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Administrative Procedure 5090 - School Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

I. Purpose

To establish daily procedures for school staff to follow to provide for the safety and supervision of students during arrival and dismissal from school.

II. Procedures

  1. Written School Dismissal Plan
    1. Principals should work to structure the dismissal process so that it may be done safely and efficiently so as not to disrupt the instructional school day.
    2. At the beginning of each school year, each principal/principal’s designee will develop a written plan for all school-based staff, parents and students describing the specific process for student arrival and dismissal from school.

      The plan must be in writing, comply with this Administrative Procedure and identify all of the following (as applicable):
      1. Assignment of a Transportation Coordinator;
      2. Staff duty posts during arrival and dismissal;
      3. The order for student dismissal which shall consider the grade level of students, mode of transportation, and/or walker status;
      4. Designated doors that students will use to enter and exit the school building;
      5. The time at which students are permitted to enter in the morning and designated areas for students to assemble before the start of the school day;
      6. Processes for early dismissal consistent with Administrative Procedure 5117;
      7. Established cut-off time for early departures;
      8. Processes for verifying the adult’s legal right to remove the student from the premises;
      9. Process for parental request for changes in regular dismissal routines for individual students;
      10. An updated list of students with court custody orders or other legal documents/special instructions related to removal of the child from the school premises;
      11. Expectations for vehicle and van pickups;
      12. Processes for students awaiting late buses or vehicle pickups;
      13. Location for students to await the start of after school activities/extracurricular activities;
      14. Procedures for responding to emergencies at dismissal;
      15. Dismissal for students requiring additional support and/or accommodations;
      16. A list of staff members who should have daily access to the school’s master list for bus riders, if applicable;
      17. Procedures for dismissal of students in Pre-K, K, 1st and 2nd grades who must be escorted to vehicles, buses or parents/guardians; and
      18. Any other unique dismissal issue that relates to each specific school.

        This plan must be communicated in writing to parents and students at the beginning of each school year and posted on the school’s website.
    3. Administrators should communicate their parental expectations to adhere to designated drop-off/pick-up times, designated parking locations and other logistics specific to the school’s arrival/dismissal plan.
    4. The custodial parent(s) must complete a Family Emergency Form/Card annually for each student and designate a contact if they cannot be reached during an emergency. When a student transfers from one school to another, a new Family Emergency Card must be completed.
  2. Staff Arrival and Dismissal Duty.
    1. Principals/principals’ designees will identify locations in the building that require adult monitoring during student arrival and dismissal and assign staff to monitor those locations immediately prior to and during arrival and dismissal. Areas that may require adult monitoring may include: high traffic hallways, hallways with fire or side exits, outdoor areas surrounding temporary trailers, and vending machine areas.
    2. Teachers who have classes are expected to remain in the doorways of their classrooms in order to monitor arrival and dismissal of students and to monitor the hallways immediately outside of their classrooms.
    3. At the end of the day, once all students are dismissed from teachers’ classrooms, teachers will conduct hall sweeps in the halls and stairways nearest to their classrooms to observe that students have either exited the building or have reported to their designated after school activity location. Sweeps of student bathrooms shall be conducted pursuant to Administrative Procedure 4221, as necessary.
  3. Dismissal and Arrival Process.
    1. During arrival, staff should have visible posts around the school parking lot/driveway to monitor student traffic and address any unsafe behaviors (i.e. running from or around buses and cars, etc.).
    2. Administrators should determine the order in which students will be dismissed, i.e. bus riders, car and van riders, walkers and/or drivers. The determination of the order of dismissal should take into consideration what is the most efficient and safest way to clear the school building at the end of the school day, as well as consider the need to abide by scheduled bus ride times as consistently as possible.
    3. Administrators should determine the safest method of dismissing students. Specifically, students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and Second grades and any student requiring additional support and assistance should be escorted outside at the end of the school day by school staff to provide supervision while they are boarding their assigned bus or released to the car of a designated guardian.
  4. Special Instructions for Schools with Buses

    Except in the event of emergency, buses should not be held from leaving on schedule in order to avoid delaying the drop off of students at dismissal.
  5. Crossing Guards.

    Crossing guards are assigned by the Prince George’s County Police Department to high traffic areas. For questions regarding the need for additional crossing guards, administrators should contact the Safety and Security Services Department.
  6. Dismissal Plan for Students in Primary Grades.

    Principals/principals’ designees should include differentiated arrival and dismissal plans for students in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First grade and Second grade. This plan shall require parents to provide written notification of the daily end of day transportation plan for their student(s) in primary grades (i.e. bus rider, walker, pick-up by older sibling, private van service, etc.). Principals should develop a school specific form to capture any information deemed necessary to obtain end of day transportation and dismissal plan from parents of students in primary grades.

    Pre-Kindergarten and kindergarten students who are bus riders must be met at their buses by a staff member during arrival and walked to and loaded onto their buses by a staff member at dismissal.
  7. Location of Dismissal.

    Principals/principals’ designees shall identify which doors will be used for students to enter and exit school buildings. Doors designated for students to enter and exit should be monitored by school staff to ensure that no visitors to the school are entering improperly and that students are using the designated doors.
  8. Early Dismissals.
    1. In the event there is a school-wide early dismissal, schools will use the above dismissal process.
    2. Schools will determine and post in the main office a time at which early dismissals will end so as not to disrupt the regular dismissal process. Early dismissals will end no more than 45 minutes before the end of the school day.
    3. If an individual student needs to be dismissed early, the steps outlined in Administrative Procedure 5117 – Early Release During the School Day will be followed.
  9. Changes in Individual Student Regular Dismissal Routine.
    1. There may be occasions where a student’s regular dismissal will be temporarily disrupted, such as when a bus rider will be given parent/guardian permission to walk home with another student. In the event there is a change in a student’s dismissal routine, parents/guardians will provide written notice and permission for the temporary change in normal dismissal routine no later than the morning of the day in which the routine change is required.
    2. For younger students who will be picked up by someone other than a parent/guardian due to an emergency, school staff must check the student’s cumulative file to ensure the individual picking up the student is on the approved list. If the individual picking up the student is not on the approved list, then the student’s parent(s) will be called and requested to come and pick up the student.

      No verbal authorization to remove a child from the premises will be accepted.
  10. Parent/Guardian and Private Van Pickup.

    Anyone who picks up students in private vehicles or vans (i.e. daycare center/after care programs) are required to follow the directions of school staff regarding dismissal. Designated areas for private vehicles will be identified. Private vehicles will not be permitted to park, double-park, idle, drive through or stop in designated bus lanes while buses are lining up, parking, loading students or exiting parking lots.

    Parents/guardians who utilize daycare center/after care programs that provide van/vehicle pickup will provide to the school written consent for students to be picked up by the program. Any changes in program shall be immediately provided to the school throughout the school year to ensure that school staff are aware of who is authorized to pick up students. At the beginning of each school year, parents/guardians will be required to update written consent for daycare center/after care programs to pick up students from school.
  11. Late Pickups.

    Parents/guardians are expected to pick up students on time either at dismissal or immediately after the conclusion of an extracurricular activity, club or school function. In the event of an emergency, parents/guardians should contact the school and notify them that the student will need to be picked up late. Parents/guardians arriving late to pick up students shall report to the main office. Students shall wait in a designated area until they are informed that their rides have arrived.
  12. After School Activities.

    Students attending or participating in after school activities will be dismissed to a designated area to await the start of their activity. Students are expected to remain in the designated area until the start of the activity and/or until staff direct students to move to a different area in which the activity is to occur. Students who do not remain in designated areas may be subject to disciplinary measures pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct. Sponsors are required to remain with students until the conclusion of the activity and until all students are picked up from the activity.
  13. School-wide Emergencies at Dismissal Time

    A school-wide emergency at dismissal time may require that students shelter-in-place, evacuate, reverse evacuate, lock-down, or drop, cover, and hold and may delay dismissal procedures. In this case, parents/guardians will not be permitted to enter the building to retrieve students during the emergency. Once the emergency situation has ended, parents/guardians should follow the direction of school administrators and safety and security services staff in accordance with the school’s emergency plan or the directions of law enforcement. Administrators will provide parents/guardians additional information regarding the emergency situation by e-Alert, RoboCall, letter or another appropriate form of communication as soon as possible.
  14. Students with Disabilities

    Students with disabilities who have Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or Section 504 Plans may require additional support during dismissal. Specialty schools or schools that have specialized programs for students with disabilities should consider whether additional or alternative processes are needed for students to be dismissed safely and efficiently.

    Principals/principals’ designees are required to provide student specific IEP/504 accommodations to students exiting the building under regular and emergency circumstances and will designate appropriate staff to monitor the provision of required accommodations.

III. Monitoring and Compliance

  1. It shall be the primary responsibility of the school principal to ensure that the school dismissal plan is developed, contains all required components posted on the school’s website and communicated in writing to parents. For school year 2019-20, the plan must be developed by December 1, 2019. For future years, the plan must be developed prior to the start of each school year.
  2. The Instructional Director will be responsible for ensuring all assigned schools have developed an arrival and dismissal plan and to review each school’s plan each school year.

IV. Related Policies and Procedures

V. Legal Reference

MD Annotated Code, Education Article, § 7-435.

VI. Maintenance and Update of these Procedures

This Administrative Procedure originates with the Department of Student Engagement and School Support and will be updated as needed.

VII. Cancellations and Supersedures

None. This is a new procedure.

VIII. Effective Date

Last Revised: September 30, 2019