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By Jeff Moreland
During the 2007-08 school year, traffic for afternoon dismissal at Washington County Elementary School was among the largest problems on the plate of the school. While the officials looked for a smooth-running system to dismiss students being picked up by parents, local police were busy trying to keep Doctor Street, which lies behind the school, clear of traffic jams.
Only a few weeks into the new school year, new superintendent Rob Stafford, along with other school administrators, has announced a solution they hope will make the entire process work a lot smoother.
“Starting Sept. 8, traffic for the pickup of students at the elementary school will be going up Commercial Avenue, beside the elementary school, and then exiting down Doctor Street,” Stafford explained. “From what I know is going to happen, the morning drop-off process will stay the same.”
WCES Principal Sue Osbourne said the mornings will stay the same, but she is pleased to see a solution coming for the afternoons.
“I haven’t heard any complaints this year. We had one problem earlier with a parent who was picking up their child for the first time and didn’t know about the yellow curb behind the school on Doctor Street, but that’s been our only issue so far,” she said. “We’re going to be changing our pickup system as of Sept. 8, and we’ll be sending home a notice to our parents. Basically, we’re reversing what we’re currently doing in the afternoon, but we’ll keep the mornings the same. Hopefully it will work out. According to our diagrams, it should, but we’ll have to wait and see. On paper, it looks like a decent plan.”
Osbourne said she doesn’t expect any major changes to the time required to get students in vehicles, although she said a speed bump located just outside the school parking lot on Commercial Ave. could slow things down a little.