District 308 Urges Parents to Follow Traffic Procedures
Extra police presence at schools during drop-off and pick-up costs District 308 $20 per hour, per officer.
An accident at Plank Junior High Friday in which a 12-year-old boy ran into a vehicle in the school’s drive-up lane has called to attention the need for everyone to take extra care when driving in and around area schools.
According to Oswego Police, the accident occurred at about 7 p.m. when the boy ran between two parked cars in the spots next to the school and struck the driver’s side door of a vehicle parked in the drive-up lane. An ambulance was not called to scene; however, the boy was taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center, according to police. The driver of the vehicle was not ticketed.
The accident followed many comments from parents last week to Oswego Patch regarding safety at pick-up and drop-off locations at several of the district’s schools. Complaints include drivers cutting the pick-up lines, students darting across parking lots into oncoming traffic and parents swerving around parked cars to exit school lots.
Contacted Monday morning about the issue, Kristine Liptrot, the district’s director of communications, said all schools have traffic procedures in place meant to ensure the safety of students. Further, Liptrot said those procedures have been communicated to parents in many ways, including school newsletters and phone alerts.
“The important thing is that we need everyone’s help to make everyone’s child safe,” Liptrot said. “Following the rules is the best way to do that.”
Liptrot said staff at each school work every morning and afternoon to aid with safe pick-up and drop-off. She said administrators have also asked for parent volunteers in the past, but at schools like Churchill Elementary they have received no response.
Oswego Police conduct patrols of school zones at pick-up and drop-off times when they are available, said Sgt. Brad Delphey. Dedicated officers also direct traffic at both high schools after school to aid traffic flow on Route 71 and Wolf Road.
Liptrot said police can be called to patrol specific areas experiencing problems, but it costs the district $20 per hour, per officer. Liptrot also said the district worked this summer to create school zones surrounding Brokaw Early Learning Center, Hunt Club Elementary and the Opportunity School.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to say when the request for parent volunteers at Churchill was made.