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2018-2019 School Year Safety Reminders

9/14/2018 1:41 pm

Dear Parents,

We are off to a great start to our school year and since we have so many new families, the safety committee wanted to send out a few reminders to help keep all of our students safe at drop off and pick up.

If your child is a walker, the safest place to cross the street is the 4-way stop at Huntsman and Sydenstricker. It is well protected by our many safety patrol students and our phenomenal crossing guard Shirley. Please do not park along Sydenstricker in front of the school and then attempt to cross the street without the crosswalk. This impedes traffic tremendously and more importantly is a risk to you and your child. If you are picking up along Huntsman at the door 4 walkway that leads to the Spelman crosswalk, please do not park in the no parking zone. We all have times that we are running late or are in a hurry, but you still can't park here. When you park in the no parking zone, you essentially create a 3rd lane of traffic and cars cresting the hill from Sydenstricker cannot see our smallest students walking in the crosswalk because your car impedes their view. 

For those of you utilizing kiss and ride, we have an unspoken zipper system to allow cars to enter the parking lot. Typical kindness is to allow one car to turn right into the parking lot, then to allow a left turning car into the lot, essentially zippering everyone in at a quicker pace. We are all often in a rush to get to work, but please have patience and take turns. Have your child ready to exit the car as soon as you stop along the sidewalk once you are in the lot. If for any reason you need to exit your vehicle, find a parking space in the lot or wait and pull up to the very first spot in line.

If you see something dangerous, say something immediately. The safety committee has a long standing, cordial relationship with the officers in the traffic division at the West Springfield Police Station. If you see a vehicle being operated in a dangerous manner (speeding, not stopping for the crosswalk) try to get as much of the license plate as you can, while maintaining your own safety, and immediately call it in to the non-emergency number 703-691-2131. Also report it via email  to the safety committee at safety@orangehuntpta.org

Thank you for your patience as we all learn and re-learn the written and unspoken rules of arriving and departing our school safely. Remember it is about the safety of the children.

-OHES PTA Safety Committee

SPELMAN CROSSWALK UPDATE

4/26/2017 1:37 pm

Due to multiple near misses this year at the Spelman and Huntsman crosswalk that leads to door 4, we have found three parents to serve on our Safety Committee. This group has already met with the Winston Knolls Civic Association, the Orange Hunt Estates Civic Association, and the traffic division of the West Springfield Police Department. They look forward to bringing their safety concerns to VDOT and Pat Herrity's office soon.

 

The goal of this committee is to make crossing this section of road safe for our students and parents. You may have noticed changes to this area recently. The crosswalk has been repainted a nice bright white and most days after school you can see Slow Down signs with orange flags at the crosswalk. Our biggest improvement has been the temporary placement of the FCPD flashing pedestrian sign along Huntsman Blvd. Please be aware that the committee has informed the traffic division of the lack of enforcement of the 25 mph speed and the no parking area along Huntsman Blvd immediately before the crosswalk. The officers plan to be out at least once a week from now until the end of the school year writing tickets. Parents who habitually use the no parking zone to pick up and drop off their children will be noted.

 

The ultimate goal of the committee is to get some form of permanent crossing assistance installed at the crosswalk. As of now, we don't know what that will look like. In order to move forward, we need to collect some data about the speed of drivers along Huntsman Blvd. This will require approval from the neighborhood. You may see fellow OHES parents out knocking on your door asking you to sign a petition to conduct a speed study. We encourage you to sign this form if asked. This petition will only allow the committee to move forward with a study of the street. Nothing else. Please contact the committee with any questions or concerns. If you are interested in helping this committee, please contact Keli Jacewitz at kjacewitz@gmail.com. Also, if you see a dangerous situation or are involved in one yourself, please notify the committee so that we can keep track of the types of encounters between pedestrians and cars.