Bringing Clarity to Staggered Dismissal Times


One measure NHS is currently taking to stem the traffic bottleneck has been a staggered dismissal that has some students waiting longer than others.

James Brooks, Reporter

WOODBURY — Students schoolwide have expressed confusion toward the long wait in the classroom to get called for dismissal. At 2:05 p.m. every day, students hear an announcement calling student drivers to be dismissed; five minutes later, the office calls Wave 1 buses, and then five minutes after that, they call for parent pickups and Wave 2 buses, and everyone clears out.

Before COVID ensued, students were able to go and wait for the buses outside in fresh air. Now it’s the opposite: Students are asked to sit in a room and are not allowed to leave until their bus wave is called. 

Throughout the day students have multiple mask breaks in classes due to the fact that breathing is restrained with the face masks worn for safety. These mask breaks are the only time students get to breathe without any complications and enjoy fresh air. With only a couple of 10-minute mask breaks daily, should students be forced to stay inside with a mask on any longer than necessary? 

While the vast majority of students are asked to stay in class until 2:15 p.m., student drivers are dismissed first in order to ease the traffic leaving campus. Some students believe it is unfair that the student drivers get to leave earlier than everyone else. Although some see it is unfair that student drivers get to go first, there is a reason for it.

“We have a staggered dismissal to best manage the amount of traffic exiting school grounds at the end of school,” principal Pam Sordi stated. “There are three ways students get transported from the school; student drivers, buses, and parents pick up.”

A staggered dismissal is also focused on addressing a primary flaw with campus: there is only a single exit for all traffic.

“By dismissing student drivers first, it gives them the opportunity for them to leave school grounds before the first wave of buses moves out,” Sordi added. “We then move out Wave 1 buses and call for Wave 2 students and parent pickups. The next group to move out are students picked up by their parents. Finally the second wave buses move out. The stagger dismissal makes for less bottlenecking at our one exit.”