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Fast pass for school pick up?


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#51 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:18 AM

Why on earth wouldn't you just tell the kid to walk several blocks, and then meet them there 10 min after school ends or w/e? Maybe not practical for younger elementary aged kids, but definitely for middle schoolers. 

 

Because the school (encompasses K-12) was built in front of an industrial park and is located along a major highway.  The kids are not allowed to walk off campus for safety reasons.  They have to either be picked up by a parent or bused home.  The school is not located inside a neighborhood.  The whole first year after it was opened the lines were horrifically long and the kids had nowhere to wait except outside in direct sunlight (100 degree heat at times) because the pick up location was not directly in front of the school because that was where the buses were loading (very poorly thought out drop off/pick up lay out).  Parents pitched a fit.  They finally created a covered area so the kids would have some shade.  The next year they started staggering the release times, which did help some.

 

When I lived in Omaha NB, I walked to and from school as a 1st grader/2nd grader, sometimes in huge snow drifts.  I don't remember a pick up line but I was never picked up so maybe I just didn't see it.  I lived several blocks from home but walking was what nearly every kid in our neighborhood did.  We all walked together.  Same with 3rd grade in Abilene TX.  The kids walked if they lived close enough (meaning a few blocks).  I don't remember pick up lines there, either, but again since I didn't get picked up I may just not have noticed.

 

5th grade there were definitely pick up lines (5th grade San Antonio, TX).  The school was not located in a neighborhood and there were no sidewalks.  Some industrial, some commercial, some empty fields.  Most parents picked their kids up or had them ride the bus.  I don't know of a single kid that walked.  I do remember seeing the cars in line to get kids.  No idea how long it took.  I rode the bus since my house was a loooooonnnnngggg way from the school.  Definitely not walking distance unless I wanted to get home well after dinner time and again there were no sidewalks along the way so I would have been walking along major roads.

 

It does seem weird to me that there are these long lines but I think maybe in some areas there have probably always been lines.  I think it is more likely today though (although I don't guarantee that and I can't say for sure why I think that).  As for the why, maybe there are a lot of schools being built that are not right in neighborhoods perhaps?  Or the policy has changed on allowing kids to walk?  There have been other reasons mentioned up thread, too.  I wish there were a reliable source that had data on this.  Now I'm interested...

 

The elementary school around the corner from us has long lines now.  It is a nightmare trying to get through if I have to go that direction because there is this massive line of cars weaving through our neighborhood.  Parents are trying to pick up their kids.  I'm wondering if school policy changed and they are no longer allowing kids to walk home.  This school is definitely inside a neighborhood and if they were willing/able to walk a couple of blocks the parents could pick their kids up without waiting in line.  I do know that parents are not allowed to go inside the school to pick up their child or even use the restroom during pick-up/drop off.  You have to remain in your car and a school employee will put the child in your car.  There is busing but only for kids that are outside the 2 mile line.



#52 momacacia

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:28 AM

I'd pay $100 for that, but not to a public school. 😂 I wouldn't be surprised if they get sued over this.

#53 Moxie

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:36 AM

I'd pay $100 for that, but not to a public school. 😂 I wouldn't be surprised if they get sued over this.


Everyone keeps saying 'sue'. On what grounds??
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#54 shawthorne44

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:26 AM

The Fast Pass would bother me because it means that each and every person in line is effected by the wait-time of one car every time this Fast Pass was used.  When an amusement park does that, if it bothers me I stop going (and they know that).   But, a fast pass is not kosher for a public school.  

 

I remember the pick-up line in middle elementary school.   I lived close enough to not be bused, but far enough that my mom arranged for me to be in a car pool.   The moms in the car pool were the PTA, get there early to be at the front, type of people so as a kid I wasn't bothered by it.   There wasn't any of this releasing each kid thing.  Teachers made sure the bus kids got on the right bus.  But, everyone else just walked out.  By late elementary school, I walked.  


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#55 Crimson Wife

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:47 AM

Everyone keeps saying 'sue'. On what grounds??

 

If it's not openly advertised, I would think that there might be civil rights grounds to file a legal complaint.
 



#56 Moxie

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:50 AM

If it's not openly advertised, I would think that there might be civil rights grounds to file a legal complaint.


So, waiting in line violates your civil rights? I'm not sure that will work.
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#57 Tanaqui

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:52 AM

It's not the fact that you're waiting in line. It's the fact that they're giving preferential treatment, not just to people with more money, but to people who nebulously are in the right group.


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#58 happypamama

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:53 AM

I think it makes sense to let some people skip the line. Like, someone whose kid has to get to their chemo appointment by three or whatever. But letting the people who have enough disposable cash buy their way out of the pickup line while the single mom working two jobs has to sit and wait because she can't swing the hundred bucks is icky. I'd have a big problem with that if my child went to a public school that did that.


Yes, this. I have no problem with them auctioning off one or two special spots or something as a fundraiser, but selling enough that it becomes a difference between the haves and have nots is icky to me too. I also have no problem with carpools having some sort of special privilege, but just selling (and secretly!) run of the mill spots to some and not others is very icky to me.
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#59 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:55 AM

It's not the fact that you're waiting in line. It's the fact that they're giving preferential treatment, not just to people with more money, but to people who nebulously are in the right group.

Yeah, that's what would really not make me happy.  It is only for those in the "in" crowd, so not available to the general populous AND they are charging money so that excludes those who don't have the money.  At a public school especially that seems pretty wrong.  I wouldn't sue but I might complain up the chain of command.

 

And how do they handle it?  Are these privileged few that know the right people allowed to hold up the line for other parents while they get their child?  Or do they have a separate place for pick up?  Or pick up early?  Or...?  Logistically I do wonder how this works.


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 18 July 2017 - 09:56 AM.


#60 Moxie

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:57 AM

I can see the school having a few of these special spots for people who come to them with a specific need and I have no problem with that. It would bug me if they were just for random people who were in a certain group.

For those of you bemoaning the pick-up line, I rode the bus home for well over an hour everyday and that sucked. Pick-up, ftw!

#61 Farrar

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:03 AM

Good grief. Reason I'm glad we don't deal with school #3,472.

 

Then again, kids here DO all walk or take public transit. Bus is free for kids with their school ID. Ds uses his to get to ballet for free on the bus.


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#62 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:14 AM

I can see the school having a few of these special spots for people who come to them with a specific need and I have no problem with that. It would bug me if they were just for random people who were in a certain group.

For those of you bemoaning the pick-up line, I rode the bus home for well over an hour everyday and that sucked. Pick-up, ftw!

I agree, if there are special needs/circumstances I have no issue with that and would hope the school would be willing to flex and make that happen.

 

As for a pick up line vs. bus, yeah, most of my bus rides weren't all THAT long but some were really, really long.  I preferred walking home when I could, though.

 

However, there are some circumstances where the bus is definitely better than waiting in the pick up line.  


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#63 reefgazer

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:34 AM

This is obnoxious for a public school.  I suspect it wouldn't stand up to a loud and persistent challenge at a school board meeting.

Is this a thing where you are?

I just found out the local middle school sells a limited number of "fast passes" to bypass the drop off/ pick up line. $100 and there is some kind of list you need to get on. You have to be "in the know" or have connections to be one of the select few.

I am kind of floored this is a thing. On the other hand I am sure I would be trying to get my hands one if I had a kid in the school. The line is insane.

Have you ever heard of this?

 



#64 Mshokie

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:44 AM

When my son went to school, some parents would sit in the pick-up line starting 1.5 hrs before school let out, with the car running the whole time. $100 is probably a bargain compared to the amount of gas they waste in a year of doing that.

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#65 Crimson Wife

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:48 AM

So, waiting in line violates your civil rights? I'm not sure that will work.

 

If the demographics of the fast pass holders do not reflect the demographics of the school, then yes.
 


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#66 teachermom2834

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:53 AM

Yeah, that's what would really not make me happy.  It is only for those in the "in" crowd, so not available to the general populous AND they are charging money so that excludes those who don't have the money.  At a public school especially that seems pretty wrong.  I wouldn't sue but I might complain up the chain of command.
 
And how do they handle it?  Are these privileged few that know the right people allowed to hold up the line for other parents while they get their child?  Or do they have a separate place for pick up?  Or pick up early?  Or...?  Logistically I do wonder how this works.


I am pretty sure they have a pass for a completely different entrance than the commoners.
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#67 luuknam

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:16 PM

Kids were also allowed to play outside at the school before and after school, schools around here don't allow that anymore.

 

Kids here still do. In fact, anybody is allowed to let their kids play at the school playground, before, during, and after school. The school doesn't bus unless the kids live more than 2 miles away, but the line I've seen in the parking lot is less than a dozen cars long, often shorter. The school doesn't dismiss kids to a "pickup line"... they just call them walkers, and if the parents want to pick their "walkers" up in a car, then that's the parents' problem to arrange with their kid where to do that (to be clear, they do not let kindergartners walk home alone, only first graders and up). 

 

They generally even let parents use the bathroom at pickup time. This is not a small school - they've got about 5 classes with 20-30 kids per grade level.

 

Everyone keeps saying 'sue'. On what grounds??

 

 

Keeping my kid hostage? Once school is dismissed, they have no business keeping my kid there until all the kids being picked up in cars are gone and only the walkers are left (talking about Regentrude's example). Realistically, that would be the point where you'd talk to a creative, out-of-the-box thinking lawyer, and see what possibly could work (since I don't know that the hostage thing would work) - maybe you'd have to make it a civil rights case (people who can't afford cars or can't afford being there to pick up their middle schooler would be disproportionately affected, which might mean that certain protected groups are disproportionately affected). Or maybe something I haven't thought of. For the record, the idea is to get the school district to change their rules... you don't necessarily have to win the case to do that. A judge telling the school district that they're being ridiculous might work, or the school deciding that having to hire a lawyer to defend themselves is too expensive might work, or media attention might work... who knows. 

 

BTW, I've never sued anybody or anything... I'm just saying that this nonsense would make me consider it. 


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#68 Rach

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:25 PM

Kids here still do. In fact, anybody is allowed to let their kids play at the school playground, before, during, and after school. The school doesn't bus unless the kids live more than 2 miles away, but the line I've seen in the parking lot is less than a dozen cars long, often shorter. The school doesn't dismiss kids to a "pickup line"... they just call them walkers, and if the parents want to pick their "walkers" up in a car, then that's the parents' problem to arrange with their kid where to do that (to be clear, they do not let kindergartners walk home alone, only first graders and up).

They generally even let parents use the bathroom at pickup time. This is not a small school - they've got about 5 classes with 20-30 kids per grade level.


That's great. Here if kids arrive at school early they have to go to the lunchroom or gym. In elementary walkers have to met by their parents.

The playgrounds in this area are usually open to the public after school hours. Some schools have signs that say after 6:00pm, they usually have after school programs and are near apartments. Two of the three elementary schools and the private school in my current town are fenced off and only for school use. We do have nice city parks so it isn't a huge deal, but the school is walking distance and the park isn't really.

#69 Zinnia

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:12 PM

They generally even let parents use the bathroom at pickup time. This is not a small school - they've got about 5 classes with 20-30 kids per grade.


Where I live, the "small," neighborhood type schools have around 400 kids. My child goes to a 4th-6th magnet with 480.

The next county over has elementary schools that range from 600 to 2000.

#70 Daria

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:15 PM

Where I live, the "small," neighborhood type schools have around 400 kids. My child goes to a 4th-6th magnet with 480.

The next county over has elementary schools that range from 600 to 2000.

 

I'm assuming she means 100 - 150 kids per grade.  So, somewhere between 600 and 900 in an elementary school.  

 

Otherwise, that's a very small school. 


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#71 Zinnia

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:20 PM

I'm assuming she means 100 - 150 kids per grade. So, somewhere between 600 and 900 in an elementary school.

Otherwise, that's a very small school.


Totally read that wrong!
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#72 Daria

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:20 PM

Totally read that wrong!

 

I read it the same way you did, but then changed my mind and decided she must have meant 5 classes per grade.



#73 Janeway

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:39 PM

I'm too cheap. I'll wait :lol:

Actually, our line wasn't too bad... I deliberately came early or late sometimes. Early because dd would nap in the car and I'd get some peace and quiet waiting for school to let out or late because ds wouldn't be organized or quick to get in the car at the speed the line demanded sometimes.

. The car people end up sitting in their cars so long with them running, they likely use the $100 in gas.

#74 Janeway

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:44 PM

Is this a thing where you are?

I just found out the local middle school sells a limited number of "fast passes" to bypass the drop off/ pick up line. $100 and there is some kind of list you need to get on. You have to be "in the know" or have connections to be one of the select few.

I am kind of floored this is a thing. On the other hand I am sure I would be trying to get my hands one if I had a kid in the school. The line is insane.

Have you ever heard of this?

the dollar amount sounds to me to be so low that they only set that amount to claim fundraiser to get away with it. It sounds like a few people started this to help themselves and included only their friends. It should be banned and a decent principal never should have allowed it.
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#75 Mergath

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:02 AM

the dollar amount sounds to me to be so low that they only set that amount to claim fundraiser to get away with it. It sounds like a few people started this to help themselves and included only their friends. It should be banned and a decent principal never should have allowed it.


A hundred bucks per year (or semester?) just for the privilege of picking up your child earlier might be pocket change to you, but for single parents or families living in poverty, that's a good chunk of money.
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#76 Moxie

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:24 AM

the dollar amount sounds to me to be so low that they only set that amount to claim fundraiser to get away with it. It sounds like a few people started this to help themselves and included only their friends. It should be banned and a decent principal never should have allowed it.


Glass half-empty, eh??

Maybe there were a handful of parents with special needs asking for help so the school came up with this fundraiser idea.

#77 dmmetler

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:48 AM

I see what Janeway is saying. In my area, both the public and private schools do tend to do yearly auctions, and things like having a reserved front row seat for 8th grade commencement or a reserved parking space go for a lot. Like thousands of dollars (and tens of thousands aren't unheard of) lot. These sort of things raise a lot of money for the school. Yeah, it's the haves getting extra privileges, but them doing so really does help the students-some of the schools use this money to fund things like salaries for positions the public district has cut (like keeping a school librarian), or to replace playground equipment.

$100 really isn't going to make dent in budget cuts unless there are so many fast passes that practically everyone has one.
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#78 AmandaVT

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:59 AM

Kids here still do. In fact, anybody is allowed to let their kids play at the school playground, before, during, and after school. The school doesn't bus unless the kids live more than 2 miles away, but the line I've seen in the parking lot is less than a dozen cars long, often shorter. The school doesn't dismiss kids to a "pickup line"... they just call them walkers, and if the parents want to pick their "walkers" up in a car, then that's the parents' problem to arrange with their kid where to do that (to be clear, they do not let kindergartners walk home alone, only first graders and up). 

 

They generally even let parents use the bathroom at pickup time. This is not a small school - they've got about 5 classes with 20-30 kids per grade level.

 

 

 

Keeping my kid hostage? Once school is dismissed, they have no business keeping my kid there until all the kids being picked up in cars are gone and only the walkers are left (talking about Regentrude's example). Realistically, that would be the point where you'd talk to a creative, out-of-the-box thinking lawyer, and see what possibly could work (since I don't know that the hostage thing would work) - maybe you'd have to make it a civil rights case (people who can't afford cars or can't afford being there to pick up their middle schooler would be disproportionately affected, which might mean that certain protected groups are disproportionately affected). Or maybe something I haven't thought of. For the record, the idea is to get the school district to change their rules... you don't necessarily have to win the case to do that. A judge telling the school district that they're being ridiculous might work, or the school deciding that having to hire a lawyer to defend themselves is too expensive might work, or media attention might work... who knows. 

 

BTW, I've never sued anybody or anything... I'm just saying that this nonsense would make me consider it. 

 

From what I can tell, it's similar here in VT too. Walkers and bikers leave when school is over. Kids get on the bus and parents pick up as needed. Montpelier has a lot of walkers and bikers, it's a small town and easy to walk/bike everywhere except the outskirts. Busses take the kids that have too long a walk (2 miles I think). 

 

My town is totally different because it's very rural. The elementary school is 20+ min drive from here, down 50mph roads where people regularly drive much faster. Bus routes are long - school gets out at 330 and the bus gets to our street around 5 pm. One of the reasons we homeschool is I don't want to have to drug my very motion sick prone kid every day with Dramamine. Even if we drove him, he would have vomited every day on the way to/from school due to the hilly winding roads. He's starting to outgrow it, but it would have been a disaster in K-1.



#79 Jann in TX

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:42 AM

Experienced 'Drop-off-line Mom' here...

 

When my oldest 2 were in PS (before my homeschool mom days) we lived in a city with local neighborhood schools.  There were 4-5 classes of 20 students per grade (1-5).  Very few students rode a bus-- most were either picked up or walked.  The pick-up line was INSANE-- easy 45 minute wait...  We lived 1/2 mile from the back of the school-- the school had a gate that we could walk to.  I would walk my girls to the gate in the mornings and then wait there after school.  The neighborhood had enforced rules about driving and dropping up/picking up there-- so 'walkers only'.  I was quite the 'mother duck'-- on our way other students would join us and by the time we got to school I'd have 15-20 kids under my wing!  If it was storming or raining hard I would drive the dreaded pick-up line... if it was raining softly we would walk-- my girls LOVED puddle jumping after school!

 

My youngest has always gone to PS. Morning bus pick up for our 'neighborhood' is at 6:30 am (high school starts at 8:20) so I drive the 15 minutes.  We moved to a rural village and only a small handful of students can safely walk (no sidewalks).  The elementary is on a narrow street-- and has very very limited parking-- a well organized pick up line is a must! (I was a volunteer and we had a great system!). On nice days the students could play on the playground (supervised) after school-- I was always one of the last to pick up (dd had extra play time and I did not have to wait in a long line!)  The pick up line at the middle school and high schools are also LONG-- so dd gets to school early and stays late.  She likes this arrangement... now she is in high school she hangs out in the band room --if she doesn't have before or after school practices!



#80 Carrie12345

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:00 AM

I've never really experienced school pick up/drop off lines.  I grew up in small schools where I'd estimate 90% of the students walked or took the bus, leaving maybe a couple dozen getting lifts, so no super special procedures were needed.

 

Here, it's extremely rare to hear about people going to pick their kids up at school.  That said, there are some interesting bus stop drop off/pick up stories that go around!

 

Anyway, selling/auctioning passes sounds *brilliant*, imo.  Way better than crappy wrapping paper or overpriced chocolate!



#81 luuknam

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:02 AM

I'm assuming she means 100 - 150 kids per grade.  So, somewhere between 600 and 900 in an elementary school.  

 

 

Yes... and it's actually elementary and middle school, though since some school closures it's my understanding that the 8th graders now go to high school. So, K-7th grade, I think (not sure if they have PreK... they used to have PreK at one of the schools they closed, so maybe it's PreK-7th grade. so, 8 or 9 grades times 5 classes per grade, times 20 to 30 kids per class, equals up to about 1350 kids (I'm pretty sure almost all the classes are closer to 30 kids than 20, since the school closings). The middle school (now grades 5-7, iirc) does end about half an hour earlier than the elementary school, iirc. 

 

And I agree that $100 for a fast pass is ridiculously cheap if they're going to claim it's a fundraiser. Someone mentioned the pick-up line being 1.5-2 hours long (which is mind-boggling, tbh), so, 2 hours times 180 days = 360 hours in pick-up line per year, means it'd cost 28 cents per hour... even if you make minimum wage it'd be more than worth it to somehow scrape $100 together to not have to spend that much time waiting, since that's an additional 2 hours a day you can work (you can leave the middle schooler home alone during your evening shift). Even at 20 min per day that'd only be $1.67/hour, which is significantly less than you'd make if you make minimum wage (though I wouldn't pay for it if I made minimum wage, unless my employer required me to work at a time that meant I *had* to pick my kid up at dismissal time and not 20 min later). 

 

I'm not surprised at all that at schools where these are auctioned off they can go for thousands of dollars. 



#82 luuknam

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:04 AM

Anyway, selling/auctioning passes sounds *brilliant*, imo.  Way better than crappy wrapping paper or overpriced chocolate!

 

 

:iagree:

 

But, again, not for $100 just for people "in the know"... that's so wrong. 


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#83 J-rap

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:10 AM

That would really bother me.  Unless there is a very good reason, I think it's worth a letter to the editor of the local newspaper.


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#84 WoolySocks

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:35 AM

I haven't read any responses but h*ll to the no!  That is horrible.  Especially if this a public school. 

 

My kid went to PS for 2 years and lived in walking range where it's very cold and icy in the winter so we did a bunch of pick ups.  The setup for picking up at this school was awful.  I would not have been comfortable with this at all.

 

ETA - I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to selling one one in an aucition setting at an open to the public school fundraising event.  One or even 2-3 probably wouldn't really affect others pick ups and I can imagine that could be a good fund raiser for a PTA.  Selling them under the table for $100 which is nothing for some families without a cap would be a huge issue for me.


Edited by WoolySocks, 19 July 2017 - 10:48 AM.


#85 Mabelen

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:59 AM

In the Washington D.C. metro area, all the schools I was familiar with had a drop off and pick up system, which made the process bearable. When we relocated to Southern California, I was in for a surprise. Not only was there no free school bus, there was no drop off or pick up system in place either. Fun! We live within walking distance to our elementary school and we did that for the most part except on drop off days when I had to go straight to work. Our elementary school does auction a few reserved parking spots to the tune of thousands of dollars each, so a great fundraiser for sure. Middle and high schools are not walking distance so we find families to carpool with.

#86 LarlaB

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:09 AM

A charter school near me auctions off 6 prime parking spots....my best friend got one last year for $500. This year all 6 of them sold for $1000+ each. All proceeds go to PTO.

#87 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:14 AM

A charter school near me auctions off 6 prime parking spots....my best friend got one last year for $500. This year all 6 of them sold for $1000+ each. All proceeds go to PTO.

A couple of schools in our area have done something similar in the past.  One actually had a parking space you could pay to name with a plaque and everything.  Highest bidder got to name the space and park in the space for a year.  All to raise money for the school.  I won't debate the merits of this type of auction.  

 

The thing that bugs me about the OPs scenario is that it is only available to a privileged few.  This isn't an auction available to the entire school body, or apparently just to children with special needs, it was made available to an "in" crowd.


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#88 luuknam

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:30 AM

I'm not a fan of people renting parking spaces at school, especially when those people are rarely there. Then and again, I could maybe get on board if the rent were in the 6 figures per year. 



#89 QueenCat

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:51 AM

Glass half-empty, eh??

Maybe there were a handful of parents with special needs asking for help so the school came up with this fundraiser idea.

 

The parents of kids with special needs who need more help or to be picked up quickest should be able to do so at no cost. They shouldn't have to pay for something like that.


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