Glad the kids are back in school, but I hate the traffic

I love the fact that the kids are back in school because they aren’t just playing video games all day. But, I hate the back to school traffic with a passion.

I know in a few weeks it will calm down because every mom feels like she has to drop her kids off the first few days.

I wish I had the option of putting my boys on the yellow school bus. I can’t because my older sons go to Monticello and we live in Drew Central’s district. With them both being in middle school, traffic isn’t a huge issue, but it is when we go to drop Gavin off to Pre-K that encounter the problems.

Pre-K isn’t like kindergarten. Parents cannot simply drop their children off at the door and leave. We have to sign our kids in, which is great, because the school knows they are there. But, it makes our morning routine different from the other grades.

The problem is that there’s only one area for all kids to be dropped off.

At least at all of the Monticello’s schools they have bus drop off and parent drop off. They are two separate areas. This is not the case at Drew Central. Everyone goes around the parking lot, which makes the school very congested. Add in parents having to park and walk their Pre-K students to their classroom and UAM traffic, you have a recipe for disaster.

Last year parents parked in the rear of the building but, because some people don’t know how to be courteous to others, we cannot do this now. The parking in the back is just for teachers, which I understand.

Tuesday I dropped the older boys off first, which was my first mistake. By the time I got to Gavin’s school, traffic was already backed up. I knew I could not go into the main parking lot. I honestly didn’t see anywhere I could park. Think about it: there are about 100 Pre-k students so that’s 100 parents trying to drop their children off at the same time. They all have to walk their children into the school.

I decided to park at the end of the building and walk Gavin around to his building. I was trying to get the parking spot at the end closest to the end of the building. It appeared to be empty, but when I got to it, it was filled with a smaller vehicle. I had to turn around so I pulled into the next drive. When I did, a teacher basically ran me down. I rolled my window down and told her I was trying to turn around so I could go back to get my parking spot so I could walk Gavin to class. So I did just that. I walked him around the building.

Thankfully I have a job that is flexible and if I’m not at the office right at 8 a.m., it’s okay. But, there are a lot of parents who aren’t so lucky.

The traffic was so stressful for me that I am seriously considering putting my 4-year-old on a school bus. We live in the district, and he can ride.

I just didn’t want him to because he’s so little. I don’t know what the answer is but something needs to be done about the drop off situation for Pre-K.

We have to sign our kids in and out. We have to have them at school by a certain time in order for them to eat breakfast with their classmates.

I do not know what the answer is, but we need to find one.

The campus is small, and there’s really no room to separate the bus drop offs from the parent drop offs.

Even if they were separate, it still wouldn’t change the fact that there are 100 Pre-K students being dropped off by 100 parents, who have to park because they must sign their children in every morning.

I think it would be nice just to have a little understanding that Pre-K parents aren’t like parents for the older kids. We aren’t comfortable putting our little kids on a big school bus, and we cannot simply drop our kids off and pull away.

Melissa Cason is a staff writer for the Advance Monticellonian.

The Advance-Monticellonian

Mailing Address:
PO Box 486
Monticello, AR 71657

Street Address:
314 Main Street
Monticello, AR 71655

Phone: 870-367-5325
Fax: 870-367-6612

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