Parents Seek Traffic Direction at Park School
A mom involved in a bad accident at the entrance to Park School asks the D46 School Board to consider implementing safety measures.
A Round Lake mom whose vehicle was struck by a speeding SUV as she entered the parking lot of Park School last month is asking the Grayslake District 46 School Board to take steps to prevent future accidents at the site.
Sharon Rosenthal and her husband, Richard, addressed the school board at its Feb. 1 meeting and passed around photos of the accident aftermath.
“It was a terrible accident,” said the mother, who was driving on Jan. 17 to Park School, located at 400 W. Townline Road, in Round Lake, with her three children in the car.
Rosenthal said she was driving westbound on Townline Road, attempting to make a right turn into the school parking lot, when a speeding SUV driven by an elderly woman was making a left. The SUV caused an accident and overturned.
“We were sitting ducks,” said Rosenthal, adding school staff rushed to the scene to help children and adults get out of the vehicles.
The accident, which was witnessed by many students, staff and parents, was so traumatic, said Rosenthal, the school had to write a letter to parents explaining what happened.
Thankfully, no one was injured. The Rosenthals credit Park School Principal Matt Melamed, assistant principal David Dinsmore, the school’s Round Lake police liaison and others with coming to their aid and keeping the scene under control.
However, said the couple, the school district needs to evaluate what can be done to prevent future accidents at the school, as there are no crossing guards or police officers to direct the busy in and out traffic.
A neighborhood school, Park School does not offer bus transportation. Students either walk or are driven.
“We are so grateful everyone was OK, but I urge you to take a look at what’s going on out there,” said Rosenthal.
The school is located under the jurisdiction of the Round Lake Police Department. D46 Board President Ray Millington said the district would look into having a traffic cop at the site.
In other news, the school board voted 5-2 to install air-conditioning units at Grayslake Middle School at a cost of nearly $1 million. The middle school is the only school besides Woodview and Meadowview to not be air-conditioned.
Board members debated whether to do all three schools at once, or one at a time, given the cost involved.
Three votes were taken, one for each school. The board voted 4 to 3 against moving forward with air-conditioning projects at Woodview and Meadowview at this time.
Board member Shannon Smigielski, who is a district bus driver and knows first hand how hot the buses alone get, said it was a difficult decision.
“I’m very torn. I completely feel the pain of teachers and students, but I also feel the pain of my taxes," she said. "We have a lot of debt. I can see doing one school at a time, but I’m not comfortable doing all three at once.”
Smigielski also said she preferred to install air-conditioning at the middle school first because its population of students is larger than Woodview or Meadowview.
Board member Michael Carbone stated, “It is responsible and reasonable to start with one then budget for the other two.”
Board president Ray Millington said he favored installing air-conditioning at all three schools at the same time because he felt it was most fair. He also had concerns about the district’s liability if a student or staff member had a heat-related illness.
Board member Kip Evans, who voted no to all three action items, said he felt pressured and wanted further discussion before making a decision.
“If feel blind-sided. If we don’t vote for all three, parents will say you’re not being fair to my kid. I don’t know how I should vote. We’ve got debt. There are no total answers.”