Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Facilitating Arrival and Dismissal

by Nancy L. Spencer, Head of School
One of the many things that I like about Shorecrest is that we are a learning organization. We make plans and implement them. We assess how things are going and listen to feedback. We evaluate input and decide whether or not to adjust our plan. And then we move forward, always trying to get better at what we do. 

It’s a process that helps us to improve as a school: plan, implement, evaluate, readjust or not, and move forward. This practice has guided our approach to dealing with COVID, assessing our daily schedule and even managing the complexities of carline!

As we have been meeting with new families and during the recent Charger Chats, carline has, in fact, arisen as a topic of animated discussion. There is a sense that dropping off and picking up one’s children this year is more challenging than it has been in the past. 

Although some of this is annual acclimation, there is truth to the fact that we are a larger school this year, with more students enrolled, up to 1,000 students from last year’s 962. In addition, last year at any given time, 15-20% of the student population was enrolled in the Flexible Learning Program. This means that they were learning from home and not involved in the daily carline experience. All told, we have an additional 150+ students each day who are being dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon, with no additional space on campus. 

While we planned for more cars, we clearly can do better. We are taking some additional steps and in return, we ask that drivers increase their level of patience when participating in carline, and also, demonstrate some acts of kindness – letting other cars in and out with a friendly wave, whenever possible. Carline can be a great place to practice our core values of compassion and respect. 

Some changes to carline will be additional people helping to direct traffic at key choke points along the route. We have two lanes moving through campus to facilitate dropping off and exiting, and we will increase signage to make it clear which is the appropriate direction to take. 

While we sent out comprehensive directions about carline at the beginning of the school year, we realized it would be better to send specific directions for each School Division, since we have distinct locations and times for each age group. Detailed documents are forthcoming which will help ease the drop off and pick up process. Having students ready to exit the car will also speed up the process in the morning. 

One of the best parts of my day is waving to families as they drive through carline each morning. I appreciate catching a glimpse into your lives: seeing the dogs that join you in the car, watching the kiss goodbye from your children before they hop out, or more often, hearing the quick “Bye, Mom” or “Bye, Dad” as our Chargers eagerly head off for a few minutes on the playground or to spend time with their friends. 

We want your days to start and end as effortlessly as possible. As with so many other aspects of Shorecrest, we are always looking for ways to get better and increase our sense of community. 

All the best, 

Nancy

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.