September 11, 2014
I am writing with a few reminders for the beginning of the year. I usually send this letter out with the District Rights and Responsibility Book, but it has been delayed in printing until the end of next week.
With the exception of service dogs, we ask you to not bring your dog on the blacktop during arrival and dismissal. We have children who have allergies to dogs and we have some members of our community who are afraid of dogs.
In connection with arrival and dismissal, we would like to remind you that we recommend that children in grades K-2 not ride their bikes to school due to the heavy traffic on Cabot Street and the congestion around the school unless supervised by an adult. Upon entering school grounds on Parkview Ave. or Bridges Ave., riders must walk their bikes on the sidewalks to the bike racks. We have added a bike rack for your use. No bike riding (or scooter and skateboard riding) is allowed on the blacktop or playground before, during or after school. We appreciate your cooperation. Likewise, no ball play is allowed after school during the crowded moments of dismissal for the safety of everyone on the blacktop.
The parking lot in the back is reserved for faculty and the slots have been hard won by a lottery! Please do not park in the lot. In addition, you may not drop off children (or pick up) on Bridges Ave.
For anyone who did not see the information about school start in my letter on the PTO website (where I usually post):
We are again starting school at 8:25 and opening the doors at 8:20. The most significant change you may notice is that safeties will be excused at 8:25 (but the doors will be unlocked) because some may have an 8:30 special subject. The specials are starting a little earlier this year to accommodate the scheduling need for the 21st classroom.
We have adjusted our procedures for calling in students, thanks to a wonderful suggestion from Lindsay Pike. At 8:20, the third floor will be called; immediately after, the second floor will follow and the first after that. We are striving for a two minute entry time to allow children to settle in. Signs will be prepared for the safeties since it is not always possible to hear them. There is no supervision of the playground and blacktop available before school. Please do not drop off your children before 8:20.
From the Newton Police Department, Newton School Department, and School Traffic Safety Committee:
It is more evident now than at any other time in the history of Newton’s Public Education that traffic conditions within school zones, both prior to and at dismissal of school, are a potential threat to the well-being of the students of our city.
We have two choices as a community. One choice is to accept such conditions as going hand-in-hand with our changing social and economic climates. The second, obviously preferable, choice is to make every attempt possible to improve unsafe traffic conditions.
This booklet is the result of our commitment to improve driving habits and/or decrease traffic congestion around the schools. Success in achieving our goals, however, will be determined by how effectively and cooperatively we work together.
We are asking you to join with the Police and School Departments and with the members of the School Traffic Safety Committee (STS) in making a commitment to protect all of our children as they enter and leave school. Please review the recommended traffic pattern of your school and follow it when driving your child to school. It is our hope that you will help your children develop good pedestrian habits so that they may arrive and depart school safely.
The city of Newton has created designated drop-off and pick-up areas at many schools in the city. These school drop off and pick up zones have been created and authorized by city ordinance #19-179 and are commonly referred to as “Blue-Zones”.
School drop-off and pick-up zones were designed to allow for improved traffic flow and safer drop off and pick up of students. School drop off zones are in effect Monday through Friday on days that school is in session. The ordinance specifically states:
- No vehicle may park in a school drop off zone from 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of school until the scheduled start of school.
- No vehicle may park in a school drop off zone from one hour prior to the scheduled end of school until 30 minutes after the scheduled end of school.
- Vehicles may stop in the school drop off zone during the above restricted times to engage in the dropping off or picking up of passengers, which shall not be permitted for a period of longer than one (1) minute.
Parking is allowed in a school drop off zone outside of restricted times.
For these drop off and pick up zones to work correctly, the following must occur:
- No vehicles may be parked or left unattended in a school drop off zone during the restricted times. This includes parents waiting for their child to come out of or go into the school.
- No illegally parked vehicles can be waiting near the school, for example in restricted parking areas, within corners, blocking driveways, bus stops, etc.
- Parents should not pick up students when double or tripled parked.
- Students must enter and exit on the sidewalk side of the vehicle.
- Other parking restrictions around the school area must be enforced.
Walking gives children an opportunity to:
- Tension, stress, and anxiety
- Good judgment & good decision making skills
Start a walking partnership:
- With other children in the neighborhood
- With other families and take turns supervising
- Between a child and a senior citizen living nearby
Do a combination walk and ride!
- Before school, drive to within a block or two of the school and let children walk the remaining distance. After school, arrange to meet your child in a pre-arranged location at least one block from the school.
- Parking a motor vehicle in such restricted areas as “Live Parking Only”; “No Parking”; “School Pick-up/Drop-off Zones” or limited time zones can also lead to a $25.00 fine.
- Double parking is defined as stopping or parking on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge of a curb or sidewalk. Double parking can result in a $15.00 fine.
- Crosswalks are those portions of a roadway clearly marked for pedestrian crossing. Stopping or parking in a crosswalk can result in a $25.00 fine. Driving into a pedestrian crossing when a pedestrian is present can result in a $200.00 fine.
- School Bus Stops are areas of the roadway set aside for the parking of buses only. Unauthorized motor vehicles stopped or parked in bus stops can result in a $15.00 fine.
- Parking within 20 feet of an intersection can result in a $15.00 fine, and parking within 5 feet of a driveway is illegal and can result in a $25.00 fine.
Despite all these prohibitions and possible ways to err, we have actually had a very smooth opening thanks to you!