Scarsdale Middle School adopts new, easier dismissal protocol

Scarsdale Middle School has begun a new program that parents use to keep the school up to date when a student will leave the building.

Scarsdale Middle School implemented a new online dismissal system May 22 which parents use to keep the school up to date when a student will leave the building.

The school sent an email about the new program, aptly called School Dismissal Manager, to parents of middle school children on May 17, with a username, temporary password for each parent and a list of seven “fast facts” to know before enrolling in the program. The list included where to find answers to questions, where to find the login information and how the program itself works.

School Dismissal Manager can be accessed on any web browser on a phone or computer, but parents can also download the app to their phones.

Parents with children in the lower grades may already be familiar with this system since it has been used in Scarsdale’s elementary schools since September 2017. Depending on the elementary school, parents coming into the middle school will have already been using this program for a year or two. Since the parents have used this for elementary school children, SMS Assistant Principal Lawrence Chatzinoff said, “This has made for a smooth implementation so far.”

The process may be a little different, however, since parents have to include their child’s house name, or in the case of Choice House a parent would use the child’s original house instead. An aspect of pickups that will not change is that students still needs to sign out when they leave the building and they must be picked up at the upper circle.

“The SMS PTA is looking forward to the new system,” SMS PTA president Vanessa Stoffels said. “We also appreciate starting programs such as this one in the spring so parents can get accustomed to it before the start of a new school year.”

Before the new program was in place, parents would have to call, email or send a note to the student’s house office. Chatzinoff described the old dismissal format, saying, “The house secretary would input the information into a Google form that populated a Google Spreadsheet. Prior to leaving the building, our security monitor would check to make sure the student’s name was on the Google spreadsheet.”

Jean Leddy, a parent whose son now attends Scarsdale High School, expressed excitement that this School Dismissal Manager was being implemented, although her child does not attend the school anymore. Leddy described the old dismissal program as “archaic.”

“Most times when calling in for an early dismissal or absence it felt like judgment was passed for keeping kids home,” said Leddy.

With School Dismissal Manager, “The parent inputs the information in dismissal manager [website] and the information appears on a report that the security monitor checks prior to the student leaving the building,” Chatzinoff said. “The Dismissal Manager system streamlines the early dismissal record keeping process and the absence reporting process at the middle school. It also enhances communication between the community and the school.”

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