As a school principal or administrator, you understand the complexities and issues involved in managing school dismissals. The daily rush of vehicles, the staff running around to dismiss all children safely during pick up, and the upkeep of records, equipment, and paperwork can make these processes overwhelming. In a series of articles below, we will show you how to make dismissal smooth, safe, and cost-effective.

Step 1 - Assess Current Dismissal Procedures

Before you begin, take a step back and assess your current arrival and dismissal procedures. Involve your staff and even parents in identifying the challenges around dismissal. Use the goal-setting exercise in the next step to assess the various areas that need improvement.

By assessing your current system and setting clear goals and thoroughly, you will have laid the groundwork for a successful transformation. Stay tuned for the next article in this series, were we will help you establish goals for efficient Dismissals!

Step 2 - Establish Clear Goals for Dismissal Efficiency

The 2nd step towards efficient dismissal is to define your goals. In other words, what do you hope to achieve by streamlining your school’s arrivals and dismissals? Here are some examples of goals:

  1. Goal 1: A first goal is to reduce the total time to clear your dismissal driveway by 20-30%. How long does it take you to clear your dismissal driveway currently? Set a goal on how many minutes you’d like to reduce your dismissal to. We have seen schools go from 55 to 15 minutes using our dismissal techniques.
  2. Goal 2: Do you have harsh weather in your area? Is it a goal for you to keep staff out of extreme cold or hot weather in the driveway?
  3. Goal 3: Reduce paper and other material use by 50%. You can embrace sustainable and eco-friendly practices and minimize environmental impact by digitizing your arrival and dismissal procedures.
  4. Goal 4: Capture signatures from 100% parents (usually for private schools but public and charter elementary schools as well).
  5. Goal 5: How much time do you want to allocate for your staff to capture attendance, carpool information, and early dismissal slips? Most schools set a goal of 120 minutes per month after streamlining their processes. This is a huge reduction in what it normally takes to handle records manually.
Step 3 - Make Structural decisions on Dismissal

With careful planning and strategic decisions, you can develop a solid foundation for a smooth and stress-free process. Here are five key decisions to consider:

1. Where will Students Wait during Dismissal?

Deciding where students wait for pick-up is important as it impacts staff workflow and overall dismissal flow. Consider:

  • In their Classroom (Recommended) – This keeps students supervised and engaged with their teacher and classmates. This also reduces chaos in a crowded lobby and makes dismissing students much easier. This is our recommended method however it depends on your campus and number of teachers available during dismissal.
  • Lobby or Gym – Offers centralized supervision and reduces classroom disruption. The downside is that it may lead to congestion and noise.

2. Do Parents wait in their Cars or come in the school to pick up their children?

Determining parents’ location during pick-up is important. It influences traffic flow in and out of the driveway as well as the campus.

  • In-Office Pick-Up – Having parents come into the office creates a personal connection between staff and parents however it slows down Dismissal significantly due to limited parking and parents not necessarily hurrying up to get back to their cars.
  • Carline Pick-Up (Recommended) – This method streamlines traffic flow and reduces office crowding. It also gets parents going on their way faster and gets your staff back on task. The downside of this method is that it requires extra staff and teachers to bring children to the driveway and get them in their cars.
Stay tuned for more ...