School Car Line Pick-up: Tips and Tricks

There are so many processes to learn at the start of a new school year, especially if you are a new family. Like what are the school car line pick-up rules?There are so many processes to learn at the start of a new school year, especially if you are a new family.  Like what are the school car line pick-up rules?  Or how do I check my child out of school early?  Or can I come and have lunch with my child?  These and many more are overwhelming for a new parent and make the first few weeks of school very stressful and frustrating.

In steps: the seasoned parents.  These are the parents that have been at your school forever.  Parents who have seen their early, mid and late thirties come and go while their children have been at your school.  These are the experts in being a parent in your school and they can become a whole new level of leadership for the entire school family.

Leadership is an action and to provide people with the opportunity to lead and guide is a true gift.  The parents I described above can become amazing allies to your vision and to the success of the first few weeks of school.  Ask them to help you!  Think about what new parents might need to know and then ask the seasoned ones to help out.

Of course, you are welcome to edit the document or add to it… but in a time of year when you and your staff don’t have the time nor man power to give out tips and tricks to surviving, the book fair or the school car pick-up line or checking out books, a seasoned parent could certain provide you with the first draft on the how to’s.  Keep in mind this also builds community and a school with a sense of community is a school on track to be successful.

I am starting my 11th year at our local elementary school.  Below is my humorous take on tips and tricks for our school car line pick-up, that I shared on our school’s parent Facebook page.


Side Carline Tips:

It is my understanding that the carline route as illustrated on the back of your pickup card… had to be presented and approved by our local Police Department. The route was created to expedite efficiency and maintain respect for the community whose front yards we sit and wait in front of. It is rumored… that citations have been handed out in the past for not following said route. With that said…. here are my side carline tips:

1. Use SR 40…. how ever you have to do that, do it. It is so less stressful to turn right on 4th then trying to turn left across MLK.
2. Leave driveways accessible. Many years ago when I was new to NHJ (like 10 years ago… good grief!) I blocked a driveway… needless to say when the homeowner arrived and couldn’t get in her drive…. she jumped out and gave me quite the ear full. All I could say was that I completely understood, I was very sorry and it would never happen again.
3. Car signs in the front window. When all your children have been delivered to your car…. remove all signs and be prepared to give teachers a thumbs up if they look at you.
4. Pay attention…. no school paper review, no cell phones, no reaching around trying to get all the trash moved so there will be room for your kids. Pay attention… this will speed up our line and keep all our kids safe.
5. Pull all the way forward. The teachers are calling out numbers for the area that they know your car will stop at and your child should be there waiting for you. This is the most effective process I have ever seen and lets us move through the line like Disney…. Move all the way forward.
6. Unlock your doors. I always got caught on this one when I drove a Honda minivan…. because you had to be in park. (total pain in the butt!)
7. Take one of the car pick up slips that came home for additional people to pick up your child and fill one out. At the bottom say that YOUR NAME can pick up your child. AND SIGN IT. Put this in your wallet, just in case you end up in a car that is not yours for some unforeseen reason and you don’t have your car pick up cards. You can present that small form and your Drivers License and they will deliver your kid. Otherwise, if you don’t have that form… you will have to go to the front office, get out of your car, and get your children. (this is a slight loop hole but it works and is within the rules of the pick up line)
8. If you arrive early a battery operated fan that clips on your steering wheel is a good thing.
9. Keep a book in the car, only to read when you are waiting in line.
10. Sometimes if I’m really early…. I jump out and collect all the trash in my car into a Publix bag to throw away when I get home.
11. Wave and smile at the community members who pass you by… can you imagine having hundreds of Suburbans, Tahoe, mini vans and Expeditions fill the streets of your neighborhood twice a day?
13. If you do not want to wait… time it so you are turning onto 4th at 2:17PM. You fly right through… easy peasy….
14. Roll down your front windows as you pass the teacher calling out the names and turn off the radio. That way you know what is going on and can hear everything.
12. Once it is all said and done… put your pick up cards away. (middle console, pocket on the back of the passengers seat.) Please don’t leave them on the dashboard for the whole world to see. Remember it tells everyone your child’s name, their grade and what school they go to. For me that is just too much information.

Lastly, trust the process… this carline is a smooth operating machine. The teachers that are out there have been doing this for years and if we all follow the tips and the route we will be in and out of there in no time FLAT! (unlike a certain middle and high school…. whose names I won’t mention)

BTW….. if you cut in while and I am near by… I will be taking a picture of your car and posting it on facebook with the hashtag ‪#‎nhjcarlinecheaters‬. You have been warned.

Hope this helps…. Teecy


Use your parents and empower them to become leaders in their child’s educational journey.  What tips and tricks do you or could you share with the parents at your school?There are so many processes to learn at the start of a new school year, especially if you are a new family. Like what are the school car line pick-up rules?

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