Saturday, January 19, 2019

Marco Island Police Seek A Safe “Back To School” For Area Children

Chief Don Hunter and School Resource Officer Al Schettino would like everyone to take a few moments and consider the following important safety information pertinent to the upcoming school year.

The Marco Island Police Department is seeking to make the transition back to school a safe one for the students of Tommie Barfield Elementary (TBE), Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS),Marco Island Academy Charter High School (MIACHS), Market Place Mission Learning Center, Island Montessori Academy and all other private pre-schools and educational intuitions. Residential streets surrounding the schools become increasingly congested during the mornings and afternoons (typical times for arrival and dismissal). Creating an organized pattern – a southern corridor for TBE and a northern corridor for MICMS; the process for drop-off and pick-up facilitates a safer and easier process for parents, students, school officials and officers. It is important to follow the direction of law enforcement personnel, Police Crossing Guards and school employees, and to follow all traffic and parking laws. Finally it is critical to be alert, paying close attention for students in the area or traveling to school.

The Marco Island Police Crossing Guard will be assigned to the crosswalk in the vicinity of Cushing Lane on San Marco Road, and as available, Police Officers will patrol the intersections of Trinidad Avenue and Jamaica Road at the intersection of Bayport Avenue and Jamaica Road. Together, we can keep our children safe. Please review the tips below for: picking up and dropping off students; driving tips; and student safety tips forgetting to school.

Tips for Parents Picking up and Dropping off Students:

  • Parents picking up or dropping off their child at TBE should arrive at the front of school, using the following preferred streets: San Marco Road, Cushing Lane, Templewood Court, Tahiti Road and Bermuda Road.
  • Parents picking up or dropping off their child at MICMS, should arrive at the front of school using the following preferred streets: Trinidad Avenue, Kirkwood Avenue, Bayport Avenue and Jamaica Road.

Note: Jamaica Road, between Bayport Avenue and Trinidad Avenue should be avoided.

A NEW consideration:

Parents picking up and dropping off their children at Marco Island Academy Charter High School located at 1450 Winterberry Drive should enter the parking lot from the Auburndale Ave side (back of the building) working their way through the parking lot to the front of the building off of Winterberry Drive.

Tips to remember when behind the wheel driving:

  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits. Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day.
  • Watch for children walking or biking to school when backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage.
  • Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop.
  • Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Avoid texting or talking on your cell phone while driving, especially in a school zone.
  • Buckle up all children under 4 years old and weighing less than 40 pounds. Make sure the child is properly buckled up in a weight appropriate child safety seat in the back seat. Children, ages 4 to 8, weighing over 40 pounds and measuring four feet nine inches or less should ride in a booster seat.
  • Remind Children about Safety Tips for Getting to School.
  • Ensure your children who walk to school, learn and practice the safety rules for pedestrians.
  • Ensure your children always cross at crosswalks; obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and crossing guards, school employees and law enforcement personnel.
  • Ensure your children learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus and riding the bus.
  • Never allow your children to wait for the school bus in the roadway.
  • Ensure your children wear light or bright colored clothing, some of the Marco Island School buses will be making stops prior to sunrise.
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. All children under sixteen years of age must wear a helmet when riding a bike, per Florida Statute.

Note: The Marco Island Police Department Crossing Guard position is currently vacant. The Department is interviewing for the vacancy at this time, however in the interim; a Marco Island Police Officer will assume the crossing guards responsibilities at the San Marco crossing.

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