Bullis-Purissima School takes to the parking lots

Traffic congestion and school parking lots seem to go together -- not at Bullis-Purissima School.

The school's Parent-Teacher Association rallied parents and created a new program, which began in October. It puts parents in the parking lots to ensure smooth traffic flow and safety to students.

Prior to the program, teachers often were given the duty to monitor the parking lots, before and after school.

"Teachers are so overworked already, especially now with the budget cuts and increased class sizes," said parent Doreen Andriacchi. "When our principal, Dave McNulty, asked the teachers how could he help, their number one request was to be relieved of after school parking lot duty."

The PTA sprung into action and came up with the plan of using parent volunteers to monitor traffic, the crosswalks and parking.

"We decided to use 20 teams of two parents each and they always work on the same day of the week," Andriacchi said.

Currently there are about 40 parents volunteering for the program, at half-hour intervals.

"We have one person in charge of the crosswalk holding a stop sign, and two stationed at each end of the parking lot," said PTA Co-President Marion Robertson. "We also try to spot unattneded children in parking lot so no children walk alone, and help people who don't understand the rules of the lot. The big job keep the line moving forward."

The PTA encourages all parents to volunteer and has held special events like an ice cream social for parking valets and their families and even gives away a coveted reserved parking spot for one month to the "Parking Valet of the Month," Robertson added.

Some local town officials have even made stints as "celebrity crossing guards," including Los Altos Police Chief, Don Johnson.

"The spirit of the school, the commitment of the parents and the enthusiams of the staff are second to none," Johnson said.

Los Altos Hills Council membersDean Warshawsky and Breen Kerr have been celebrity crossing guards.

"The celebrity crossing guards are prominent members of our community," Andriacchi said. "The idea behind this is to create more awareness of the parking lot rules, safety and good manors by creating a little excitement."

The program seems to be working.


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