By Heather Mullinix
The Cumberland County School System continues to monitor changes to the parent pick-up procedure at South Cumberland Elementary, and changes have been made to widen the entrance and allow for more lines of cars, easing the traffic hold up.
"It's running smoothly," Director of Schools Donald Andrews reported to the Cumberland County Board of Education Thursday. "We feel good about what is going on there. We want to make it clear, we want our parents to be convenienced as much as possible, but not at the expense of the safety of our students."
The student pick-up procedure was changed Nov. 12, following a request from the Parent-Teacher Organization to revisit the former procedures used to increase student safety. However, some individuals expressed unhappiness with the new procedure due to the line of traffic stretching onto the highway and the length of time it takes to pick up children from school.
Andrews reported a petition with 199 signatures was received by the school system, stating the new procedure was dangerous and asking for a return to the previous method. In that method, parents picking up their children would either go through a traffic line or would park and walk up to the school to collect their children and return to their car. The petition does state those signing are parents of students at the school and affected by the changes.
However, Andrews noted that after looking through the list of signatures, only seven were parents of students at the school and affected by the changes. He also said the old method of student pick-up did create a dangerous situation.
He also reported that the time from entering the line to picking up a student and exiting the parking lot was about 15 to 16 minutes.