Welcome to South

Good afternoon, South Elementary Families.  This is Principal Tim Chipman. The purpose of this message is to inform you of arrival and dismissal procedures as they pertain to the first week of school.  

Let me begin by sharing a major change in the traffic flow patterns around South School this year: seven days a week, traffic around the school will be two-way, not one-way as it has been in years past.  

Secondly, we are delighted to have use of the new circle drive in front of the school.  Please understand, however, that the circle drive is a one-way drive, with entry on the south end only.  At no time are cars to park in the circle drive.

Now, let’s talk specifically about arrival and dismissal procedures which will be implemented starting Monday, August 20.  The doors to the main entrance of the building will open at 7:30 a.m. Since the gymnasium won’t be ready the first week of school, this is what you may expect: inside the front doors two adults will be prepared to direct you and/or your student(s) to the assigned teachers’ classrooms.  Also, two differently designated adults will give special care to escorting kindergarten and first grade students and families (new to the building) to classrooms at the south end of the hallway. All faculty and staff will be identified by name badges and/or signs. As students arrive they will be directed to their classrooms where they will meet their teachers stationed in the hallway outside classroom doors.  If students are planning to eat breakfast, they will leave their school bags with their teacher and be escorted to the cafeteria.

Parents, we realize some of you may wish to accompany your children, particularly younger children, into the building on this first day.  You are welcome to do so, but please understand that because this is an important instructional day, we will ask you to leave the school building no later than 8:00 a.m.  Keep in mind, we will have the opportunity to make more meaningful connection at the Meet the Teachers event later that evening from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Before we talk about dismissal procedures, please listen closely to the next instruction: on Monday morning, please send with your child a note indicating how your child will depart from the school--by bus, by daycare transportation (and if so, which daycare), by foot, or by private car.  This information will be vital to us as we plan for afternoon dismissal.

The following will be our dismissal plan beginning Monday: on a regular day of attendance, students who use daycare or school bus transportation will be dismissed at 2:30 p.m.  Bus riders will be released from the Main Entrance where they will board buses parked in the circle drive. Because school buses will have first priority to enter the circle drive, beginning at 2:10 p.m. each school day, only buses will have access to the circle drive; this means, no cars will be permitted to enter the circle drive after 2:10 until all three of our school buses have entered and parked at the main entrance.  Once all three buses have stationed themselves, other vehicles may enter single-file into the lane of the circle drive nearest the school for student pick-up. Daycare riders will gather in the cafeteria where they will be released into the new east faculty parking lot to board their respective daycare vehicles.

Students who walk or leave in cars will be dismissed at 2:35 p.m.  The following exit patterns are different from last year, so listen closely.  Grades 3-5 will exit through the playground door off of the cafeteria (facing Vandalia).  Grades K-2 will line up on the sidewalk along the circle drive where they can enter cars lined up only in the lane nearest the school building.  If you have students in both grades K-2 and 3-5, older siblings may also join younger siblings on the sidewalk along the circle drive so that families might load together.

Parents and families, I want to thank you in advance for your patience, cooperation, and understanding.  Every new school year brings with it minor hiccups; there’s always an adjustment period. This year, with the excitement of our beautiful renovated facility, we know there will be even more hiccups than usual.  Please keep in mind that our arrival and dismissal plan is a work in progress, and it is very likely that aspects of the plan may have to be tweaked in coming days. I will be sure to communicate any changes with you as they are made.

Your child’s physical and emotional safety is our number one concern.  Together, we as partners, will provide an educational environment that promotes excellence and values every student.  It’s going to be a great year!

Mission Statement

A community committed to improving daily as we learn, work, and become a quality team!

Recent News

South School Meet the Teachers Night will be Monday, August 20, 5-6 pm.

New Physical Education Website

Dear Parents or Guardians,

We now have a physical education website. You will find a calendar of events, such as, Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart. This is a great way to stay connected.

Click here to check it out!

Thank you,
Mr. Heaton (Physical Education Teacher)


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