The start of each new school year is an exciting time, for sure. Students, parents and teachers all have so much to look forward to and anticipate.
Unfortunately, the car line typically isn’t one of them.
Long wait times coupled with unclear drop off and pickup processes can leave everyone involved feeling frustrated.
The Pikmykid team understands the unique pain points experienced on all sides, which is why we’re delighted to present you with the following ten school car line ideas, featuring a few cutting-edge software solutions that can make your car line management a cinch!
#1 Calm the Chaos with Carline Tags!
Carline tags for school dismissal are best distributed during back to school orientation.
Ideally, your school will present these tags to parents, as well as grandparents, nannies, carpools, and any other delegates who have been approved to pick up or drop off students. It’s even better if you have digital car tag options too.
Your carline tags can display more than just student information. Here’s a pro-tip: invite your school sponsors to advertise on the parent-facing side of the carline tag. Why not? It’s great exposure for them and gives your carline tags a little extra pizazz!
Keep in mind, however, that your design must work for stacking multiple cars and should be easy to see and read from a distance.
Did you know that the Pikmykid portal creates both digital car tags and downloadable tags you can print?
#2 Redefine Dismissal as a Fun Part of the Day!
Stop the slow shuffling out of the classroom and put some pep back in your students’ steps by incorporating music, your school mascot, or other fun props at the carline.
This will help students hurry out of the classroom and queue up for pickup. Encourage teachers to get in the act and lead students to the carline, conga-line style!
#3 Order Cars in Line Upon Arrival
Check parents and guardians in as they enter the car line with their associated students for pickup.
Be sure to share this ordered information with whichever staff member is tasked with coordinating dismissal in order to help students prepare to enter the correct cars quickly and efficiently.
Your school might try ordering this information on Google sheets and communicate the process over walkie-talkies.
While this is a tried and true method, if you really want to increase efficiency — with ease! — try using Pikmykid.
#4 Dismiss Cars in Batches
What we love about this school car line idea in particular is that it keeps the carline moving consistently.
Plus, it’s a safe strategy, ensuring that all cars are stopped while students are actually getting into them.
#5 Designate a Waiting Line for Delayed Students
There’s just no way around it. You’ll always have a few students running late to the carline, often the same ones over and over. Whether chatting to friends, daydreaming or just moving to the slower beat of their own drummer, delayed students are practically a definite part of your carline process.
The trick becomes when those delayed students have punctual parents or guardians, who are patiently waiting in the carline.
A simple solution?
School car line signs designating an additional line for parents of those students who are running late to the carline.
By implementing this school car line idea, you avoid traffic jams and keep your carline moving.
#6 Show Off Some School Car Line Signs
Pretty much all of us are managing our own hectic schedules, so we don’t mind a clearly signposted reminder regarding instructions and procedures.
These car line signs are especially appreciated at the start of the school year, when we’re all shifting from summer mode or after any extended school breaks.
Hey, some weekends can be long enough to make us lose our school stride, so a car line sign about how your school does things is never a bad idea!
In fact, many of our Pikmykid customers leverage signs as a way to remind parents to download the parent app or announce their arrival.
#7 Create a VIP Line
We could all probably stand to get a little VIP treatment, especially from a process that has traditionally been kind of a headache.
Creating a VIP line is a great way to incentivize parents to participate in school activities, like fundraisers. For instance, reward the parents who pay extra with a spot in the VIP line.
Or, celebrate your parent volunteers who consistently show up for field trips or as classroom assistants by giving them expedited access to the carline.
Better yet — reward parents who use their Pikmykid parent app in order to inspire faster adoption and motivate more parents to get on board!
#8 Scout Different Student Waiting Areas
You know your school and you know which areas are hot spots for behavioral issues versus those sacred spaces that seem to create calm and order.
Run a little experiment with your staff by testing out students waiting in their classroom versus the cafeteria or gym or even right at the carline.
A few helpful hints from those of us who’ve done this…
If your students will wait in a place outside of their classrooms, try grouping them by grade or other small group formation in order to make parent arrival announcements easier.
Always establish a backup waiting area if using a space outside of the building in the event of inclement or extreme weather. You don’t want students waiting in the rain or excessively hot or cold weather.
#9 Poll All Concerned Parties
While we don’t want you to end up with a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario, we do suggest that you invite feedback from all stakeholders, so to speak, in order to evaluate and evolve your carline process.
Create a quick and easy poll for parents, students, and staff that will help you isolate what is and isn’t working with your carline process.
You can do this digitally by sending a survey link or you can go old-school and send home paper versions that parents can fill out and send back with their students.
By encouraging feedback from all involved with the carline process you will gain valuable insight into your carline process, while also demonstrating that you truly care about and consider everyone an important part of your school’s community.
#10 Invest in a School Dismissal Management Tool
Okay, this one might just be our favorite and sure, maybe we’re a little biased but we’re proud of the Pikmykid solution.
Pikmykid makes it possible for schools to cut out office phone calls and endless emails relative to dismissal changes by managing them all in your own Pikmykid portal.
At the same time, you can reduce the number of staff required to manage dismissal while speeding up your carline.
Finally, and we might argue, most important to all involved, Pikmykid provides peace of mind that every student went home safely with their approved guardian.
Ready to imagine school safety? Book a demo today!