus/parents to come.

    PreK releases 25 minutes earlier than 1-5 and K releases 10 minutes early to cut down on traffic while the little ones are present. PreK releases directly from the classrooms to the parents who are waiting in the breezeway. K releases from the circle drive (bus lane) into the parents' cars. 1-5 I believe are responsible for walking their class to the bus line or out to the drive to wait for their parents. After that, the duty teachers are responsible.

    Also, the parents (or whoever picks the child up) must have the child's car sign (given by the teacher) in the window before the child will be released to them.
     

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