Back-to-school carpool etiquette
Really, how hard could it be? You pull in, you pick up your kid, and off you go!
It sounds simple, but when the school bell rings at the end of the day, things can get chaotic in a flash. Here, we have provided a list of helpful tips to make the pick-up procedure as smooth as possible:
Know the “traffic pattern” at your child’s school. Most likely, you will be expected to enter in a specific place and exit in another. If you try to go against the flow, you could put young children in harm’s way. (And you may ruffle a few feathers, too.)
Don’t talk or text on your cell phone while you’re in line. Yes, we know this is a tough one, especially for multi-taskers, but it’s best to be alert as you inch your way toward the front of the line. Plus, it’s always nice to smile and greet teachers, parents and children who may be waiting nearby.
Arrive at the appropriate time. This one is a bit tricky because this “magical” time varies from school to school. After a few weeks, though, you’ll know when you should arrive in order to spend the least amount of time in line. (Arrive too early, and you’ll sit for 30 minutes before the bells rings. Arrive too late, and even though you’re on the school premises, it will take 20 minutes to snake your way through the parking lot.)
Be a friend to the environment. If you arrive before school is dismissed, you’ll likely be sitting in one spot for a few minutes. Be mindful of “no idling” zones, which are common at many schools. Turn off your engine until it’s time to move forward.