Message to Jefferson Elem. Parents/Guardians from VCPS Superintendent Josh Johnson: Central Ave. Street Improvement Projects

By: 
Josh Johnson
Staff Writer

Jefferson Parents and Guardians,
As you all know we are in the midst of several street improvement projects happening here in Valley City. Unfortunately, several of those projects have been delayed, including a street project that will impact our Jefferson Elementary School in the next 4-6 weeks. On August 14th, we were informed that this project will lead to street closures on Central Avenue near Jefferson Elementary. Our response to this information is to create a plan that will ensure the safety of all students and also accommodate the access needed for busing, student dropoff/pickup, and staff parking. Please know that we are fully committed to ensuring the safety of our students throughout the duration of this project. Here are a few steps that will be taken to improve student safety before and after school;
- Increase the number of supervisors in the student pickup/dropoff areas.
- Paint lines and lanes for the Hanna Field Parking Lot for pickup/dropoffs.
- Limit access to areas on the north side of school to allow for a safe walk to and from the school bus.
- Increase presence of VC Police patrolling the area around Jefferson Elementary.
- Addition of signs, markers,etc..to help guide traffic and reduce frustration during construction

Phase I Street Project- August 21st-30th
Beginning next week thru Friday, August 30th, the first phase of this street project will begin. We have attached a map that details the area of Central Avenue that will be under construction. Vehicles will be unable to drive south on Central Avenue between the entrance to Hanna Field to the intersection of 9th Street. This will become a short one-way for those vehicles traveling north of 9th Street. We will allow parking on Central Avenue on the east side of the road (only during Phase I). This is the area that has been our bus lane during normal circumstances.

Phase II Street Project- September 3rd until completed
After the Labor Day weekend, the second phase of this street project will begin and completely close the road between the entrance of Hanna Field and 12th Street. No Vehicles will be able to travel in this area until the project is completed. Please see the attached map for the details of this project.

Jefferson Elementary Contingency Plan During Street Construction
In an effort to create a consistent plan for our students for the first 4-6 weeks of school, we will be implementing the following beginning on the first day of school until the project has been completed;
- Buses will dropoff and pickup students in the newly created "Bus Only" zone on 12th Street (see map-highlighted in yellow).
- Student dropoff/pickup by vehicle will occur in the Hanna Field parking lot. We will paint parking spot lines and driving lanes to make navigation of this
parking lot much more safe. Please know that we will NOT be able to allow provide a drive loop for picking up students at the sidewalk due to the number of vehicles in the Hanna
Field parking lot and in an effort to keep our students safe.
- The individual picking up your child must come to up to the sidewalk and escort them across the parking lot back to the vehicle. Students will NOT be allowed to walk across the
parking lot by themselves. Please notify us if you are unable to come to the sidewalk to escort your child across the parking lot.
- The 12th Street crosswalks will be supervised after school for those students that are walking or biking from school.

Please know that we will continue to communicate with all of our parents and guardians throughout this street project in a timely manner with the latest information available to us. On Monday, August 19th at Back to School Night at Jefferson, myself and SRO Hagen will be in the Jefferson gymnasium with information and maps available to answer your questions. Also, a video will be created and shared with you on Tuesday afternoon that will provide more information and details for Phase I. Together in partnership with you, the city of Valley City, the Valley City Police Department, and Dietrich Busing, we will work thru the challenges of this project and ensure that our students are safe from beginning to end.

If you have any questions please communicate with me, Principal Troy Miller, or SRO Sean Hagen. Thank you in advance for your patience, cooperation, and understanding,

Mr. Johnson

Josh Johnson
Superintendent
Valley City Public Schools
(701) 845-0483

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