Superintendent Mary Whitrock, middle, speaks with members of the Ripon Common Council, including Ald. Doug Iverson, left, while Principal Tanya Sanderfoot listens.
Superintendent Mary Whitrock, middle, speaks with members of the Ripon Common Council, including Ald. Doug Iverson, left, while Principal Tanya Sanderfoot listens.

   What’s the safest way to get students in and out of Barlow Park Elementary School (BPES)?

   Parents, city and school leaders wrangled with this issue at Monday’s Common Council meeting as they continue to deal with the effects of closing the park drive adjacent to the school for pick-ups and drop-offs.

   The loop at Barlow Park was closed officially last week Thursday after a decision a week earlier by the council to discontinue its use due to safety concerns.

   This led to BPES Principal Tanya Sanderfoot reconfiguring the drop-off and pick-up locations on school grounds to facilitate better traffic flow and to enable parents to continue being able to drop off children near a playground on the back side of the building.

   The changes also led to a crossing guard previously stationed adjacent to the park along Griswold Street to be moved one block east, to the intersection with Newbury. The aim is to urge children to use that street, and not the park, to access the school on foot or bike.

   Is the new plan safer? Is it better? Local leaders and parents disagreed on this concept Monday, with Mayor Gary Will declaring the changes a success, while Superintendent Mary Whitrock suggesting that the added traffic on Newbury was creating the same problem, just in a new area.

Read the full story in the Feb. 28, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.