Busing and Pick Up/Drop Off Information
Busing Q & A
The safety of our students at pick up and drop off times, as well as on our buses, is first and foremost as we develop practices that meet the needs of the DaVinci Academy families. We will strive to fine tune those procedures in order to safely and efficiently transport an increased number of students beginning in 2017.
Our current Blaine location offers many challenges at drop off and pick up time and some families find it easier to take advantage of the four bus routes we offer instead of driving to the school. We encourage this practice and hope that these guidelines will help you choose your method of transportation to and from the school.
The bus safety guidelines are included in the document below.
Note: Click the + in each section to expand the information
- Coon Rapids
- East Bethel
- Ham Lake
- Lino Lakes
- Spring Lake Park
Much time is given to the creation of these satellite stops in order to accommodate as many families as possible while keeping the bus routes to a maximum of an hour in length. Satellite stops are ideally located in places where parking is available for parents who are waiting for the bus, eg. churches, parks or stores. They are meant to be used by multiple families.
Families may choose to use whichever stop is most convenient for them, but are required to let the school know which stop they intend to use for the school year. This is done at registration time through the Silent Dismissal program.
They will be published by the beginning of August. Families with concerns about a stop should contact the school directly. However, once the school year begins, routes and stops will only be adjusted at the discretion of the administration for the following reasons:
- Safety and traffic concerns regarding the location of a stop
- Stops that are not being utilized by families
- Elimination of a stop by the parties who own the property on which the stop is located.
- Other qualifying circumstances as determined by the school and Kottke’s.
Bus stops for the 2017-18 school year will be planned in the early summer in anticipation of the move to the Ham Lake school site. Family requests will be taken into consideration at that time and stops will be established based on the number of students in the area.
How do I register my child to ride the school bus? DaVinci Academy families MUST complete the registration process on Silent Dismissal before students will be permitted to ride the school bus and parents who pick up will also need to register in order to ensure that transportation changes made mid year can be communicated to the office.
Families will be given information regarding the sign up process at Open House night on Thursday, August 4th and will be required to complete the process before school begins on Tuesday, August 9th. Returning families may use the same numbers and account that they used last year.
The website for Silent Dismissal is http://davinci.sdcs28.com/ and can be accessed as soon as parents have received their family number. Returning families can use the same number and account they have used previously but will need to update their information for the new school year. This is also the site that is used if families need to make explicit changes in their transportation plans for the day.
Document Coming Soon.
Please give DaVinci Academy notice that you are doing so, and change your preferences on the Silent Dismissal system.
Why do I have to register my transportation plans on Silent Dismissal? Because of the complexity of managing transportation schedules for over 400 students, we use the Silent Dismissal program which allows parents to change transportation plans as it is necessary and ensures that the information gets to the school and the teachers in time for dismissal.
Changes to a child’s dismissal plans can be made up until 2:45 p.m. each day and it is critical that parents keep their Silent Dismissal settings current. Students will be dismissed using the instructions given by Silent Dismissal, so if the setting is inaccurate the student will not get to where they are supposed to be going.
Neither the front office nor the teachers will be making adjustments to dismissal plans over the phone or email, as it is the parent’s responsibility to keep Silent Dismissal settings current. You can always call the office for help in how to manage that program at 763-754-6577.
The end of the day at DaVinci Academy is a very busy time and communications from the main office to classrooms are not easily made. It is for this reason that the change deadline of 2:45 p.m. must be kept. If the main office does not receive the change in transportation plans through the Silent Dismissal program by the deadline, the school will follow the student’s normal dismissal routine listed.
Of course, in the event of an emergency we will do everything we can to ensure the plan changes get to the students in time for dismissal.
What happens if I miss my child's afternoon stop? If parents miss their child’s afternoon bus and have not signed the release that allows the student to remain at the stop to wait, the student will continue riding the bus through the end of the route while the bus company or the school contacts the parents.
Parents then have the option of either catching the bus at a later stop along the route, or picking up their child at the school. Any student remaining on the bus at the end of the route will be brought back to the school to wait for pick-up. All students must be picked up immediately upon school drop off as there currently is no after-care program. Parents may contact the Kottke’s dispatch office directly if they missed their child’s stop (763-450-3100 opt. 1). Calling the school’s main office is also appropriate (763-754-6577); however, the office closes daily at 4:30 p.m..
**Parents who routinely miss their child’s afternoon drop-off may lose busing privileges for the remainder of the school year.
Please also factor an additional 10-20 minutes into bus times during the first 3 weeks of school. It is normal and expected for buses to be running late for the first few weeks as drivers learn their routes and students, families, and the school settles into a routine. Families are advised to arrive at their stops at the normally scheduled time and asked to wait the additional 15-20 minutes if needed. Arriving late may cause you to miss the bus if it is on schedule.
If a bus is running extremely late, DaVinci Academy will alert parents via email, text, or phone call through our automated system as soon as possible. Parents should make sure their contact information and preferences are current using the Infinite Campus Parent Portal in order to receive these important messages. That link can be found on our website at www.davincicharterschool.org.
DaVinci Academy’s main office opens at 7:15 AM and some bus routes begin earlier. If parents are concerned that their bus is running late, or that they missed their bus before the main office is open, they may call Kottke’s dispatch office directly at 763-755-3100 Option 1.
Buses cannot wait longer or it will make them late for the rest of the route. If students miss their morning bus, their parents are responsible for transporting them to school. The bus will not loop back to pick up students who missed the bus. Students arriving late to school because they missed the bus will be recorded as having an unexcused tardy.
Due to fuel costs, traffic considerations, mileage, etc., it is not possible for DaVinci Academy to reverse the routes in the afternoon.
Pick Up and Drop Off Q & A
Parents should stay in line to go around to the back of the building for student drop off. Students may only be dropped off on the sidewalk so that they do not cross the parking lot to enter the building. The sidewalk starts by the basketball hoops.
There will be an administrator directing traffic at the front of the building. He/She may wave you into the front bus lane for a quick drop off if no buses are in the lane or on the way.
There will be an administrator at each door who can help with unloading if a child needs it. We encourage parents to help their children become independent for this important transition into the school.
Mornings can be a stressful time of day for parents and students, so the more smoothly the drop off process goes, the happier all of our days begin. Please be conscientious of the others in car line with you and SHOW SPARK.
Please DO NOT park at Aldi’s and walk across the flow of traffic. This creates a dangerous situation for drivers and walkers and it is often difficult to see people in the morning sunshine.
Often there are students at recess up until the end of the day. There is a cone showing parents where to stop in order to keep the playground safe from moving cars for students. At 3:00 p.m. a teacher will come out and remove the cone (or parents can move forward when the students are in the school) and line up along the sidewalk all the way up to the dumpsters.
Teachers will be outside putting your Silent Dismissal family numbers into an IPad or phone in order to call students to the back of the school for pick up. Please make sure that your family number is easily seen by the teacher. Students may not get into your car until you are at least to the farthest basketball hoop from the door and MUST enter on the passenger side of the car. That ensures that all students have a sidewalk to safely get to your car and that they don’t enter traffic to open a car door.
Parents are asked to wait in line until their child is able to get into the car and not pass around cars that are loading.
As with the morning drop off please:
- Patiently wait for your turn,
- Do not exit the vehicle
- And SHOW SPARK.
You will need to tell the front office your family number so that your child can see their name displayed in their classroom and come to meet you.
You will also need to make sure your Silent Dismissal preferences reflect a “Carpool” setting which mean that you will be picking up your child.
Students walk past the front office to get to the buses out the front door. Parents waiting at the front creates a bottle neck. Please stay in the pick up line around the back of the school for pick up unless it is absolutely necessary for you to come into the school.