Two long-standing issues at ISD are traffic and parking. When the land was purchased and the school was built 30 years ago, no one envisioned the city or the school growing to what they are today. The road leading to school from the Corniche is a public road and we have limited control over it. Over the years, we have paid to keep the road in good condition and create the parking spaces. The increase in the number of students and teachers in recent years has increased demand for the available parking spaces on the road outside of the school.
We have tried to acquire more land to create a second road entrance to the school and increase the number of parking spaces. Seven years ago, the school explored the possibility of purchasing the land between the school and Oukam Road. At the time, the land was divided into different plots and owned by multiple people. Currently, the ownership of the property is in dispute, which has complicated our ability to come to an agreement. We have inquired about the availability of land next to our campus along the Corniche. We have communicated with the owners of the land and hope to meet soon. Please know that the school continues to search for solutions for the challenges facing our community in the world of parking and traffic.
Moving forward, we will be utilizing a number of strategies to improve the traffic and parking situation around the school.
1. Pilot Busing Service: Starting in late September or early October, the school will offer point-to-point busing service. Based on parent interest, the school will identify a site where the bus will collect the students in the morning and drive them to school. In the afternoon, the bus will return the students to the site, where the parents will collect their children.
There will be a fee for this service between $200 and $250 per month per child. The final fee will be based on the number of students who participate in the service. The school will look to expand the service to include transportation after student activities if there is sufficient interest.
Later this week, we will send out a form for interested parents to complete if they are participating in the busing service. Once we have an idea of the demand, we will select the transportation company with the goal of starting the busing service by early October.
2. Pick Up and Drop Off: Currently, during the afternoon pick-ups, parents or drivers of elementary students have to park outside the campus and then come in to collect the children. We are going to pilot a new pick-up system. Parents will be asked to register for the pick-up system indicating who is allowed to pick-up the children. The family will be issued a family number on a placard. The card will be placed on the dashboard of the car. When the car enters the campus, in the afternoon, an ISD staff member will communicate the family number with staff at the gate. The students will be waiting at the gate when the car arrives. This will eliminate the need for drivers or parents to find a parking spot and hopefully speed up the dismissal. Parents will be invited to register for this service later this week.
Additionally, the school will be increasing the security to the Corniche to help parents and students who park in this area. We are also requesting additional support from the Gendarme to help with traffic control in the morning and afternoon and help people who are crossing the road on foot.
3. A few additional reminders to help parents avoid waiting in traffic:
Students can be dropped off at 7:30 am. There is supervision for the younger students. The traffic starts to get really backed up around 7:45 am.
The traffic in the afternoon is mostly gone by 3:45 pm. Parents of secondary school students are encouraged to wait until this time to come to campus. The students are allowed to remain on campus unsupervised and enjoy hanging out with their friends.