The first day of school, and the first day of a new drop-off and pick-up configuration at Jackson School, and parents so far are taking a wait and see attitude about the change.
Of the parents we talked to, everybody seems to think the new system will work, but nobody was giving it two thumbs up just yet.
It's only the first day of school, they said.
"This is going to change," said Joe Heath after dropping off his first-grader with his wife, Lisa. "Everybody walking their kids in after parking. It's not drop your kids off and go, right now. It's going to be a little different probably, within this next week."
As an observation: Today wasn't nearly the hectic, frenetic, crowded mess school drop-off seemed to be on a typical day last year.
The goal of the change is first and foremost safety, said Principal Diane Bonarigo.
Jackson School is decades old and built at a time when it was intended to serve just the immediate neighborhood and almost all children walked to school. Now, it serves the whole city, many children are bussed, some are driven by parents and only a few walk. That's created a lot more traffic around the school on streets, and the parking was not initially designed to handle that flow.
The new configuration includes a new driving lane/bus drop-off in front of the school on South Jackson Avenue, instead of behind the school. That parking lot area is now intended for parents to use for drop off and pick up, or children should be taken to the entrance at the corner of the building opposite Max Pies. It's also possible, after the buses are done, for parents to pull into the driveway and drop off kids at the main entrance.
"It is a new system, so it will take us a couple of days to get it running smooth," Bonarigo said.
Rich Schauf, Batavia PD, working at the school this morning, said he thinks the change was a good idea.
"It was a safety issue where people are exiting cars with a lot of traffic, doors are opening, cars are trying to get around, little children are exiting out of vehicles, crossing the street. Now this can all take place, the entering and exiting of cars can all take place in parking lots, which is a lot safer," Schauf said.
The parents we spoke too generally still seemed unsure of where to go or what to do, which door or parking lot or lane way to use, and felt other parents were unsure as well, but also said they believe the confusion will work itself out and everything will settle into a reliable, predictable pattern.
"Yeah, it's safer, probably, but I feel it's going to take quite awhile to get all the kinks worked out," Doug Fisher said. "It's been my experience whenever they hurry up and change something without the proper notification it seems like it takes half of the school year to get all the kinks fixed, but then it runs smoothly."