Thank you to everyone who attended Wednesday night’s meeting regarding fire safety and car parking. I have included the notes from the meeting at the end of this email. I would ask everyone to take the time to read through them fully. I will not be able to respond to individual emails requesting information already provided in the notes below. If you notice breaches of these guidelines or have a complaint regarding the new parking system there will be a record book stored just inside the entrance in front of Lesley’s office. Please note all concerns here. Please sign your name to the comment but do not include the names of other people (e.g. cars parked on lane way, cars double parking on roundabout).
Meeting re: Fire Safety & School Car parking
Lucan East School Hall – Opened to all parents
1. Due to a breach of fire and safety regulations we have been instructed that our basketball court can no longer be used to facilitate whole school car parking. As this is where children assemble during fire drills, it must be available at all times. There is no alternative assembly point. This is a decision taken by the Board of Management who fully support the staff in their implementation of it. Our hands are tied in this regard and continued use would put us in breach of fire and safety regulations and this is a serious concern.
2. We have engaged with South Dublin County Council and the Department of Education on this matter. The Department are not obliged to provide parking. Members of the board are meeting with local councillors to discuss possible long term solutions to this problem. We will keep you up to date of any developments
3. With this in mind we need to address the drop off and collection of children to and from school every day.
4. To try and provide a possible solution to this very difficult situation we will be using the roundabout as a drop off point in the mornings only. This will strictly be to allow the children out of your car and then the traffic must continue on, absolutely no parking. Otherwise the backlog will become unmanageable. People are requested under no circumstances to park on the roundabout as it will completely block the flow of traffic.
5. There will be separate arrangements made for the families and minders of those children who have specific additional needs. This will be discussed in detail with these parents at a separate meeting. Based on our knowledge of the needs of the children in the school parking permits will be issued. This will involve approximately 15 families. This small number of vehicles will enter the basketball court and park at the very top end in a dedicated area. This will mean that the basketball court can still be used as our fire assembly point for all periods of the day which is what is required. This access will only be allowed until 9:00. From that time onwards the basketball court is an extension of the classrooms.
6. Registered creches will use the drop-off system in the morning. At collection times they will be able to drive in and park in the bus bay area. This will be reviewed after the two weeks.
7. The lane way up to our school is owned by South Dublin County Council and will in the future be used as a site access point to support new development that is scheduled to take place. As such we will not be supporting traffic management on this lane way at any time. It will be up to all parents/guardians to realise that if they park on this lane the flow of traffic will be blocked and this will have huge consequences for safety. Your co-operation with this is fully expected and appreciated. The local community guard has been informed of the new parking arrangements.
8. Mikey will stand at the roundabout encouraging cars to keep moving once the children have exited the cars. He will not be engaging in discussions or listening to complaints regarding the new car parking arrangements.
8. Myself and Niamh will support Mikey with this at the onset only. After that we will have to return to supervising the children. Respect towards all members of the school community is expected at all times. Disrespect will not be tolerated.
9. If the new system becomes unmanageable due to breaches of how the roundabout/lane way is used we will have no option but to close the gates at morning time also. Again, we need to be focused on the safety of all children and if this is jeopardised in any way the gates will remain closed.
10. We have no facilities to support afternoon collection. As such the green gates at the roundabout will be closed to traffic at home time, all pedestrian gates will be opened. Mikey will open the gates to allow permit holders to enter and exit.
12. Please to do not engage in any conflict with any member of the school community regarding this issue. Our hands are completely tied and we understand this new system will take a lot of getting used to. We expect all members of the school community to remain patient and supportive as we trial this new set-up. We would like to try and create a secure system whereby parents do have access to morning drop off that is not in breach of fire and safety regulations. Hopefully, with everybody’s support this will be an effective and efficient system. If it is not working out the board will review with the possibility of the gates being closed to non-permit holders permanently. Please support us with this by being patient and by following very carefully the rules mentioned above. Signage and cones will be out to support this. An initial review will take place after two weeks. If the system continues after the two week trial there will be subsequent reviews on a regular basis. The board may decide to change the new parking arrangements at any stage if it is deemed necessary.
13. Staff are not in a position to discuss issues relating to car parking/traffic jams etc. If you have complaints/observations there will be a record book outside of Lesley’s office. Complaints etc. are to be noted here. Please sign your name to an entries made. Do not use other people’s names when recording incidents.
14. Please be advised that at the moment supervision is provided from 8:25 only by myself, Niamh and Jenny. No supervision is available before this time. Junior Infants will now have the option to line up in the school hall from 8:25 onwards. If you want to bring your child into the classroom as usual this is still an option at the moment.
15. After 4 o’clock people who use the hall for activities can avail of the staff car park.
16. This is a large and difficult undertaking that we have no choice in. We appreciate your support and I know we all want the same thing. For the children’s safety to be at the forefront of all decisions made. This new system will operate on a two week trial basis starting from Monday 8th April. One week before the mid-term and one week after the mid-term. After this the board will hold a review meeting to discuss the safety and long term potential of this plan. It is most definitely a work in progress. Difficulties will arise and it will take a lot of getting used to. The best way of supporting the plan is to use the lane way and drop off for their intended purposes only. This means there is a greater chance of success and will also keep drop off time safe for our children.
17. Please remember to drive slowly on the school premises at all times as there is always children crossing. If any car is not following procedure registration numbers may be noted.
18. In the event that your child is unwell and you have been contacted by the school to collect your child you can drive up and park outside Lesley’s office.
19. Initiatives such as the walking bus and car pooling and strongly encouraged. Such initiatives will not warrant a permit as we do not have the space anymore to accommodate more than a handful of vehicles.
19. People who are not using the system fairly will not be confronted during the two week trial. Rather all breaches will be noted and these will be taken into consideration when the longevity of this plan is reviewed by the board.
Drop Off : Cars can enter the school and drop off children at the roundabout before driving out. Absolutely NO PARKING, except for permit holders.
Collection: There will be NO access to the school at collection times. The green gates at the roundabout will be closed to traffic at these times, all pedestrian gates will be opened. Mikey will open the gates to allow permit holders only to enter and exit.
Respect towards all members of the school community is expected at all times.
This will be reviewed by the Board of Management after 2 weeks.