Congratulations to the 19 members of the Safety Patrol in charge this semester:
- Front row (L-R): Emma Friedman, Elsa Klaas, Freya Klaas, Taylor Wagoner
- Second row (L-R): Brynn Furey, Evelyn Shimborske, Audrey Nixon, Kam Holman, Josiah Jun
- Third row (L-R): Cora Urfer, Nora Weaver, Karis Connelly, Lillian Sturtz
- Back row (L-R): Emily Timmerman, Julia Vicente, Max Peters, Joe Davis, Charlotte Ellingson, Addie Marshall
They are part police officer and part Chick-fil-A drive-thru window worker. They can be quick with a smile or deliver a stern gaze. They are the 39 boys and girls of the Elementary School Safety Patrol.
For the past five years, fourth-grade teacher David Wells has served as the group’s daily supervisor. (Since it’s considered a club at the school, he also is its advisor.)
“They need a police officer mentality when it comes to safety,” Mr. Wells said. “But they also need to be helpful, offer greetings, and show enthusiasm. And smile.”
Barring a last-minute illness or planned absence, the patrol has 19 students during morning and afternoon shifts. The students arrive every day, rain or shine, by 7:40 a.m. and are at their stations by 7:45 a.m. They stay at those stations until the 8:10 bell rings, officially beginning the Elementary School day. (They also have similar duties during the lunch periods, but the shifts are not as long.)
As per tradition, all 39 are sixth graders. Mr. Wells conducted interviews last May to select this year’s team. After the opening meeting in August, the group was split into 2 teams of guards. They will be alternating months on and off duty throughout the year.
Here is the daily deployment schedule: two guards each at Ashborne Place and Manchester Boulevard to direct students across the streets; three each at the grades 3-4 doors (main entrance along Indian Road) and K/2 doors; and two each at the doors serving sixth, fifth, and first grades. In addition, each shift has a captain, co-captain, and a guard posted at drop-off circle.
He added two twists this year. He replaced the yellow shoulder-and-waist belts with yellow vests (easier to spot and wear). And the schedule changes on the first of the month instead of at the end of each trimester. The latter change means more chances to serve different stations and roles, such as captain and co-captain.
To add fun into the otherwise all-work mentality, the group shares meals (donuts at breakfast, pizza at lunch) and takes a year-end spring trip to a Mud Hens baseball game.