U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Kingston Elementary and Old Donation School as the No. 1 elementary and middle schools in Virginia. Old Donation School, which has students in grades two through eight and is the home of the Edward E. Brickell Academy for Advanced Academics & Arts, was also ranked as the No. 2 elementary school in the state.
There are many benefits and some challenges being a citywide school. We have over 1300 students, traveling across the city making some protocols more restrictive than a neighborhood school. We understand that many of our students are so busy that parent drop-off and pick-up results in as many as 200 vehicles through our loop daily, both in the morning and again in the afternoon.
With the school day underway, the office staff begins processing the transportation changes at 10:30 a.m. organizing 70-100 adjustments per day.
We sincerely appreciate your work with us in every aspect of school, including this Transportation Policy.
- Written or online notes must be submitted by 10:30 a.m. on the day of the change only. Notes do not carry over to additional or future dates.
- Transportation changes and elementary students staying for afterschool activities will not be processed by phone, email, fax, or communication to teachers or staff.
- Each child has one routine way of how they get home. Any day your child deviates from the routine, a note is required. Weekly and/or monthly schedule changes or staying for clubs with the expectation that staff remember to remind the child(ren) are not feasible. If your child’s routine is to ride the bus but parent pick-up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a note is required each Tuesday and Thursday. If your child’s routine is to ride the bus and needs to be parent pickup but no note was submitted by 10:30 a.m., you may pick up your child in the lobby no later than 3:20 p.m. (On early dismissal days at 12:44 p.m., lobby pick-up is 12:20 p.m.)
- Early dismissal in the lobby ends at precisely 3:20 p.m. Exceptions to these deadlines will not be accommodated.
- There are no walk-ups for parent drop-off or pick-up. All students dropped off at school in any manner other than the school bus are to be brought through the car drop-off line.
- Doors open at 8:25 a.m. when staff is here to keep them safe. There is no drop-off prior to 8:25 a.m.
- Once you enter the front loop for morning drop-off, your child(ren) must be ready. Families who wait to finalize organization, finish breakfast, write notes, or have long good-byes delay the drop-off process.
- Spaces in the front loop are reserved for visits of 15 minutes or less. Cars may not line up for afternoon pick-up until 3:35.
- School dismisses at 3:44 p.m. Any parent picking up a child in the car pick-up line must be in the line by 3:44 p.m. Parents who arrive late for pick-up keep staff from afterschool commitments, including tutoring. The size of our staff is more limited than at a neighborhood school (e.g., fewer assistants, support staff members and teachers who are not directly supervising students throughout dismissal).
- Valid reasons for early pick-up do not include avoiding the parent pick-up line or getting to an after-school event (sports, clubs and activities). Each time a child is called out of a class for early release, it disrupts the learning environment. Keep in mind that instruction at ODS goes until the end of the day.
It is our honor and privilege to educate your child(ren) and in doing so, their safety is our utmost priority. The safety plan, including the Transportation Policy, puts the well-being of students, staff, and parents as the top priority.
In morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up, all cars are to line up along Ferry Plantation Road coming from Witchduck Road only. Follow all posted signs including leaving two car lengths on either edge of the corner of Ferry Plantation and Honeygrove Roads. Kindly refrain from turning left onto Honeygrove Road from Ferry Plantation Road. In the event another parent does not follow the rules, cuts you off, endangers others, or otherwise fails to adhere to posted signs, contact our School Resource Officer.
A Note: School Entrance
There are several parking spaces at the main entrance (see locations of green arrows on map). These spots are reserved for visits lasting no more than 15 minutes (e.g., child pick-up, visit clinic, note to the office). Parking (anywhere there is a green arrow on map above) during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up is not allowed per school safety guidelines.
Student drop-off and pick-up at Old Donation School: If anyone drives your child to school in the morning or picks them up in the afternoon, please ensure that the driver knows and follows ODS routines for drop-off and pick-up. Please be aware that any departure from routines, posted signs, or staff directions poses a safety risk to students and staff.
- Students may not be dropped off until 8:25 AM.
- There is not a walking or biking zone at ODS, but email Mrs. Meyerholz if you want a path considered.
- All vehicles must enter the line, marked by green arrows entering from Ferry Plantation Road, to drop-off in the morning or pick-up in the afternoon.
- There is no walk-up drop-off or pick-up, even on the first day of school. Students may not be dropped off from the parking lot or street under any circumstances.
- Staff members in the drop-off line will assist students, so parents are asked to remain in their vehicle.
- Vehicles may not turn left from Ferry Plantation onto Honeygrove Road.
- Vehicles in the line turning right from Ferry Plantation onto Honeygrove Road must leave two car lengths on either side of the corner. Follow posted signs. Blocking the view of cars coming down Honeygrove Road turning left or right or crossing Ferry Plantation is a significant safety hazard and violates posted traffic signs. The police will issue tickets.
- Do not block any intersection or entrance into or out of the school. This includes the bus loop.
- While in line on the street (Ferry Plantation and Honeygrove Road), please keep your car as far to the right as possible to allow traffic to flow unimpeded.
- Carpools would be most helpful in minimizing the number of cars in the pick-up and drop off loops. Please consider teaming up with other families for drop off and pickup.
- Please be sure your child is ready to exit the vehicle as you enter the school loop. Finishing breakfast, packing up, and writing notes delay students exiting the vehicle, thus slowing everyone’s travels.
- Avoid distracted driving practices, including mobile phone usage. The loop is a busy place, and everyone’s focus on safety is necessary, so consider the loop a phone-free zone.
- As students are getting in cars at parent pick-up, buses are loading simultaneously. Once dismissal processes begins, we cannot safely remove a child from a bus.
- Stay focused and look where you are driving. Too often drivers turn their eyes off the road to address matters in the backseat. Staff, students, and other vehicles are around you.
- There is no passing of cars during the morning drop-off. While we ask that students depart the vehicle on the curb side, there are a handful of situations where a child exists the car from the driver’s side.