Bell Bulletin - February 27, 2018

Special Arrival/Dismissal Edition

Arrival Changes Starting Wednesday!

Bell Elementary Families:


The last few weeks we have been monitoring all systems in and out of the building, looking for ways we can add to the safety of our students. One area that has stood out is arrival each morning. Based on observations this week as well as our communication with local law enforcement, we are putting changes in place starting tomorrow, Wednesday, in the cafeteria (back lot) drop off area. Cones will be present to help remind us that drop off is one lane only. Staff will be assigned to different areas to help direct traffic, so please be on the lookout! Please remind your children to have their backpack ready so they can exit the car swiftly. We understand that one lane will slow drop-off in the back parking lot, but based on the safety of our children, it is a change we must make. If you are dropping off children from 7:25-7:40, please consider dropping off in the front of the school where we have two lane drop-off and staff to open car doors. Back drop-off is available because of our students that eat breakfast in the cafeteria in the morning. We will continue to monitor this area for the next several weeks and communicate any further changes with you.


We also ask for your help with the following:


1. Please do not drop your children off in any parking lots and have them walk across lanes to get to school. The parking lot is for those parking to walk their children in. Please remain in your car and in a drop off line so we can safely get students in the building.


2. The front of the school circle drive will remain the same. Two lanes of traffic will be moving, and staff will be directing traffic and helping students out of cars and across the two lanes of drop off. There is never a third lane open in the middle to pass cars in front of you - that is where our staff stand to direct traffic.


3. *Note - If you arrive at 7:40 or later, you must walk your children in through the front entrance doors. The cafeteria doors are only open until 7:40.


4. When the 7:40 AM tardy bell rings, instruction is starting, and parents will not be able to access the building. Students that come in after this time will walk to class independently. The first 20 minutes after the 7:40 bell rings is critical for our building safety. As doors lock, administration spends this time each day day doing a security sweep of the building (checking all doors, ensuring students are in classrooms, and etcetera). At this time, parents arriving prior to 7:40 will continue to be allowed to walk their children to class if you choose. Once class time has begun, our sign-in system in the front office will continue to be used for family members who have planned conferences with teachers, are scheduled to volunteer, or are eating lunch with their children. Please make sure the visitor badges are visible on your shirt so staff and students know you are an approved visitor. Thank you, in advance, for your help in protecting our childrens' instructional time and allowing administration to ensure the safety and security of the building!


We appreciate your continued partnership with us as we work to ensure the safety of all our students! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (972) 347-7200.


Respectfully,

Lauren Shapiro

Principal, Bell Elementary

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Good Time for a Refresher: Dismissal Procedures and Map

Our student body is currently 810 students strong. This is a lot of students to get out of the building at the same time safely. We appreciate your continued patience!


Walkers:

The back parking lot by the cafeteria will be closed for dismissal. Parking will not be allowed for "walkers" on campus, and there will be no through traffic in this area for the safety of our students. 2nd Grade - 5th Grade students will walk out the cafeteria doors, along the sidewalk, and across the street with the appropriate crossing guard. If you walk with your child, you may walk and meet them at the crosswalk area! Kindergarten and 1st grade students will exit the building from the office, and walk to the grassy area by our school marquee and crosswalk. Kindergarten students will stay with a kindergarten teacher in this area so kinder parents or older siblings may come get their kindergarten child in this location and walk them home. Kindergarten students are not allowed to walk alone. 1st grade parents are welcome to meet their first grader here to walk home together, but that is not required as it is with our kindergarten walkers - 1st grade walkers may walk on their own. It is important that if you plan on walking with your child you are at the crosswalk area by 3:00, or you may miss your child walking home. Most of our families walk from home to meet their children, and then walk home. If you must drive to pick up your child(ren), please consider changing your child's dismissal to a car rider (car tag area), and we will get them safely to your car without you even having to get out! Please do not park directly across the street from the crosswalk to pick up your walker as it causes congestion on a tiny street and an unsafe street area for students. Please do not park in the front parking lot and expect your children to walk across traffic to get to you. This is not safe! Please help by following city laws including leaving distance from the stop sign, not blocking neighbor’s driveways, etc. Students will be led by staff to crosswalks and will not be allowed to run to the street to get inside a guardian’s passing car. Student walkers go out of the building as walkers rain or shine! If you need to change your child's dismissal procedures, please contact the Bell front office by 2:00 PM at (972) 347-7200 or bellnotes@dentonisd.org.


Car Riders/Car Tag Area:

All students that are “car tag” will be escorted by a teacher to the designated locations at 3:00. Parents will be issued a car tag to hang from their rearview mirror. All Kinder-5th grade students who are “car riders” will be picked up at the front of the school. Anyone who comes through the car line to pick up a child MUST have the school car tag and remain in their car. If they do not have the tag, they will have to park and to come into the front office of the school, show ID and sign the child out. Please know that your wait in the office will be until car dismissal is over and students not yet picked up come to the front office. This is to ensure safety and that mistakes are not made. Please do not get out of your vehicle in the pick up lane. If you need to buckle your child in a car seat, please pull up past the last cone; this will allow us to keep the line moving at a steady pace. Students remain safely inside the building, listening for their numbers. When their number is called, students walk to the colored square that corresponds to their car tag number. A Bell staff member helps students in their car. Our staff and families have this down to a science, and car tag dismissal ends by about 3:25 each day, just a few minutes behind our walker dismissal.


As a reminder, all visitors to Bell Elementary, even at dismissal time, need to go through the front office for a visitor's badge. Parents will not be allowed to enter the cafeteria doors into the building at dismissal time.

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