OSWEGO, NY – What was once a safety concern at Riley Elementary School, is now a great start to the day for students and parents.
According to Riley Elementary School Principal Linda Doty, the school’s drop off and pick up areas in front of the school were causing a lot of traffic congestion and safety concerns.
“As the children were getting dropped off directly in front of the school, the buses were coming in at the same time and there was a lot of traffic flow issues,” said Doty. “Furthermore, we were concerned with the lower level street parking congestion, and the crosswalk area with regard to safety. After taking a look at the process and discussing it with our school bus monitors and staff, we believe our solution has been of considerable benefit for students and parents.”
According to Denise Smith, a teacher’s aide and bus monitor at Riley Elementary, the solution was simple and fun.
When the buses arrive in the front of the school pylons are placed at the end of that access area, so all non-bus traffic has to flow to the lower level drop off area on East Seventh Street.
The four bus monitors, Smith and fellow teacher aides Danielle Roy, Linda Annorino and Jeanne Buske then take coordinated areas within the drop off areas to welcome the students on the buses and also to directly greet the children exiting their cars on the lower level access.
“Our goal was to find a solution that would provide a safer environment for the child, while keeping traffic moving out in front of the school,” Smith said. “We now literally open the doors for the students arriving in their automobile, help them with their backpacks, etc., and greet the parents and everyone with a smile and laughs. The parents have loved it, and we are having a lot of fun with it as well.”
For the holiday season, the bus monitors wore colorful Christmas hats and clothing, and danced to the sounds of holiday music coming from the external school speaker, as they met parents and students for the arrival of school.
According to Smith the bus monitors are already discussing their Valentine’s Day outfits.
“The students and parents are starting their day at Riley with smiles, giggles and happy thoughts,” said Doty. “The bus monitors addressed the concerns we had at the school and have made it a special experience.”