Changes regarding morning student drop-off at Robinson Elementary School are set to take place this year.
According to Roxanne Fausett, principal of the school, the changes were made with safety in mind.
“Starting this year, only school buses will be permitted to unload at the north end of the school (near the cafeteria) in the morning,” Fausett said.
“Parents driving their children to school will be able to drop off their children in front of the school, just as in years before.”
Fausett noted that the school experiences heavy traffic in the mornings, and there were issues arising with buses and cars both unloading at the front of the school.
“Buses and cars had separate times to arrive, but with some being early and some being late, we have run into the problem of both transportation sources unloading in the same place,” she said.
“This year we are designating two separate locations for cars and buses to help alleviate the congestion problem, as well as ensure safety for the students.”
Robinson Elementary is located on Perimeter Road, just less than a quarter mile from Dawson County High School.
Lt. Tony Wooten of the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office agreed that safety reasons prompted the changes, and that school traffic on Perimeter Road is always an issue.
“The first day of school is always hectic, and we advise drivers to take extra precaution when on Perimeter (Road),” he said.
Robinson is the oldest and largest elementary school in the county, and according to Wooten, two-thirds of the school’s students are arriving to school by way of car.
“No school is built for that kind of volume,” he said.
“We plan to have plenty of officers on duty for the first couple days of school to make sure traffic flows smoothly and that the students are safe.”
Wooten advised for those who do not have students at Robinson, or at the high school, to plan alternate morning routes to cut back on unnecessary traffic along Perimeter Road.
“Plan a route for the first day of school, and if bypassing the city is an option, please consider doing so,” said Wooten.
“For those who will be using Perimeter Road or Allen Street as part of their travel plans, we advise to slow down and use extra precaution.
“We will have many parents bringing kindergarten students to school for the first time, and we are anticipating to have more kindergarten students than last year.”
Fausett added that she hopes the changes will allow for smoother drop-off procedures, as well as some congestion relief.
“We want our children to arrive at school in a safe manner, as well as safely enter the building, whether they are transported by car or bus,” she said.
Procedures for afternoon pick-up will remain the same: Parents of kindergarten and first grade students can pick up their children at the north end, parents of second through fifth grade students can pick up their children at the south end, and buses will load in front of the school.