Photo by Michelle Chance

The circular drive in front of the Maricopa High School office is not designated for student drop-off and parent parking, according to officials at the school.

In preparation for the first day of classes Aug. 7, the MHS website published a statement to parents reminding them parking is not permitted in the area.

MHS Office Manager Paula Pavlosky said she posted the notice online because the often fast driving speeds of parents there are a safety issue.

“It does become a very dangerous area, and as much as we tell parents the roundabout is not where you park, they still do and leave their car running, and run into the office, and sign their kids in,” she said.

Parents usually park in the area when they are signing in a tardy student, or while picking up a student, Pavlosky said.

If a student misses the last morning bell after 7:30 a.m., parents must sign students in at the front office, but park in the permitted spaces in the front parking lot, Pavlosky said.

“No students are allowed through the front door unless your parent is actually physically walking you in,” Pavlosky said.

However, parents have been known to drop their students off in front of the office when they are not late. The designated drop-off zone for students who are on time is off Taft Avenue, which is west of the main entrance.

School policy requires office staff to direct students who are dropped off at the front office to walk around to the Taft entrance.

“If you (drop them off at the office) at 7:25, we are going to turn them out and they are going to have to walk all the way around anyway, and then they definitely will be late,” Pavlosky said.

The curb encircling the drive is painted red as a “no parking” fire zone. However, Pavlosky said parents still park there despite that and school notifications in the past to cease the practice.

No children or adults have been physically injured in the circular drive, but Pavlosky said “we’ve had an instance where a teacher’s car was hit by a parent’s car.”

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