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Senior Director of Marketing

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Technology is often divided into generations – from calculators to supercomputers. Each generation of technology is a reaction to the previous generation’s flaws and an improvement upon it.

By far, parents interact with school the most during dismissal. That prompts the question – is your dismissal up to date? Does it solve the problems of previous generations and also the problems of the 2020’s? 

In this article, we’ll compare schools’ dismissal tools to technology generations – uncovering how different schools tackle their arrival and dismissal procedures.

School staff using technology

First Generation: School Dismissal Without Technology

Students are released outside and are dismissed from right near the carline. Parents are usually identified via staff or students who recognize the parents.

Tools: 

No technology besides the school bell, the intercom, and perhaps cones.

Pros:

  • Medium-speed dismissal

Cons:

  • High vulnerability – High vulnerabilities from bad weather, traffic, and/or students wandering off.
  • No accountability – No reliable documentation of where each student is.
  • Dismissal change chaos – No organized and efficient way for parents to change method of pickup and reliably know where their kids are.
  • Labor intensive – Many staff are needed to work outside and are often exposed to bad weather.
  • Unreliable parent identification – One mistake could put a student’s safety at risk.
Students running out of school chaotically

Second Generation: Dismissal with Little Technology

Students stay indoors until dismissed via walkies, texts, or intercoms. Parents are usually identified via car tags though some smaller schools use staff to identify parents. Sometimes students are dismissed from classrooms and other times they are dismissed from big rooms like gyms, cafeterias, or auditoriums.

Tools: 

Uses walkie talkies, texting, and/or the intercom all of which are usually used along with car tags.

Pros:

  • Improved safety – Lower vulnerabilities from bad weather, traffic, and/or students wandering off.

Cons:

  • Slow dismissal
  • No accountability – No reliable documentation of where each student is.
  • Dismissal change chaos – No organized and efficient way for parents to change method of pickup and reliably know where their kids are.
  • Labor intensive – Many staff are needed to work outside and are often exposed to bad weather.
  • Miscommunication – Missed information due to leveraging walkie talkies, texting, and/or the intercom.
  • If no car tags are used – Unreliable parent identification. One mistake could put a student’s safety at risk.
School using walkie talkie for dismissal

Third Generation: Dismissal with Manual Technology

Students stay indoors until they are dismissed via TV screens, projectors, or nearby teachers. Parents are usually identified via car tags. Sometimes students are dismissed from classrooms and other times they are dismissed from big rooms like gyms, cafeterias, or auditoriums. 

Classroom dismissal tends to use TV screens while big room dismissal tends to use projectors.

Tools: 

Uses spreadsheets or dismissal tools that have school staff only features. Parents do not have access or a means to leverage the technology for dismissal changes. 

Pros:

  • Medium-speed dismissal
  • Low vulnerability – Lower vulnerability to bad weather, traffic, and students wandering off
  • If car tags are used, reliable parent identification – staff can verify each student is being released to approved guardians.

Cons:

  • Dismissal change chaos – No organized and efficient way for parents to change method of pickup and reliably know where their kids are.
  • Labor intensive – Many staff are needed to work outside and are often exposed to bad weather.
  • Little-to-no Accountability – Little to no reliable documentation of where each student is.
Student getting into car safely

Fourth Generation: Dismissal with Technology Automation

Students stay indoors until they are released via automated software. Sometimes students are dismissed from classrooms and other times they are dismissed from big rooms like gyms, cafeterias, or auditoriums. 

Classroom dismissal tends to use TV screens while big room dismissal tends to use projectors.

Tools: 

Uses a dismissal tool that both schools and parents access

Pros:

  • Fast dismissal
  • Improved safety – Lower vulnerabilities from bad weather, traffic, and/or students wandering off.
  • Reduced workload for staff – School staff will be freed up to focus more on teaching.
  • Eliminate most parent office calls – Parents will make pickup changes via an app or website and receptionists will approve changes. Teachers will automatically be notified of such changes.
  • Flexibility – The platform is flexible regardless of the size or the process the school already has.
  • Accountability – Reliable documentation of each students’ dismissal from school.
  • Reliable parent identification – Staff can verify each student is being released to approved guardians.
  • Emergency preparedness – Since parents use the dismissal application daily, they will be able to use the dismissal application for safer, quicker, and easier emergency reunification.

Cons:

  • New Process Adoption – Any new tool or process can seem daunting to roll-out. That’s why Pikmykid includes support for both the school and parents to get onboarded and for day-to-day use.
Make Dismissals Ultra Safe

What do your dismissal procedures look like?

After working with thousands of schools, there’s no doubt every school and their needs are a little unique. Many schools struggle with dismissal processes that…

  • Take WAY too long
  • Flood everyone with frustration
  • And leave you wondering if kids actually got home safely

With affordable technology now available that gives teachers 75 minutes back every week, you don’t have to live this way anymore.

Your days of agonizing over communicating who’s going home with who. And which bus route is delayed are over. 

Request a demo to see fourth generation dismissal technology in action.

for those still curious

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