With the closing of South Street Early Learning Center, there are new demands on the Warren Area Elementary Center, and staff there have made changes to make the transition smooth.
Meet the teacher nights at Warren Area Elementary Center are scheduled before the first day of school.
Kindergarten through grade two parents will have Meet The Teacher Night on Wednesday, Aug. 28 and grade three, four and five will have their meet the teacher night on Thursday, Aug. 29.
This is what parents who drop off their children at the Warren Area Elementary Center will see when they arrive on the first day of school, Sept. 4. New traffic patterns and assistance will be in place to help cope with additional students.
Playground equipment has been moved from the South Street Early Learning Center to a new home at the Warren Area Elementary Center and should be ready for frolicking by the first day of school.
Meetings both nights will run from 5 to 6 p.m. Meet the teacher night will allow parents to introduce themselves and their son or daughter to the teacher and become familiar with the locations of the gym, cafeteria, restrooms and playgrounds.
Parents who regularly pick up their children will also be able to receive signs at Meet The Teacher Night that will help WAEC staff identify parents who need assistance with car seats, especially for the students in grade K through three.
A new drop-off procedure will welcome parents of kindergarten through fifth grade students at Warren Area Elementary Center this year.
"Basically we're done here," said WAEC Principal Ann Ryan. "We're ready to go."
On the first day of school kindergarten through second grade students should report to the gym; third grade to large group instruction; fourth grade, hall outside large group instruction; and fifth grade to the office lobby.
The new drop-off procedure is as follows:
Parents driving up the hill from Warren Area High School parking lot should keep right; staff and district transportation will stay to the left. The drop-off zone has been extended to include the area between the gym and the main entrance of WAEC.
"All three crosswalks will have adults present to help children cross the bus lane safely," said Ryan. "Please pull as for forward as you can so as many cars can drop off students at one time as possible."
Students have told their parents that certain grades get off at certain doors.
"This isn't true and it slows traffic considerably. There will be two adults in the parking lot to help direct traffic and help children out of the car. Adults should stay in their cars," she said.
WAEC staff will be on hand to help unbuckle children who need assistance. Do no pull around cars that are stopped and when traffic in front of your vehicle begins to move, proceed down the hill to WAHS.
Parents who wish to park may do so by staying to the left on the drive to the school and then park in a lined parking space. Parents should not abandon their vehicle in line or double park.
"We do not want children scampering through the lot between cars; it is too dangerous," said Ryan.
The driveways to WAEC are marked for additional parking, but they are marked "no parking" during drop off and pick up times. On a special event like open house or Meet The Teacher, parents may park on the hills leading to the school. No one should park in the bus lane directly in front of the school. Doing so would violate the fire code for the building.
Successful drop off tips from WAEC:
Children should exit on the school side of the car.
Be ready to exit the vehicle quickly - have backpack and lunch bags ready.
Say "I love you, have a good day," before the car stops.
Pull as far forward as you can - the children can walk to either entrance after they cross the bus lane.
During the school day students have been assigned specific tables for lunch. To help learn the cafeteria routine, older students have been paired with specific kindergarten and first grade classes. The older students will sit with their buddy class and help out with milk cartons, handling lunch trays, and opening any containers as long as the kindergarten classes need help. The fifth grade helpers will switch out so the older students will be able to enjoy lunch with their class.
The older buddy students will also help younger students walk to their bus.
"We have four flights of buses and it runs smoothly once students understand the procedure," said Ryan. "Until then, older students will help the young students children successfully get to their bus. Parent pick-up will not start until 3:15. Parents are asked to either stay in the line of traffic through the parking lot or park and walk to the gym crosswalk."
The new pick up procedure is as follows:
At dismissal time students will line up at the gym entrance and staff will help them cross the bus lane and get into their parents car; the pickup signs are useful at this time.
Traffic will be forced to turn right onto Lawn Avenue in front of WAHS to help traffic flow down the hill. The sign will be changed to a Stop - Except for Right Turn.
Students will be dismissed to buses first.
All parent pick up will happen after 3:10 in the parking lot.
No car will be allowed into the lot after 2:45
Pick ups for medical appointments need to be before 2:45
Pick up traffic will line up on the hill in the right hand lane.
Students will exit the school at the gym doors and be crossed into the parking lot.
Staff will help buckle seat belts if necessary.
When children are safely in the car, proceed down the hill toward WAHS.
All traffic will be required to turn right and go down the back hill to Lawn Ave.
All transportation changes need to be submitted in writing to the office as soon as possible.
Parents should notify the office before 1 p.m. of changes made during the day.
Do not notify the teacher and not the office. Teachers are notified of all transportation changes at the end of the day.
Only one form needs to be filled out per family for the free and reduced price lunch program, but a new form has to be filled out each year. Parents may return the form to the office on meet the teacher night or sent it in with students once the school year has started.
"Anyone who had free or reduced price lunch last year will start the year in the same program, but if we do not receive new paperwork they will be charged for lunches starting October 1," said Ryan.
This year grades K through two will have class downstairs while grades three though five will be upstairs.
Parents bringing their children to school are encouraged to take their pictures outside of the school.
The buildings and grounds staff and the Warren Elementary PTO worked to expand the front playground to include pieces from South Street Elementary Center with fresh wood chips on both playgrounds.
Important school dates to remember:
Aug. 28 Meet the teacher for grades K-2, 5-6 p.m.
Aug. 29 Meet the teacher for grades 3-5, 5-6 p.m.
Sept.4, First day for students
Sept.5, return all forms from first day of school
Sept. 27, school picture day
Oct. 7, progress reports go home during this week
Oct. 14, no school