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#1 BECZ

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:15 AM

Ok, so our school has the same dramas as most Sydney schools.
It's on a busy road with very little parking.  There are about 35 parking spots along the main road off to the side of the school as most of the front of the school is a clearway.  There is no further parking in that direction as it's all clearways.  In the other direction there are a few parks along one side of the closest side streets, but most have to park on the streets coming off those, so a good 10 minute plus walk.

It's just as bad on the other side of the school, but you have the bus stop and car pickup to add to it.

Ok, so here's a young boy in kindergarten this year who uses a wheelchair and another in year 1.  The child in year 1 was previously picked up from the other side I presume as we've never seen his parents pick him up until this week.  

Now the issue is that the parents of these kids are now picking them up from the staff car park.  Our school has two lots of fencing on this side.  So the quadrangle and playground are fenced off from the staff parking and then there is another fence along the front fence line of the school so in the front section there is just the staff parking and the driveway for in and out that is also used for kiss and drop in the mornings.  It is on this driveway that parents have to gather and wait for their kids to be brought out.  
So these parents have to weave in amongst 200 plus people to get into the staff car park (as they turn up right on school pickup time) and then weave in amongst 500 odd people on their way out. There are kids running everywhere at this time and usually lots of younger siblings playing before schools out as many parents arrive almost an hour early to fight for parking spots.

Do you think that this is safe?

The parking isn't an issue for me as we live nearby and walk, but I think the initial issue that most other parents have is that these parents drive in at 2:55 pm and get their kids and drive straight out expecting others to get out of their way (one of them even beeps her horn if others don't give way to her), where most parents park their car at 2:15 or earlier and it's 3:15 by the time they get back to their car.  So at first i thought it was just jealousy at them not having to come and wait and walk forever like everybody else (you hear the snarky comments pretty much every day, no matter who you stand next to), but after hearing this woman beep the horn, it's made me realise how dangerous this is.  It wouldn't matter how carefully or slowly they drove, the point is that accidents happen.  You only need to think back to that horrible accident last year where the woman drove into a classroom tragically killing those two boys.

Both of these families drive unmodified medium sized SUVs and their kids are small and seem to easily get themselves into their car seats.  So they would need no more room or have any greater difficulty getting their kids into their cars than the number of parents with prams.  So I get some parents frustration and at first just thought, just be greatful that your kids doesn't have these issues, but thinking more about this, it really is endangering a lot of people.

What do you think?

Edited by BECZ, 15 February 2018 - 10:22 AM.


#2 Holidayromp

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:19 AM

Take their regos and report them to the police.

#3 JRA

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:19 AM

Quote

Both of these families drive unmodified medium sized SUVs and their kids are small and seem to easily get themselves into their car seats

So they are in wheelchairs but can easily get themselves in to a medium SUV from the wheelchair? What happens to the wheelchair?

So the school has no disabled car spots, or are the disabled car spots in the staff car park. The easy answer surely is to make disabled car parks in the normal car park.

Edited by JRA, 15 February 2018 - 10:21 AM.


#4 Riotproof

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:20 AM

So they are parking and getting their kids? I'd think it's a good argument to introduce a kiss and drop.

Why are the kids walking in the car park? That is not allowed at our school.

#5 cinnabubble

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:21 AM

These children have a disability and the school is making reasonable adjustments for their safety.

If the parents aren't driving safely, then you can ask the school to take it up with them.

#6 amdirel

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:28 AM

I think you should speak to the school about your concerns, and get them to find a safe solution.

Our primary school also allows parents of kids with significant disabilities to pick up from the carpark. I have no problem with this, however our car park is 15 metres or so from the main entry gate and pedestrian crossing, and kids are strictly not allowed to enter/exit through the driveway. Some do cross it though, but it's not large groups.
I know with teachers they are not allowed to drive within certain times, I think around 15 minutes either side of the bell. Not sure about parents though, as no one is currently needing to do this.

#7 Caribou

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:29 AM

They likely had a discussion with school regarding need for space to help the children in cars. The staff car park was the option given.

Unless they’re driving dangerously, no I wouldn’t do anything. Parents with prams do have the option of baby carriers than prams or just you know, don’t take the pram out? I say this as a person who doesn’t drive! I’ve been able to manage school run without a pram and a baby just fine. And I catch the train and bus!

Sorry, still not seeing the issue. I’m sure they’re well aware to drive carefully.

#8 hills mum bec

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:31 AM

I think the biggest issue is that there are students walking through a car park on their way out of school.  The staff car parks at all the schools I know are strictly out of bounds for all students.  I think it's reasonable to expect a school to make accommodations for the pick up and drop off of disabled students.  Does the school have a kiss and drop zone?  Sounds like they need one.

#9 Jak80

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:40 AM

This has nothing to do with the children’s disability. The OP is commenting that the parents arrive last minute for pick up and rush off as everyone is walking back to their cars. They honk and drive dangerously weaving around pedestrians.

My opinion is all school pick ups are dangerous. People are always hurrying about. The amount of near misses I have seen is scary.  I wouldn’t complain unless they are breaking the road laws.

#10 MarciaB

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:43 AM

Honestly - I think it is mean spirited of any family to compare these parents to those dealing with prams/strollers.  For heavens sake, their school age kids require wheelchair assistance - and the parents no doubt have to juggle the school bag as well, plus a school age child is no doubt heavier than most 0-3 year olds.

Having said that - I am a bit surprised that parents and pedestrians are allowed anywhere near a staff parking lot.  That seems to be the issue to me.

#11 MarciaB

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:46 AM

At my last school, the school/local council provided a disabled parking spot and took some of the space of the kiss and drop site - that didn't go down well either!  However - I see how difficult it is for parents of upper primary (year 4-6) to get their disabled children in and out of wheelchair and car - especially in the rain! - and again had no issue.

If the car park option is unsafe - perhaps suggesting that they wait for 10-15 minutes after bell time to pick up is the solution.

Edited by MarciaB, 15 February 2018 - 10:50 AM.


#12 seayork2002

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:46 AM

View PostMarciaB, on 15 February 2018 - 10:43 AM, said:

Honestly - I think it is mean spirited of any family to compare these parents to those dealing with prams/strollers.  For heavens sake, their school age kids require wheelchair assistance - and the parents no doubt have to juggle the school bag as well, plus a school age child is no doubt heavier than most 0-3 year olds.

Having said that - I am a bit surprised that parents and pedestrians are allowed anywhere near a staff parking lot.  That seems to be the issue to me.

This - it is banned at our school but sadly parents never obey it -  we had a tragedy outside the school a few years ago but did nothing to change the parents attitudes and our Principal does everything he can to sort it but they still disregard everything thing he has done

(I am not talking about people with disabilities who have special arrangements with the school on where they park etc. as I am not aware of any special requirements at our school)

Edited by seayork2002, 15 February 2018 - 10:48 AM.


#13 BECZ

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:50 AM

View PostJRA, on 15 February 2018 - 10:19 AM, said:



So they are in wheelchairs but can easily get themselves in to a medium SUV from the wheelchair? What happens to the wheelchair?

So the school has no disabled car spots, or are the disabled car spots in the staff car park. The easy answer surely is to make disabled car parks in the normal car park.

Their parents help them to step up to the car, but they then get themselves into their seats.  The only disabled spots are in the staff parking.  

View PostRiotproof, on 15 February 2018 - 10:20 AM, said:

So they are parking and getting their kids? I'd think it's a good argument to introduce a kiss and drop.

Why are the kids walking in the car park? That is not allowed at our school.

The kids aren't allowed in the car park, but the only place that parents are allowed to pick their kids up from is the driveway that leads to the staff parking.  We used to be allowed to wait in the infants quad, but they no longer allow that as their is an at risk child attending the school.  They lock the internal gates and only open them when the children are brought out.  This driveway is the only way to access the school from the initial school gates.

There is a car pickup on the other side where the parents drive up and the children are helped into the car by teachers.  This would be a safe place for them to pick their children up as it is in the church car park and nobody else is allowed in their at that time apart from the long train of cars coming in or out to pick up kids.

#14 JRA

Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:56 AM

Quote

The only disabled spots are in the staff parking.  

That is obviously the issue.
There should be disabled spots in the normal car park.

Quote


There is a car pickup on the other side where the parents drive up and the children are helped into the car by teachers.


But surely getting a child out of wheelchair, into car and then wheel chair in to car is more difficult than a quick pick up. Having them picked up their would slow the whole "traffic" through the car park down.

Also, is it the "other side" of what? So the children in the wheel chair need to navigate whatever that is?

#15 JBH

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:01 AM

I am perfectly comfortable with the idea of priority parking for parents of children in wheelchairs. I do not think it is unfair. However, they should not park in an area that requires driving through hordes of children. Either spots in the general parking need to be set aside, or the student walking route needs to be moved. The answer is not to say suck it up the kids don’t seem that disabled, which seems to be the observation here.

#16 boatiebabe

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:03 AM

I agree, it's not very nice for the parent to be tooting their horn at people but they do have a right to access that car park and it sounds like the parents and kids are impeding their right to do so.

Looks like the best option would be to approach the school and have the gate at which the children can be collected changed or allow waiting in the school grounds.

You're right, someone will get hurt. Basically one 'at risk' child shouldn't put another 200 at risk. There must be better ways to manage the one.

#17 Rowenas Necklace

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:03 AM

I think the bigger problem is kids walking all over the carpark. No matter how carefully someone drives that's an accident waiting to happen.

Take it up with the school, but I don't know there's much they can do - as others have said, plenty of schools have rules in place to try and prevent people interacting with cars, the unfortunate thing is many people just ignore them.

#18 BECZ

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:07 AM

These gates were previously locked and no cars were allowed in or out.  Unless it was an emergency, teachers were not allowed to remove their cars until 3:20, not that many did as they were still occupied helping kids leave the school grounds.  So it was previously a completely safe place for people to wait and pickup kids.  

As I said, it leads to the car park, but that is out of bounds and it is the only wat to access the school on this side.

The school has around 750 kids and few catch busses, so even the rear entry is packed with even less parking.  The line for car pickup is so long that the police regularly patrol the street.  I've been there to pick up my kids from preschool and there are 40+ cars already lined up over 40 minutes before the bell and is usually still going over 30 minutes after the bell (sometimes I picked them up first, othertimes I picked the kids up from school first).



#19 Caribou

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:07 AM

Did you just remove your passage about parents with prams and added that one of the drivers toots their horn?

The story is getting skewed here

#20 -Emissary-

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:07 AM

I don't think the issue is with the drivers here. I can't see how beeping means that they are driving dangerously?

If anything the 500 people who are trying to exit the school needs to be more aware of their surroundings. It is a drive way/parking lot afterall and they should move out of the way if there is a car moving in and out regardless of who owns that car.

#21 hills mum bec

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:17 AM

View PostBECZ, on 15 February 2018 - 11:07 AM, said:

These gates were previously locked and no cars were allowed in or out.  Unless it was an emergency, teachers were not allowed to remove their cars until 3:20, not that many did as they were still occupied helping kids leave the school grounds.  So it was previously a completely safe place for people to wait and pickup kids.  

As I said, it leads to the car park, but that is out of bounds and it is the only wat to access the school on this side.

The school has around 750 kids and few catch busses, so even the rear entry is packed with even less parking.  The line for car pickup is so long that the police regularly patrol the street.  I've been there to pick up my kids from preschool and there are 40+ cars already lined up over 40 minutes before the bell and is usually still going over 30 minutes after the bell (sometimes I picked them up first, othertimes I picked the kids up from school first).

So it sounds like the circumstances have changed.  Previously it was safe for parents to collect their kids from this driveway as the car park was locked but now the carpark is unlocked so that it can be used by parents of disabled students which now means it is no longer safe for parents to collect their children from this point.

The school needs to find a safe place for the parents to collect their kids from that is away from the staff car park.  Make the whole driveway out of bounds so that it is safe for the parents of the disabled children to enter and exit the carpark to collect their children.  The parents of the disabled children shouldn't have to arrive an hour early just to avoid the mass of parents waiting to collect their kids.  it sounds like the horn beeping is done out of frustration at the situation.

#22 JRA

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:23 AM

Quote

I don't think the issue is with the drivers here. I can't see how beeping means that they are driving dangerously?

That is a really good point, a horn is a safety instrument. It can be used to say, I am a car here that is moving, please move out of the way. If kids are running madly around a car park/entrance, tooting the horn to make them aware probably is a bloody good thing.

#23 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:25 AM

Our school removed part of the parent parking, instilled a drive by kiss and drop area (parents not to leave car), then they have a dedicated children walking lane with bollards so no children walk near cars.

I would say the people walking through the staff car park are the problem. If people are to walk through the area, make a walking lane seperate to where people are driving.

#24 BECZ

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:26 AM

View PostElle2k17, on 15 February 2018 - 10:58 AM, said:

I agree kids should not be allowed in staff car parks.

I see absolutely no issue with them arriving - you know - at pick up time to get their children. I feel that they are completely entitled to do so just as any other parent is if they wished. They need not arrive early to placate the feelings of other families who have to arrive early. Having children in a wheelchair brings MANY difficulties in life and if they get this “one up” (as other school families seem to view it from the original post) of being able to arrive right on the bell then good for them. If t were me I’d take that opportunity also.

Do any of the families know if they work or not? Maybe their work situation doesn’t allow them to arrive earlier? Maybe they have other commitments after school meaning they need to race off, for example extra therapies or similar?

I don’t think they should be beeping but I also disagree with kids being able to run through a staff car park.

Side note: if your kids are slightly older I’d be telling them to wait at thei classroom for 10 minutes and I’d be arriving at the bell just as other families are leaving and scoot into one of their parking spots. I’m not a school parent yet so no idea if that would work or not, I’d give it a go to save myself the extra hour lol.

The kids aren't in the car park they are along the driveway (a circular style driveway that goes along the front of the school) to the staff car park and it the only access to the front of the school. It's the only option.

If they work or not makes no difference as most parents at the school work.  Some are lucky and can work their hours around it, others use their lunch hour and lots also have to use after school care.  Lots of people have reasons to need to get somewhere after school too.

No parents are allowed inside the internal gates.  All children are brought to the pickup area (driveway) by the teachers.  So waiting inside the classroom isn't an option.

#25 barrington

Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:28 AM

View PostBECZ, on 15 February 2018 - 10:15 AM, said:

the driveway for in and out that is also used for kiss and drop in the mornings.  It is on this driveway that parents have to gather and wait for their kids to be brought out.  
So these parents have to weave in amongst 200 plus people to get into the staff car park (as they turn up right on school pickup time) and then weave in amongst 500 odd people on their way out. There are kids running everywhere at this time and usually lots of younger siblings playing before schools out as many parents arrive almost an hour early to fight for parking spots.
So parents let younger siblings freely run around on a driveway?




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