LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Parents whose children normally ride the bus to school may now be driving them due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We do have more parents, this year, picking up their children than in times past,” said Nikita Mumphrey, the principal at Longview ISD’s Bramlette Elementary.
The school is crediting the extra parent pick-ups to COVID-19 concerns.
“Parents are wanting to do everything they can to ensure their children are safe when they’re bringing them to school and picking them up,” said Mumphrey. “So, we expected that of the parents.”
“Its actually better for [the kids],” said Leticia Ramirez, a parent picking up her son. “Its healthier for them, it avoids any COVID-19 around."
Planning for more parents to be picking up students, administrators made adjustments to how their pick-ups worked.
“To ensure it did run more smoothly, we did create separation more with our students, so they could get out quicker — more readily — to get to their vehicles,” said Mumphrey. “We also added additional staff to our duty roster. I have a few more staff that will be out, that’ll be a part of the car pick-up, so we can ensure we can get the students inside their vehicle safely and quickly.”
Using walkie-talkies, school employees coordinate which parents are in the pick-up line and send out those children in order.
“By the time you get down here, your kid is out and ready to go,” said Anthony Sanders, a parent picking up his daughter. “From the emails, even before school started, I knew what was going to go on; how everything was going to work.”
“The parent pick-up and drop off has been faster, it’s been very speedy and easier,” said Ramirez. “I didn’t really wait in line, I didn’t wait much at all. Its quick and easy and safe. Everybody is being safe, wearing a mask and gloves, but its better off parent pick-up.
Parents remain in the car and school staff walk the children to each vehicle.
Mumphrey said since they expected more parents, they planned their pick-up routine out early, sent instructions to all parents, and had teachers ready, so the first day would go smoothly.