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Dear Upper School Families,
When the Saratoga campus re-opened last August it was heartwarming to see so many enthusiastic students who were happy to be back at school with their classmates. Students were arriving early to campus then, which gave them plenty of time to check in with their friends, go to their lockers, and then be on their way walking towards classrooms as the 7:50 a.m. warning bell sounded. The students seemed relaxed and ready to start the day organized and prepared, provided they had a sufficient time to transition to the academic day.

Lately, though, it has been disconcerting to see students hurried, sometimes running through traffic, clearly anxious about arriving to classrooms minutes before or sometimes after the final 8 a.m. bell has rung. As any student will tell you, entering the classroom once the teacher has begun teaching is never a good way to begin the day.

So, if your student has been feeling uneasy about arriving late to class, we ask that you consider doing a reset and arrive a little earlier in the morning to allow for a safer and calmer morning transition. By leaving the house just 10 minutes earlier, and dropping off once again between 7:30-7:45 a.m., it may help us return to a less stressful environment by reducing the overall congestion. Heavy traffic loads between 7:50-8 a.m. are challenging for our traffic staff to manage and can lead to these following concerns.
La Terraza and the Marriott
Families are still dropping off at La Terraza and the Marriott. Marriott employees have asked for our help to eliminate this practice. Please help us be good neighbors and do not drop off students on their property.

 

Pedestrian Safety
Drop-offs just inside the entry to the school are increasing. Please refer to our campus maps detailing traffic patterns for information on how best to enter and exit campus and where it is safe to drop off your student. We do not have the staff to monitor the dropping off of students in non-designated areas, and despite our efforts to inform and encourage both students and drivers to make eye contact, many students are still literally running or walking in front of cars that aren’t their parents’, without paying attention. For this reason alone, we ask that you wait until your are further down the driveway when safer access to pedestrian entries are more available.
Saratoga Avenue
Please, please, please do not drop off on Saratoga Avenue. This is a DMV violation and completely unsafe. Please – it is much better for your child to be late for class than to be injured – period. Again, arriving earlier eliminates this worry.
We do feel the need to push the “refresh” button on this topic from time to time. Thank you to everyone in our Harker community who so carefully and patiently negotiates their way to the upper school and supports our efforts to get your children from car to class as safely and expediently as possible. Remember, the doors open for our students at 7 a.m., and perhaps leaving a few minutes earlier may mean less traffic and stress for you as well!

Regards,
Kevin Williamson signature
Kevin Williamson
Upper School Dean of Students
kevin.williamson@harker.org
408.345.9604
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