We have van pick up service from the Healey School on Mondays through Fridays and from the Brown School on half day Wednesdays and Fridays. These vans are owned and operated by our collaborating afterschool program, Kesher. All funds we collect from van service go to the Kesher program to pay for the van slots. We run walking school buses from the Argenziano School and the Kennedy School every day.
Please note that as of the first day of afterschool the available van slots for regular afterschool on Monday through Friday are now taken. Limited slots for half day Wednesdays are still available. There is still space on all the walking school buses.
If you are interested in arranging carpool(s) to/from any of our programs, including afterschool, join the carpooling list, below. This is a low-volume mailing list with the dedicated purpose of arranging carpools and rides. If you’re looking for a ride, or have extra space in a car, please consider posting to the list!
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Parts and Crafts Afterschool Transportation Parent Information and Instructions.
Parts and Crafts Afterschool Transportation Parent Information and Instructions.
We are excited to offer many transportation options for Parts and Crafts families this year. We’ll be working closely with the Kesher afterschool program, as their staff will be handling most of the van service. We will also be running walking school buses to the Kennedy and the Argenziano.
There many moving parts to make the operation run smoothly and your clear and timely communication is a vitally important piece of this puzzle.
Please let us know when your child will not be picked up as scheduled. Even if you called your child in sick to school, we don’t have access to this information unless we go to the office and ask, and at some schools that is actually quite complicated and time-consuming to do.
Please email email@example.com before 2pm on any day your child is scheduled to be picked up, but will not be there.
Obviously the first week is a little chaotic and we expect to be chasing a few kids down as everyone learns where they need to be and when, but after that we’d like things to go as smoothly as possible. At the Healey & the Brown especially, kids are tempted to go play on the playground/basketball court instead of waiting for the van. Emphasize to them that this may lead to them getting left behind!
In the event of a transportation-related emergency, please call 617 207 8016, the Parts and Crafts main phone line. If your child has a cell phone, put this Parts and Crafts number in their phone, so they can call us in the event of a miscommunication or delay.
Walking school bus behavior is pretty simple – kids should be where they are supposed to be for pick up, walk with the picker-upper (ie. try not to dawdle or run ahead) and not fight with other kids. Sometimes a walking school bus will take a few minutes at a playground or park on the way to let kids run around, but kids should be ready to wrap that up and come to Parts and Crafts when it’s time. The most important thing about the walking school bus is that kids cannot “take off” from the walking school bus, even if they intend to end up at Parts and Crafts eventually. Kids who repeatedly run away from the picker upper will not be able to take the walking school bus.
It is very difficult for the van driver to monitor kids behavior while driving a large van around the busy streets of Somerville. Speaking from personal experience, needing to repeatedly check the rear view mirror to monitor behavior creates an environment where a road accident feels much more likely. The van driver needs to be able to concentrate on driving the van!
Therefore, van behavior needs to be more rigidly controlled. Lots of kids who are perfectly great in the more open environment of Parts and Crafts sometimes struggle with riding on the van safely, so it’s important that parents emphasize how important following these rules are. As I used to say to the kids “Parts and Crafts doesn’t really start until we get off the van.”
The rules of the van are:
No hitting/punching/poking of other kids (even in play)
No excessive shrieking/yelling
Kids must wear their seat belts, remain seated, and face forward in the van
Absolutely no throwing things
No doing other distracting things like: banging on the metal sides of the van, repeatedly opening and closing windows, playing loud music or games on handheld media devices, etc.
What the driver says goes! If the driver tells you to stop doing something, stop doing it!
Repeated infractions of these rules can and will result in temporary suspensions from van-riding privileges. If it becomes clear that a kid simply cannot control his/her behavior enough to ride in the van safely, we will no longer be able to provide van transportation. We don’t want to have to do that!
Please note that as of this year, this is a $3.50 per ride charge for the van.
Parts and Crafts Afterschool School Specific Pick up Instructions
The Argenziano walking school bus.
The Argenziano walking school bus meets in the Argenziano school office. The school administrator knows that our kids will collect there and be picked up by Parts and Crafts, but she doesn’t necessarily have a detailed list of who is coming with us on each day, so it’s important that kids & their teachers know the drill. Older kids can simply make their way to the office. Younger kids can join the “bus kids line” and walk down to the office with the kids who are getting on the bus by the front door.
If you have concerns about your child’s ability to get themselves to the right place at the right time, please let me know. I am happy to provide names of other kids who attend on the same day so they know who to look for. For the first few pick ups, Halley, who does the pick up, will wear or carry something to identify her as a member of Parts and Crafts staff. Generally speaking, once we get through the first week of walking school buses, everyone knows that they are doing.
We have a list of each kid we’re supposed to have and we will make sure to track them down, especially the first few weeks, when things can get a bit chaotic.
The Kennedy School Walking School Bus
The Kennedy walking school bus meets on the Elm Street sidewalk, by the stairs to the backyard playground. Various staff members do this pick up. On the first day the picker-upper will be wearing or carrying something to indicate that they are from Parts and Crafts. If you have concerns about your child’s ability to make it to this spot, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work on it.
Healey Van Pick up
The waiting spot for the van is the benches on the Meachum Street side of the Healey school. Younger kids are released out that door and older kids can walk around from the other side. Dina will not be driving the van most days this year but the vans themselves are the same, so kids should wait there and keep a look out for the one of the two Kesher vans. Please remind your kids not to go onto the playground! Somerville Public school’s pick up time is 2:35 for all schools, so depending on the given van schedule, it is very likely that the van will NOT be there precisely at 2:35. But some days the Healey is the first stop and the van will be there at 2:35. Kids should go to the meeting spot immediately after being released from their classroom and wait, though we know sometimes they’d rather be hanging out on the playground, they do not seem to notice the van from there and must be fetched individually.
Brown School Van pick up (Fridays & half-day Wednesdays only!):
Brown School kids meet in the office and the driver calls the office to have them let out. Towards the end of last year, however, the office started releasing them to hang out outside on the Willow Street side. This is fine, but only if they wait by the school steps and do not disappear into the group of kids on the ball court! Van drivers are not supposed to leave kids unattended on the van, so this puts them in a difficult position that could lead to a kid getting left behind. Please emphasize to your kids that they must wait where they can see the van and the van can see them if they are waiting outside.
There will be some “drop-in” transportation slots on half-day Wednesdays, however they are not guaranteed without prior registration for our half-day program. If you’d like your kid to attend a half day and need them picked up, please email email@example.com to check if there is room. On half-day Wednesdays all transportation will run at noon, when schools get out.