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Morning Car Rider Rules

by Jim Lord, volunteer parent

(This is a little tongue in cheek. But just a little.)

These rules are in place to keep your child safe, everyone else’s child safe, teachers and volunteers safe, and to get approximately 350 cars through the line in the 30 minutes we have allotted. It takes right at 2 minutes to do one “pass”. That means we need 24 cars to go through in every pass in order to make it work in time. Our line will fit between 22 to 25 cars, depending on the type and amount of space between each one. You see the issue. Math…

We have two parts of the line:

  • The approach -  The entrance off of Riverwood Farms that goes southbound, where the school is on your driver’s side. This is where you prepare to exit.
  • The drop-off  - The part directly in front of the school after you’ve made the u-turn and are headed north. The school is now on your passenger side. This is when kids exit.

The first rule of the car line is that it’s my line.  I own it. I take the responsibility very seriously and I will guard your child’s life like a papa bear. You want to own it? Park and join us.

The second first rule of the car line is stay off of your phones, whether texting or calling, for the entire 2 minutes you will be in the drop-off lane. Yes, even after you’ve dropped your child off. Children are unpredictable, and someone may dart out after a windblown paper – or a bug. A parent in front of you may suddenly realize their child forgot their backpack in the car and stop.  While we are terribly concerned about your car, we’re more concerned about the children’s safety and getting them into the school on time. You’ve just ruined that option for many children by having a wreck in my line. Heaven forbid that wreck includes someone’s kid. While you’re at it, you might want to stay off texting/calling in the approach line as well, but that’s all about you and your insurance company.

Use the approach lane wisely. Feel free to use any or all of the following phrases while in the approach lane so that your child is prepared to quickly get out of the car in the drop-off lane.

  • “Honey, go ahead and get your backpack on.”
  • “Finish up that breakfast burrito.”
  • “I said please put your shoes back on. We’re at the school.”
  • “Here are the papers I should have signed and put in your backpack last night, but forgot until we were running out the door. And here is your pencil back.”
  • “Do you have your lunch box?”
  • “Do you know where you are going after school today?”
  • “Everything zipped up and ready to go?”
  • “I love you! Can’t wait to hear about your day!”

Note that with the exception of the last one, these lines are not the kinds of things we say after stopping in the drop-off line. It’s too late at that point. It needs to be; pull up, stop, door opens, “I love you! Can’t wait to hear about your day!”, child(ren) exit(s), door closes, car leaves.

If you are the front car, pull all the way up to where you are directed. This may be all the way up to the stop sign after the curve back to the approach lane.  Don’t be “that guy” who stops at the front door so your child doesn’t have to walk. The rest of this pass is on your shoulders; make us proud.

If you are not the front car, pull all the way up to the car in front of you. Don’t leave a half-car gap. Your 3rd grader will tell you that 10 half-car gaps equals 5 full car lengths.  If they appear to not be following this rule with regard to the car in front of them and they begin to stop, give them time. Someone will hopefully direct them forward, and then you can continue on behind them. Do not try to take advantage of this slowdown to quickly let little Suzy out. The cars behind you, that can’t see that big gap ahead, will start to release their children, and we’ve just messed up that pass.

If you arrive early and are the very first pass in the drop-off lane, DO NOT let your child out until 7:45. Hopefully that will align with the exact moment our cadre of teachers and volunteers exits the building like the slow motion astronaut walk in The Right Stuff.  You may see students known as “walkers” walking up the sidewalk and standing at the door. Ideally, they are supposed to arrive at 7:45 also. But this isn’t about them. This is about us.  If you let your child out, there are no staff or volunteers to supervise their exit. You now pull around because the person in front of you didn’t have their child exit. The car in front of them starts to pull around as well. Some cars follow the rules, others don’t. Gaps are created in the line. Other people try to pull past the parked cars to take their own place further up in the line. It takes two more passes to finally correct everything and get back to perfection.  Just please wait.

When you pull up to the appropriate place, and you no longer see teachers waving their arms like dysfunctional robots, it’s time for your child to do the exit thing discussed earlier. Don’t wait to get closer.  If you don’t let out, and cars behind you let out, when you finally do stop, they will be forced to go around you. Then you will all have to re-merge before turning right. It’s not pretty and can lead to heart rate increases all around.  If you arrive at your drop-off point and some catastrophe has occurred (chocolate milk explosion, separation anxiety for either or both of you, can’t find the backpack – DIDYOULEAVEITATTHEHOUSEAGAIN?!?!?! – , whatever) then go ahead and pull forward, and you might even have to park. Please refrain from doing this unless absolutely necessary (see the following section about parking in front of the school.)

Do not park in front of the school. Just don’t.  If you park in front of the school, then you’ll have to back out. In order to back out, you will probably need to get into the center lane where we are trying to fill the drop-off line with cars. If you interrupt my flow, some kids aren’t going to make it into the school on time.   If you need to park (with the extremely rare exception from above) you should use the lot on the side of the school. Instead of u-turning from the approach lane to the drop-off lane, continue straight through to the side lot. If there are cones, you may either drive around them, ask someone there to move them, or get out and move them yourself. Please do not run over them.

Have your child exit the car themselves, on the passenger side. This might mean rearranging your normal seating arrangement in your car. We don’t want kids exiting the driver side, where cars sometimes decide to go around, and we don’t want parents exiting, assisting kids, getting back in cars, all while the cars behind them have properly ejected their children and are contemplating pulling around. No good comes from this.

Also, don’t wait for a teacher/volunteer to open your child’s door. We often do, for the cars directly in front of us, because we’re nice.  But not that nice.  Just nice enough for the car right in front of us.  Today might be your day. Might be tomorrow.  But seriously, we don’t have the time or volunteers to open every door.  If for some reason, your child locks are on, please roll a window down and signal for help, and we will be happy to do so. If your child is old enough, please consider taking the child lock off. It may help to practice the gathering of backpacks, saying goodbyes, and exiting the car (with the requisite closing of the door) at home.  If you drive a two-door, and your child is in the back seat, consider using the time when make that last stop in the approach lane to have them climb into the front seat.

Check the weather. It rains. Please – either get a small umbrella for your child, have a plastic bag or parka, or let them know that they need water to grow into the beautiful flowers that they are. We can’t walk every child down the sidewalk, but we often will try if we can. Our first responsibility is to the kids getting out of cars safely.  Whatever you do, please don’t stop short so your child doesn’t have to walk in the rain. If just 10 people decide to do that, the last cars won’t be able to drop off their children until around 8:40. Those parents will be late to work. Imagine how you’d feel if other people did that to you just so their child would get “less wet.”

If you pull in after 8:15, by the universal time on all of our phones, not the the never-ever-correct tower clock, you will need to park and sign your child in. If you’re in the line at 8:15, we usually let that go. If there’s a line in the approach at 8:15, and we see you pull up at 8:16, you still have to park and sign in. We are letting the people in front of you drop off because they were here on time, but were the recipients of someone else not caring enough to follow the rules. Don’t get mad at us for you being late. We’ve been late, too. We parked and signed our child in.

Now, a few personal observations as a 5-yr parent volunteer:

Please don’t roll your window down and yell at your child all the way down the sidewalk. It kills them. The most embarrassing thing you could do to a child in front of friends. And, you’ve ruined any chance of learning for most of the morning.

Be just a little patient with the person in front of you. Often, if you will wait about 10 more seconds, they will be on their way and you won’t need to go around them.

Be kind to the staff and volunteers. Be kinder and join in once in a while.

We’re all just trying to get our kids to school and get ourselves to work. Let’s work together.

Get off your dang phone. You’re threatening “my kids.”

 

Good News!

Riverwood Elementary received 1st money for Junior Achievement. Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that brings the real world to students through hands-on curriculum delivered by a trained classroom volunteer.

Riverwood has been awarded a Blended Learning Grant! The grant will provide every Riverwood student with a tablet or laptop device to use both at home and at school. We are so excited that we were selected to pilot this innovative approach to learning. More details to come!

Riverwood’s sign project received 2nd Place in the Memphis City Beautiful Contest.

Riverwood has been selected for the Aetna teaching garden grant. The grant will provide our students with a vegetable and herb garden.

Current Volunteer List

Please check the list below. If you are not on it, please click here to add your information. Note that it will not automatically update. We have to download from one online form and upload to another in our newsletter setup. Thank you. If each spouse has a different contact information and different volunteer abilities, please enter each one.

* I only included the first part of your email to confirm which person is entered for anyone who shares a name with another parent.

First Name Last Name Email*…
Ikran Abdull Ahi yasmin…
La Quita Ajanaku newaja…
Vicki Allen vickia…
Coretta Allen csalle…
Toni Anderson toni.a…
Christina Andrews cha256…
DeAnna Austin brantn…
Bevin Baddorf baddor…
Jamie Baddorf jamie@…
Melody Bailey melody…
Mieshia Bailey mieshi…
Joi Bailey phifer…
Tyrie Bailey tyrieb…
Mary Balsano mary.a…
Julie Barnum tnchic…
Brandi Bcai wanoen…
Anna Beasley annabe…
Kenya M Berry kmberr…
Kathnin Binch katiel…
Amanda Bishop crunki…
Tracy Black sonict…
John & Lessle Blaie liones…
Rita Blake ritabl…
Wendy Boothe wendy0…
Shuna Boyd sb2003…
Kamella Bright kamell…
Jerelyn E Brinson j.brin…
Riley Brown brownr…
Renita & Anson Bryant aadeso…
Yolanda Bury sevapp…
Ashley Canady ashley…
Jene Card cardje…
Kitzy Carr khcarr…
Angela Carter adcart…
Jamie Carter jamiec…
Patricia Chapman pchapm…
Cindy Chavez marioc…
Roxana Chilin roxych…
Rena Hamler Clark rbabyg…
Kelly Clement kboswe…
Calandra Cleveland caland…
Le Toya Mc Clinton letoya…
Magen Coleman colema…
Nicohl Collier bryant…
Rosalyn Collins collin…
Gabrielle Collins gabrie…
Theresa Colmon theres…
Yasmin Cooper yasmin…
Rebecca Crucifixio bcruci…
Leopoldo Cruz lcruz1…
Emily Cunningham emily.…
Malika Dahir malika…
Ray dahmer rldahm…
Liesl Danley lddanl…
Georgia Dent beange…
Houleymatou Diallo dhoule…
Rosa Diaz patriz…
Kristen Dietel kdiete…
Kayte Dillon kayte.…
A J Dixon audrey…
Lanita Dobbins lanita…
jill Dyson jdyson…
Patrick Ellis patjel…
Tina Ellis tinara…
Melanu Farmer melanu…
Tk Fayne tkfayn…
Christina Ferguson christ…
Dorimar Ferrer natura…
Afrika Florence afrika…
Tionae Futch tionae…
Patriccia Liliana Gallegos pgalle…
Kerry Garrick klgarr…
Shalonda Gatewood gatewo…
Samah Ghazawneh nanamo…
Denise Gladney dgladn…
Emarita Gonzalez emerit…
Amy Gordon tn2tws…
Kelly Goss kelly.…
Cynthia Grommet cgromm…
Karen Gross moodyb…
Roslyn Hailey roslyn…
Mary Hale ramela…
Angelica Hamlett hamlet…
Elizabeth Harper emnaha…
Jason & Brandi Harris bmwhar…
Larissa Harrison harris…
Amie Hartsfield amieha…
Erika Harvey Erikal…
Kimberly Hawkins kimhaw…
Kaitlyn Headd Kheadd…
Caryn Heaslet carynh…
Jessica Heath jjheat…
Michael Heim heimwi…
Melissa Heim meliss…
Felicity Hemingway fehem1…
Gennie Henry ghenry…
Shawne Hernandez shawne…
Melanie Herndon msmela…
Ramon Herrera herrer…
Sheree Hester sjhest…
Lashanna Hicks hicksl…
Zasmonique Hines mszas@…
Adelle Hixon day adelle…
Becky Hobson beckyh…
Kristin Holloway kristi…
Sankedra Clay Hudson sanked…
Zhamya Islamova islamo…
Angelique Jackson angelj…
Tamile Jackson tchani…
Tamara James tamara…
Holly James well.n…
Srinivasa Jayaram sriniv…
Terence Johnson terenc…
Terri Johnson terrij…
Leonard Johnson tnajoh…
Erika Jones erikap…
Stephanie Jones stormy…
Reneka Jones Hughes rsjone…
Ashley Jordan a_jord…
Najat Khdiev najat0…
Tameka Killebrew tmkill…
Karen King kingki…
Vinh La vinh_l…
Lynette Lamb lynett…
Annette Lane mrs.do…
Ildeponso Laquindanum imlaqu…
Sherese Leavy mrslea…
Marcia Lee mrsmar…
Crystal LeJune juliet…
Terri Lenox lenoxt…
Allena Lipscomb lenani…
Derica Little littde…
Cynthia Lopez lopezc…
Jim Lord jimlor…
Corian Love-Puryear corian…
Cynthia Mukete Lyonga mc.ya@…
Courtney mabry mscjs1…
Lakshmam Mahadevan lmdeva…
Bekebe Mako bmmako…
Dan Malone dmalon…
Fatima Marshall fatima…
Karen Martin kgmart…
Vincent & Dorcas Martin vincen…
Diana Mc Daniel lilmom…
Seth McCaskill sethmc…
Tiffany Mcgowan tiffan…
Ofelia Medina yessen…
Dakota Meikle dakota…
La Toya Melton Dalson latoya…
Catarica Middleton cdrodg…
Shabnam Minhas shabna…
Lakisha Mitchell kisham…
Iris Moore moore.…
Sheri Morris sherie…
Pamela Mosley pamela…
Angela Myers angela…
Jean Myrtil jmyrti…
Tirini Nering nering…
Karen Norris knorri…
April Oehl aprilo…
Joseph Okello jokell…
Chassity Oliver chassi…
Mayno Onleqa mauro9…
Marinda Owens rindas…
Angel Owens angel_…
Paresh Patel hemi_1…
Ed Patrosso emp11@…
LaToya Payne latoya…
Tonya Pearce tonyah…
Judith Pereira puerto…
Divyasri Ponturu dpotnu…
Kathleen Poole qm1029…
Ebony Porter ebonyp…
Deepa Pradeep adepan…
Cladeeca Presley cd_797…
Cheryl Preston cheryl…
Enelyn Pringle Alexander epring…
Lakesha Pruitt lprlov…
Anthony Quinn apaviq…
Renee Ramirez reknee…
Deshanna Raynor raynor…
Mariena Richard mricha…
April Roberts robert…
Shenell Robinson srobin…
Maria A Rodriguez ceyan1…
Karen Rodriguez k11270…
Lahaunda Rodriguez lashau…
Lashaunda Rodriguez lashau…
Gregory & carletta Rogers carlet…
Rosalba Romero alba.c…
Sharon E Ross mrssha…
Jessica Rozell jessic…
Tara Ruffin tsruff…
Brandy Russell b_rand…
Ruth Salvador runosa…
Haynee Sanchez lisset…
Boronicc Sauza joshua…
Leslie L. Sawyer sawyer…
Valerie Schranz vschra…
Sherrye Scott 1elvsr…
Jennifer Scroggs jennif…
Adreean Shanklin msbell…
Sarika Shukla sarika…
JoAnnette Sierra lightb…
Ashley Simmins ashley…
Monica Smith monica…
Melanie Smith macsba…
Carlvana Smith scarlv…
Erin Smithhart esmith…
Courtney Smith-Williams courtn…
Casey Spellz casboy…
Janet Spencer janet_…
Yolanda Spinks briean…
Amber Stanley astanl…
Synelsha Stopher Synels…
Jervon & Natashia Stuart Jervon…
Hans Suhultz hansau…
Danielle Sullins daniel…
Kealoha Taylor hulaha…
Chassidy Taylor taylor…
Melodie Terwilliger mrterw…
Arielle Tillman a_till…
Venetia Tomlin veneti…
Mari Townsend mari_p…
Tierra Tracy tierra…
Tamar Trexler-Wood t_trex…
Yiju Tseng linda5…
Sharon Turner turner…
Wendy Turner wendyw…
Maribel Villarreal marivi…
Tonya Wachenschwanz tonyaw…
Jennifer Wakefield jenw21…
Kamika Wall kamika…
Tiffany Walton tmypig…
Jonathan & Tierra Ware wareti…
Alisha Warren alisha…
Terrance & Carla Watson watson…
Berenice Welson bereni…
Jennifer Weske jweske…
Rita White whiter…
Jennifer White jlpw38…
Kristy White mskjwh…
Mary A White mwhite…
Russell Wild wildho…
Carlena Williams carlen…
Felicia Wilson felici…
Christin Winford christ…
Christy Wintr jws329…
Michael Wolverton michae…
Lisa Wong troutq…
Erica Yeary-Rocha erica.…
Tracy Young tracyy…
Jacky Zanders mrsjac…

Submit your Volunteer Form

First, please check to see if you are already on our list here.

If not, please submit this form ONE TIME per person. Note that it will not automatically update the other page. We have to download it from this form and upload it to our newsletter software. Thank you!

Notes from 8/13 & 8/15 Parent Orientation

PTO

If you weren’t aware, we are not doing memberships and dues this year. As parents and teachers, you are “All In”! Meeting with Principal White, we wanted more focus on volunteering and not who was “in” or “out”.

Please give us an hour or two this year, and if you can give more, please do. We are entering your volunteer forms and will be emailing you depending on which things you selected.

We are gladly taking donations, we have some donation packages, and we do anticipate doing a fundraiser in October/November and possibly a carnival in the Spring.

We are also attempting a uniform exchange this year. If you have gently used items from last year, or during this year, please donate them to the school. We will have a few times where you can come in and shop for your sizes, and we’ll also donate to the school’s clothes closet.

You can purchase apparel items and donate online now at riverwoodpto.org. Items will be delivered to your child’s classroom within two days.

Finally, if you are interested in a board or leadership position, or heading up volunteer groups, we will be having a meeting Thursday, the 22st at from 6 pm to 7 pm here at the school. If you cannot make it, but are interested, please email Jim at riverwoodelempto@gmail.com

Join us on facebook or twitter to keep up to date with Riverwood goings on.

Car Line

Briefly, if you drop your child off or pick them up, please get one of these sheets and follow the directions on it.

The line to drop off starts at 7:30, when the doors open. There is virtually no wait from 7:30 to 7:45.

“Late after 8!” They must be in the building, not “in the line by 8” If you pull up at 8:00 and 1 second, you will need to park in a space and sign your child in at the front office.  Please do not park in the fire lane, or you may be ticketed.

Harding Academy on Macon starts at 8 and ends at 3. Consider using the Dexter entrance to avoid the Macon intersection bottleneck. All cars must enter via the Riverwood Farms Parkway entrance unless you have a tag showing permission from the office. The bus entrance is for buses, faculty and SPED students.

Please get in line like everyone else. Trying to drive past a line to break in only creates issues.  If an officer is present, it might create more.

If you are dropping off for Eagles Nest, please do not use the fire lane. 1) it is a fire lane. 2) It then pins you in and confuses people as to where they should be pulling up.

Please pull ALL THE WAY UP to the car in front of you. If you are the front car, pull ALL THE WAY UP to the front of the line.

Have your children ready to exit before you make the turn into the lane. There is no time to wait for your child to gather their belongings and say goodbyes while cars are waiting behind you.

Finally – please carpool if you can!

We have to work as a team to get everyone in the building on time. Go Eagles.

Riverwood is Mobile!

phoneappOne of the benefits of the MCS/SCS merger is that Shelby County Schools has a great app for iOS and Android.

The school calendar is available on the app. There are ways to integrate it onto your phone. If you have good directions as to how to do this, email them to jimlord@me.com and I’ll update this page.

The app also allows you to get instant alerts from the school or Shelby County in the event of an emergency.

To install:

iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.)

  • Go to the App Store
  • Search for “Shelby County Schools”
  • Pull up the Shelby County Schools app and install it
  • Open the app. It will ask if you want it to send you push notifications. If you would like alerts from SCS to pop up on your phone, select “Yes”, “OK”, or “Allow”
  • Swipe to the second screen and click the “Calendar” icon
  • Tap “Change” in the upper right of the screen.
  • Tap the Calendar icon on the bottom right of the screen
  • A screen should show that says “no calendars set up. Select a calendar by clicking the gear icon in the upper right” or something like that. Do that. Click the gear.
  • Scroll down to Riverwood Elementary and click the “>” beside it.
  • When the screen comes up, click the circle to the left of “Riverwood Optional”. It should now be a checkmark.
  • Done. Click “Back”.
  • Now

Android

  • Go to the Google Play Store
  • Search for “Shelby County Schools”
  • Pull up the Shelby County Schools app and install it
  • Open the app.
  • Swipe to the second screen
  • Tap “Calendar”
  • Tap your phone’s “More” key. This often looks like a sheet of paper with two lines on it.
  • Change to “Integrated Calendar View”
  • Tap the upper right icon (with three lines and three bars)
  • You should see “Setup Calendars”. Yes, that should be “Set up calendars”.
  • Scroll down to find “Riverwood Elementary” and tap it.
  • When the option pulls up with a checkbox beside “Riverwood Optional”, make sure it is checked.

This “should” now show all of the school’s calendar entries in your own calendar. You may need to tweak this process depending on your phone.

How to order prepack supplies – due by EOB 7/12!

Prepack orders MUST be in by the end of the business day Friday, July 12!

There will be some prepacks available at registration but they will be on a first-com first-served basis.

  • Go to http://bpiskinner.com/Pre-packs.html
  • Click the shopping cart in the upper left
  • Use “parent” and “parent” for the username and password.
  • Click “School Kits” from the left side.
  • Click “Riverwood Elementary”
  • Click “Add to Cart” for the grades you need.
  • Either click “Go there now” from the little popup or click the price next to “Cart: ” on the top bar.
  • *** Don’t forget to click “Add Line Note” under each pack and put your child’s name in that space.***
  • *** Do not just put your child’s name in the “Notes” block. Please read the above line and be sure to follow it (thank you).***
  • On the Shipping Information, replace their information with your billing information
  • Fill in the credit card information (and the billing information again) and you should be done!

Volunteer Opportunities – Please Help!

Hi everyone!  We have some excellent opportunities for you to give your time and support to Riverwood this year. Once we organize the volunteer forms from registration, you will be contacted by someone organizing that particular group. Thanks for giving your time!

Ongoing Fundraisers

Stay tuned here for all of the “ongoing” fundraisers that occur all year.

TARGET REDcard - Take Charge of Education Program

Reward Riverwood Elementary!

When parents, teachers, and other school supporters use the REDcard Target donates up to 1% of their purchases to the eligible K-12 school you designate.

Have a REDcard? Click here to register Riverwood as your designated school

No REDcard? Click here to apply

Trash for Cash

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle!

The Riverwood Elementary PTA takes part in many activities that earn money to support our programs for the school or get supplies without spending money. We cannot do it without YOU. This list briefly describes some of different ways that you can help. Just by saving pop tabs, box tops, and other household trash, you are helping us use our Trash for Cash! Please ask your family, friends and neighbors to help too!

Box Tops for Education(www.boxtops4education.com)

Cut out the “box tops” logo from participating products like General Mills, Ziploc®, Kleenex®, Avery® labels and Huggies®. If you can bring them to school in bags of 50 or on collection sheets of 10, 25, or 50, it is a HUGEhelp. Please watch the expiration dates. Also, if you go to the Box Tops website and sign up to receive their newsletter, Riverwood Elementary gets extra points!

Pop Tab-a-Palooza

Save your aluminum can pop tops and turn them in to the school any time. We will save them up for the annual “Pop Tab Palooza”.  These benefit the Ronald McDonald House!