If you pick your child up from school via your car, then you know the stress that process can bring. Especially the first few weeks of school. In an effort to assist my fellow parents at our local school, I created the following list of tips and tricks. Some of them might be useful to you too!
Side Carline Tips:
It is my understanding that the carline route as illustrated on the back of your pickup card… had to be presented and approved by the Ocala Police Department. The route was created to expedite efficiency and maintain respect for the community whose front yards we sit and wait in front of. It is rumored… that citations have been handed out in the past for not following said route. With that said…. here are my side carline tips:
1. Use SR 40…. how ever you have to do that, do it. It is so less stressful to turn right on 4th then trying to turn left across MLK.
2. Leave driveways accessible. Many years ago when I was new to NHJ (like 10 years ago… good grief!) I blocked a driveway… needless to say when the homeowner arrived and couldn’t get in her drive…. she jumped out and gave me quite the ear full. All I could say was that I completely understood, I was very sorry and it would never happen again.
3. Car signs in the front window. When all your children have been delivered to your car…. remove all signs and be prepared to give teachers a thumbs up if they look at you.
4. Pay attention…. no school paper review, no cell phones, no reaching around trying to get all the trash moved so there will be room for your kids. Pay attention… this will speed up our line and keep all our kids safe.
5. Pull all the way forward. The teachers are calling out numbers for the area that they know your car will stop at and your child should be there waiting for you. This is the most effective process I have ever seen and lets us move through the line like Disney…. Move all the way forward.
6. Unlock your doors. I always got caught on this one when I drove a Honda minivan…. because you had to be in park. (total pain in the butt!)
7. Take one of the car pick up slips that came home for additional people to pick up your child and fill one out. At the bottom say that YOUR NAME can pick up your child. AND SIGN IT. Put this in your wallet, just in case you end up in a car that is not yours for some unforeseen reason and you don’t have your car pick up cards. You can present that small form and your Drivers License and they will deliver your kid. Otherwise, if you don’t have that form… you will have to go to the front office, get out of your car, and get your children. (this is a slight loop-hole but it works and is within the rules of the pick up line)
8. If you arrive early a battery operated fan that clips on your steering wheel is a good thing.
9. Keep a book in the car, only to read when you are waiting in line.
10. Sometimes if I’m really early…. I jump out and collect all the trash in my car into a Publix bag to throw away when I get home.
11. Wave and smile at the community members who pass you by… can you imagine having hundreds of Suburbans, Tahoe, mini vans and Expeditions fill the streets of your neighborhood twice a day?
13. If you do not want to wait… time it so you are turning onto 4th at 2:17PM. You fly right through… easy peasy….
14. Roll down your front windows as you pass the teacher calling out the names and turn off the radio. That way you know what is going on and can hear everything.
12. Once it is all said and done… put your pick up cards away. (middle console, pocket on the back of the passenger’s seat.) Please don’t leave them on the dashboard for the whole world to see. Remember it tells everyone your child’s name, their grade and what school they go to. For me that is just too much information.
Lastly, trust the process… this carline is a smooth operating machine. The teachers that are out there have been doing this for years and if we all follow the tips and the route we will be in and out of there in no time FLAT! (unlike a certain middle and high school…. whose names I won’t mention)
BTW….. if you cut in while and I am near by… I will be taking a picture of your car and posting it on facebook with the hashtag #nhjcarlinecheaters. You have been warned.