SOME REMINDERS OF DISTRICT PRACTICES
During the first month of school, I have had opportunity to observe and monitor some of the activities around the district. Although we share the information in a variety of places, there have been some things that have encouraged me to take time to remind residents of a few of our practices, policies and expectations.
SCHOOL BUS LOADING ZONES
Prior to the start and at the end of the school day, the parking lot between Cold Spring Elementary and the Secondary site is our bus loading and unloading zone. We need vehicles to respect this area both before and after school to provide a safe zone for all of our students. Vehicles traveling through this area while there are 25 buses and about 1800 students moving around is not a good idea.
In the morning, we bring the vast majority of our students into this area to drop them off for school. After 7:45 in the morning, we need all vehicles other than buses to stay out of the drop area in order to provide a safe zone for all of our students. The school buses have a specific route to drop off students at the secondary site and then the elementary site. We have students walking between the buildings as well. Any traffic through the zone is very dangerous and disruptive to the process.
Beginning about 2:45 in the afternoon, the area also becomes our bus loading zone for all of the students at the Cold Spring campus. In addition, all students from the other sites who ride the bus also arrive in shuttle buses and transfer to their route to go home. All of the buses used for our regular routes arrive in the parking lot after 2:30. Students begin loading buses just before 3:00. The buses depart from the area about 3:10. As with the morning, any traffic through the zone is very dangerous and disruptive to the process.
We ask our School Resource Officer, along with the Cold Spring Police Department, to patrol this area in order to redirect traffic on the campus. We do not want to ticket or penalize people, but if the vehicle traffic continues in the area, we really have no choice—we must keep the area safe for students.
Of course the south parking lot at the high school is our student parking area. Traffic into and out of this area at the beginning and the end of the day can be challenging as the area is very busy!
Although the parking lots are not “through streets” at any time, after 7:45 in the morning, we need vehicles to stay out of the drop area in order to provide a safe zone for all of our students.
COLD SPRING ELEMENTARY “PLAYGROUND”
Clearly, as we begin and end our day, the lot between the two Cold Spring campus sites is our bus loading and unloading zone. During the school day, from 8:20 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the same area becomes an asphalt surface area as part of the Cold Spring Elementary playground. The hard surface is used and appropriate for a variety of activities.
In order to protect the playground area, we use our gates to control traffic on the campus. After the buses leave the grounds at the beginning of the day, the gates across the parking area are closed to stop traffic. There are gates from the west entry, the north entry and at the island area in the middle of the parking lot. When the gates are used, the area is protected from all traffic.
Traffic is stopped from crossing through when the gates are closed in order to ensure safety for our students. The gates keep all traffic from moving through the campus.
TOBACCO-FREE BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS
The ROCORI Schools are a tobacco-free school district. Although many people know and understand this regarding the indoor spaces and buildings, it does not appear that the public understands that it applies across all of the school grounds!
As with many public spaces, it is pretty easily understood that indoor air quality issues and state laws prohibit smoking inside public buildings. Schools are not unique as the smoke-free zones include hotels, libraries, bars, restaurants, stores, and many other buildings. Most people, because of the widespread nature, understand and respect that school buildings are smoke and tobacco free.
The ROCORI School District policy extends the tobacco and smoke-free expectation to all of our grounds, vehicles, and spaces of the district. This does not seem to be quite as clearly understood, but it is the district policy. All buildings and grounds of the ROCORI School District are tobacco and smoke-free.
We want to provide a safe school environment for all of our students. As such, we need community residents and parents to understand our policies and practices related to our campuses.
The bus loading and unloading process requires cooperation of all drivers to keep vehicles out of the parking lots while the buses are transferring students. Mixing vehicles with 25 school buses and 2000 students does not promote a safe environment.
Our school buildings and grounds are smoke and tobacco-free to provide a clean environment and to support quality air conditions. Please remember that is not just the buildings that are protected—but the grounds are included as well!