Welcome back, everyone!
Please download and view the attached welcome letter regarding the school valet (aka stop, drop, go) program during the morning commute. It contains guidelines and a very crude map of streets adjoining Starr King. Also attached is a school bus schedule.
Starr King, as you know, is located on very busy and steep streets. In the coming years, we will have the added challenge of major road construction as Potrero Hill is being rebuilt. For example, this week, parts of 25th St (between Dakota and Connecticut) will be closed for repaving. See https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e8e486_8fdb5afa6b464f098f5c8b162192ce76.pdf.
Construction aside, the school's regular morning traffic activities make traffic safety a challenge. We encourage you to explore these options:
1. Carpool. SFUSD endorses KidCarpool (https://www.kidcarpool.com), an iphone and Android app that puts you in touch with families with similar commutes. SK families last year have had success with the app. But if you're not comfortable providing info to a VC-accelerated third party app with no apparent monetization platform, our own Rita Hao has set up a google form to link you with other SK families living in your zipcode. Go here to sign up: https://goo.gl/forms/iH32RpbnbFmGJre63
2. School bus. Did you know SK has a school bus with stops in the Mission, Bernal, Bayview, SOMA, and even Treasure Island? Attached is the school bus schedule for pickup and drop-off, but many families (like mine) only do the AM pickup. You can sign up at http://www.sfusd.edu/en/transportation/transportation-enrollment-form.html.
Since I don't know of any child who was not allowed on the bus because his/her parents did not sign them up, don't let failing to sign up stop you from taking the bus. It's a big bus and never full in the morning. Most stops are at or near other SFUSD schools, so you can even drive your kids to a bus stop on a flat urban street near Philz Coffee and Wise Sons rather than up the hill to SK and ruin your gas mileage. You also get to know awesome and interesting parents while you pleasantly wait for the bus, rather than quietly fume at another parent for cutting you off as both of you try to make a U-turn at a four-way stop on Wisconsin St.
3. School valet. Guidelines are simple. Between 8:15 and 8:40, drop your kid off at the designated area on the NE corner of Wisconsin (near Coral), where the traffic cones are lined up. Follow the volunteer parent's signal to pull forward or stop. Let the parent volunteer open and close your child's car door. Do not get out of your car, other vehicles are waiting behind you. Watch for pedestrians and drive away, hopefully not a u-turn on busy Wisconsin St, and know that your child and his/her classmates in the cars behind you will all be safely at school. But this program only works if we all pitch in. Due to our schedules, Suzy and I will not be able to valet as often as we did last year. So sign up here and sign up often: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qBJYKgsl8TLRUQn0PbpFQwM1qwMW0ZI-LKae4yjqcH4/edit#gid=2058992426
You will notice that I split most of the weeks of this semester by grade. Hopefully, this will ensure that the valet responsibilities will be equally distributed. But if you're available at any of the dates, please sign up for whatever dates you are able. It's also a great way to meet SK families. And check out their sweet rides. Like that Mazda 5 with the third row.
4. Uber for Kids. There are a number of services that provides ride-sharing for kids. I can't vouch for any of these uber-strange(ly enticing) services. But if this is something you're comfortable with, the following ride-sharing services are available in SF: ridezum, kango, and hopskipdrive. Pricing seems to be around $7-8 per ride if coming from across town, and maybe less if there is a pool of kids being transported.
5. Walking school bus. Last but not least, if you live nearby Starr King, or prefer parking your car and spending some quality AM time with your child, consider walking a few blocks. Your calves will be pumped, and it's a great workout. There is even a walking school bus from Potrero Annex through the Rec Center. Here's the route, I believe, but I do not know the schedule. I know that some parents do volunteer to escort, so please chime in if you have more info. https://www.sfcta.org/potrero-pedestrian-safety-and-walking-school-bus-project-ntip-capital
Here's to another adventurous school year!