EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Students in the largest school corporation in the Tri-State will be heading back to class for the first time in months Wednesday.
School leaders say they’re preparing for the challenges ahead, but they’re not the only ones getting ready, so are law enforcement.
Schools tell 14 News that many of their parents are choosing to drive their students to school this year, instead of putting them on a bus.
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office says one deputy is being placed in front of each school in the county for the first week of school.
The Sheriff’s Office is anticipating a change in traffic patterns and congested roadways this year, especially with the ongoing pandemic.
Deputies say that Oak Hill Elementary, Cynthia Heights, and Resurrection Catholic School has lots of congestion issues every year.
Deputies will be looking for people who are speeding, who don’t have children properly buckled in, and most importantly - distracted drivers.
The Sheriff’s Office suggests making a plan now to prepare for the added traffic in your area.
“The traffic patterns will change because as we drive without school, you don’t have buses, you don’t have extra cars, you have maybe up to 20,000 students commuting to school every day either by bus or by their parents,” Sheriff Dave Wedding said. “That’s a lot more vehicles and buses on the roads. If you live way out in the county and the buses are on a long stretch of road, and you get behind one, sometimes people get agitated because they’re stopping every so many houses, picking up a student. So you might want to alter your route to and from work each day if you know you’re going at a time when a bus may be in or around your neighborhood.”
From what we have seen so far with our back to school coverage of other schools is that traffic backs up quickly and goes into many main roadways.
“They’re just going to work. They’re not even thinking about schools opening, that sort of thing. So not only are we there to be visible but maybe bring awareness and stop some cars and allow people to figure out that school’s back in session,” Sgt. Nick Winsett with the Evansville Police Department said.
A good way to avoid this is to make an alternate plan ahead of time and set an alarm for that first day of school as a reminder to yourself.
Students will be returning by their last name for the first few days of classes.
School leaders say students with the last names “A” through “J” will go back on August 19-21.
Then students with the last names “K” through “Z” will return August 24-26.
Leaders say all students will attend school beginning August 27.