IMPORTANT MESSAGE***

Good Morning,
I have been struggling with the thought of keeping all of us safe,and I need your help. When I came to Phelan Elementary, we immediately changed the parking lot to have cars enter the parking lot as far from the crosswalk as possible. This made it safer, but not as safe as possible. Last week, we had some intoxicated homeless folks scaring students across Phelan Rd in the vacant lot that is private property. We called school police. On Thursday, we had an adult ask a student to get into his car in the private parking lot by the liquor store. We called school police.
Additionally, in the past month/s we have had multiple incidents where students, parents, and staff members have nearly been hit by a car while using the crosswalk. I have been in direct contact  with district officials and we are awaiting direction from the county.
I think it is time that we ask ourselves, "Is it best practice to have some of our students walk across an extremely busy road and get picked up on private property near a pub and a liquor store?" At times, we have kids waiting over there w/o their ride, so they are NOT safe. I fear for the safety of our kids, parents, and staff. It is not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN something bad is going to happen. Furthermore, as mentioned, the lot is private property.The owner will build someday, and we would have to end theaccess anyway.
I am asking that our students be dropped off and picked up on school grounds only - front parking lot and the back gate. We have streamlined the process in the back, and it is much safer than playing "Frogger" and interacting with intoxicated adults acting foolishly. We are trying to end the crosswalk access to Phelan Elementary, but we can stop using the private property and start using school property tomorrow. Please plan with your child and their teacher to be sure our kids arrive to school safe and get home safe. We will adjust procedure/s as needed, but this is long overdue. Pick up and Face to Face will continue in the front and back parking lot. We hope to phase out the crosswalk access after Spring Break. We all can work together to make Phelan Elementary the safest school it can be. I appreciate your support and care for the safety of our Phelan Falcon Family members.
Sincerely,
Mr. Buckley