STUDENT SAFETY AND NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN
Parents who are dropping off or picking up their children should obey the following rules for the safety of your children and their classmates.
- There shall be no turning around in the driveways across the street on Ellison Avenue. Not only is this inconsiderate to our neighbors and other parents, it is extremely dangerous. We intentionally cross all of our walkers on Ellison at the driveway of the school. So the children are directed to walk on the sidewalk across the street from school on Ellison to and from the Linwood intersection where there is another crossing guard to get them across Linwood. If you pull into one of those driveways on Ellison to turn around, there is a very good chance you could hit one of our walkers, especially the little ones who you cannot see walking behind cars parked on the street. DO NOT TURN AROUND ON ELLISON!!
- During morning drop off cars should pull up to the curb with the flow of traffic. Children are to enter and leave cars on the curb side only. In order to keep the traffic flow moving have your student(s) ready to exit the car as soon as you come to a stop. This will alleviate backups. When coming down Ellison to drop off also be sure that you do not block the cross walk.
- All afternoon pickups must be in the car line behind school. We strongly encourage all afternoon car riders to use the car line behind school. For your convenience and the safety of the children, we dismiss car riders first and allow the car line to leave the parking lot before we release the walkers. Parking on Ellison or in the Church driveway creates a serious safety issue. It puts more cars on Ellison and Linwood while the walkers are being dismissed increasing the odds of an incident. We regularly see children dart across Ellison to get to a parent’s car or to talk to friends who are in those cars. It is after school that the students simply do not pay attention to traffic on Ellison. If you are running late and miss getting into the car line, do not try to force your way up Ellison or the driveway. If you can, let us know and we will hold your children until the walkers have been dismissed and then you can come up the driveway and safely pick up your children at the school office at 2:45. In the alternative, if you cannot get into the car line, please designate a place at least two blocks away from the school where you will pick up your child who will be dismissed with the walkers. During afternoon pickup, we want to see nothing but buses on Ellison and all cars in the car line in the school parking lot.
- Do not use the steps from Ellison. The barricades on the steps are there for a reason safety. We have your children enter and exit the school premises at one single point the driveway where we have a teacher and crossing guards so we can keep a much better watch on them and moving traffic. Do not allow or encourage your children to go around the barricade and use the steps from Ellison to the Parish Center.
New Morning Traffic Pattern
Morning drop off is a traffic jam compounded by rush hour traffic on Linwood. One significant cause of the traffic jam is the time that is spent unloading the buses on Ellison and cars that come down Ellison making it difficult for the empty buses to get up onto Nash Avenue. In an effort to try to alleviate the traffic jam, we are going to try a new bus pattern in the mornings. We will now have all buses turn off Linwood at Van Dyke, head up Van Dyke to Nash, take Nash to Ellison and then come down Ellison and up (the exit driveway) into the school parking lot where the children will be unloaded near the cafeteria entrance. The buses will then come back down the driveway and turn left onto Ellison Avenue so they have a traffic light allowing them to get back onto Linwood. This will eliminate the time the buses are stopped on Ellison unloading and should allow the buses to enter/exit more quickly which will in turn allow you to do the same. If you are dropping off your children in the morning, please be considerate of the buses. Yield to the buses and give them room to pass you on Van Dyke, Nash and Ellison. You can easily pull over to the right; they cannot. Stop on Ellison to let the buses enter and exit the school driveway. We will still have all walkers and children being dropped off come up the driveway, but they will be separated from the bus traffic with cones. We will try this new bus pattern to see if it improves the traffic congestion and either stick with it or go back to the former system depending on what works best. Let us know what you think of the new pattern.
Mt. Lookout Square
After dismissal, some students typically go to Mt. Lookout Square, especially on Fridays. This is after school hours and off our premises so we cannot be responsible for what happens to your children in the Square. That does not mean we do not care, nor that we do not regularly receive calls, complaints and concerns about this from the public and the businesses in the Square. We know that students from other schools are in the Square, but we see many Pacelli uniforms in the crowd. The last thing anyone wants is for one of our children to be hurt, or be inconsiderate to our neighbors and local businesses. We encourage you as parents to seriously think about whether your child is mature enough to be on the Square unsupervised during rush hour traffic. We think it is better that your child be alive and well than cool and hit by a vehicle. We randomly visit the Square and will not hesitate to call out unsafe or inappropriate behavior when we see it, but we will not be there every Friday and we need your help. Talk to your kids about appropriate behavior on the Square. If they are not mature enough to go to the Square, don’t let them. If you see things in the Square that make you uncomfortable and you know the children who are involved, speak up. Talk to the children directly, talk to their parents or talk to us.
We hope for a safe school year. With your consideration and watchful parenting, it will be. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!
Fr. Ed Smith