Safe departure

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Clanton Elementary School has implemented a new method of dismissing students in the afternoons using numbers and color-coding.

All students have been assigned a dismissal number for use whenever they leave the school’s campus in a vehicle with their parent or guardian. Instead of exiting their vehicle, parents place the number on the dashboard of their car and wait for their child to be brought to them.

“This system provides enhanced safety and increased security during student dismissal,” Principal Rebecca Threlkeld said. “The system is working well and running faster and smoother each day.”

School officials got the idea from observing a similar system at Meadowview Elementary in Shelby County. The system is new for the 2008-09 school year and began the second week of school.

Despite initial frustrations, Threlkeld said the system has received mostly positive feedback from parents.

How it works:

Each student is given a plate with his or her corresponding number, and a teacher or faculty member sees that each student is matched with the correct vehicle. Also, different groups of students are color-coded depending on where their classroom is located within the school.

A faculty member calls out each number and color over a bullhorn while the vehicles are loaded. No cars are allowed to move until a designated section of cars has been loaded, then another section moves up for loading.

Consequently, parents are no longer allowed to park on the grassy areas on campus and actually walk up to the school to get their child.

“The system we used in the past did not protect your child from traffic dangers or unauthorized persons picking up a student,” states a letter sent home to parents.


The new plan also takes into account the arrival of students in the mornings, requiring all K-2 students to be dropped off in front of the building and enter through the front doors. During this time, parents are asked to refrain from exiting their vehicle or remaining in the parking lot for an extended period of time.

“Clanton Elementary School would like to thank their parents for the cooperation and patience shown during the implementation of the new system,” Threlkeld said.