Thoughts on student dismissal policies

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2016

    I follow the Freerange Kids blog, and today the post was a situation regarding a mother at odd's with her daughter's teacher's dismissal policy.

    In a nutshell, the disabled mother who often needs a wheelchair finds the dismissal policy not just inconvenient but physically difficult.

    It got me curious as to where most teachers stand on such things. Do you side with the mom, the teacher, or somewhere in between?

    As a teacher, do you believe in sticking with a face-to-face drop off, or are you more lax in your dismissal? What is your school's dismissal policy like?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Aug 26, 2016

    First of all, in my opinion, this should be a decision that comes from admin. It might not be the same per grade level, but it certainly should be laid out as school policy.

    With that said, our school is lax (at least above K, I think) in just letting the kids go where they need to. Some walk home, some walk to the adjacent park to be picked up, some walk to the front of the school to be picked up (by parents/YMCA/school bus/etc...). I like this policy, and it is pretty much the only one I've seen in the schools I've worked at, except for the extremely young ones.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2016

    This should be an admin decision, but I know it never would have been an issue at any school I've worked at--particularly not for a student in grade 3.

    At every school I've worked at, only the kindergarten students are dismissed with a direct hand-off. Bus students (we only have one bus) are walked to the bus by Grade 8 helpers. All other students are dismissed through specific doors; parents who are picking up students know where to wait. One or two of our educational assistants supervise the students who are waiting for pickup on our back tarmac for 15 minutes. Any students still waiting after 15 minutes are taken in to the office.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 26, 2016

    This is an exceptional situation that requires the administration to come up with a feasible plan due to the parental disabilities that allows vehicle pick-up for the student. I don't think this is the teacher's place to override school dismissal procedures without full consent of the administration and a documented plan.

    Our K students have helpers or the IA take them to the busses. Walkers are met by siblings or taken to the parent pick-up point where other support teachers supervise the vehicle pickup or walking student pick-up. Busses are announced as they arrive. Grades 1 and above have dismissal of students when their bus is called. Walkers and vehicle pick-up are excused as a group. Students leave the classroom and go to their perspective dismissal points. Students not picked up and waiting for vehicle pick-up go to the office after 15 minutes and parents are called or if they were arriving late must come in to get their child.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    We don't have a busing system, so everyone (minus those kids with afterschool clubs) meets in the same place. The kids who walk, walk. Otherwise parents pick up their kids. It's roadside, but aside from kinder no one is walking kids to their cars. It's generally "There's my ride, see ya".
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2016

    I agree with others that this is an issue for admin to handle, and there should be a school-wide policy outlining what is and isn't acceptable. Most schools where I've worked require parents to pick up in a very structured way... with car pick-up numbers and all that. Teachers are required to walk students out to the buses directly. The only students who had more leeway were the walkers.

    My last school, however, was completely different. Except for Pre-K and K, teachers just walked students out the back door and said "see ya!" The kids would then do whatever they and their parents worked out. That might be walking home. It might be waiting on the playground until the parents arrived to pick up, or it might be walking to the street corner to hop in a car. It could even be taking a public city bus. I, personally, was uncomfortable with this method, but that probably has more to do with me having more structured previous experience than this way being inherently wrong. I just don't like the idea of leaving a 7-10 year old child alone outside without knowing where the parents are at or when they will arrive. Too many bad things could happen, and it doesn't seem worth the risk.

    This situation seems like a special circumstance that probably should be treated as such.
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 27, 2016

    Growing up in the 90s, this what I totally recall my own dismissal policy being. We lived a few blocks from school, so we walked. The bell rang, the teacher said we could go, and we left and walked home. The kids who were bused got on the buses.

    Funnily enough, there are kids at my school who at dismissal walk to the city bus stop. From what I understand, it's not uncommon in the U.S. Just not one of those things i think of!
     
  9. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    We have Walkers, Car Riders, Aftercare, and bus students. The first three go to the gym. Walkers can leave when dismissed and they go wherever. They need a specific permission form. Car riders must be signed out. Aftercare kids wait in the gym. Bus students go to bus rooms and are escorted by a specific teacher to a specific bus. I supervise bus dismissal and having it orderly makes it easy on me, especially when we need to find kids who missed the bus. We have students K-8 so structure makes it easy on the little ones too.

    When I keep students after school I just ask them if they see their ride out front. They tell me which car. Parents usually wave. I stay at the door and watch the kids get in the car.
     
  10. showmelady

    showmelady Companion

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    Aug 28, 2016

    I work as a sub and do NOT like dismissal times!

    For one thing, since I do NOT know the parents or those who are allowed to pick up students, I always make my kids physically wait right next to me until their "person" shows up, and try to stand with them very close to another teacher who probably knows the person who is to get the child.

    For bus students it is easier, as the regular teacher leaves a list of who takes what bus, I line them up according to bus numbers, and again make them stay right next to me until they are on the bus matching the list.

    What bothers me the most about dismissal is that at some schools it is like a free-for-all and the kids just basically rush out of the school and are gone. One day I "lost" a kid ho was supposed to be on a particular bus, but disappeared in the crown. I thought I would pas out from stress that day! LOL, the kiddo was fine, and had somehow got in the wrong line, but we had to hold up every bus until we found him!

    But the WORST was once when the regular teacher forgot to note that one of the students, a child with autistic behavior, was picked up on the day I was there by one family member, not the USUAL person. I was waiting with him at the usual door, but when his person did not arrive I took him back to the office (procedure) and that was when we realized that it was the day for the alternate person to come, and that person had FORGOTTEN to come!

    I really hate dismissal!

    I wish my district had a firm dismissal policy that was district wide (they do not) because I go to over 8 schools and it seems each one has a different way of dismissing!
     
  11. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2016

    At the first school I taught, bus riders were picked up first, while parents waited. Then parents drive up to pick up their child. Students have a "pick up" number on their backpack and parents have the number on the car mirror, so we can match up. If a parent doesn't have the number, even if we know them, they have to park, walk to the office and sign the child out. At my current school, parents walk into the school office to get their child.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 28, 2016

    Schools that I taught at several decades ago dismissed at the bell and students all scattered. As the years progressed and "stranger danger" became more of an issue, schools began to take a serious look at how they supervised students.I guess in the last decade or so dismissal has become much more organized and students had to stay in eyesight of an adult until they got on the bus or were picked up. At the school I work at now all students are car riders and we dismiss to a registered adult.
     

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