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August 25, 2022


Dear Saugatuck Families,

Please see below for important information regarding arrival and dismissal at Saugatuck.


Bus Routes

Your child's bus number and times are published in Powerschool under the Transportation tab.  Additionally, the bus routes are published to the District Web page under Transportation.   They should be available by the end of the week.



Students will be able to enter the building 15 minutes prior to the start of the school day (8:15am) and will proceed directly to their classroom.  

When students arrive at school by bus, we unload a few buses at a time and students in K-2 enter through the door closest to the auditorium, and students in 3-5 through the main door.  There is a staff member located at each entrance.

During car arrival (and dismissal), we ask all drivers to please stay in their car and have their child enter and exit the vehicle on the passenger side which is closest to the curb.  It is most helpful to have students ready to go at arrival.  Even our youngest students can put on and take off their backpacks independently, so we ask you to help us build this independence right from the start by not exiting the car to ready your child.  If you need to get out of the car, please park in the parking lot, assist your child, and then walk your child to our Security Officer, Mr. Howard, who will see your child safely across the drop off lane.  The crosswalk is NOT in use during car arrival and pick up time.

We also cannot stress enough the importance of having your child arrive in their classroom by 8:30am, which is the official start of the school day.  The 8:15-8:30am window is a time in the classroom when students are unpacking, socializing with friends, signing up for lunch, and reviewing the plan for the day.  It’s a chance for teachers to check in with students, and to ensure that students are ready for the day ahead.  If you drop your child off at school, please make sure to err on the earlier side of the arrival window.  



We will continue to utilize School Dismissal Manager (SDM) as our vehicle for managing school dismissal changes.  All students are assigned to a bus, and if you will be picking up your child by car you must enter the alternative pick up instructions in SDM.  SDM allows you to schedule repeat pick up instructions so please use this feature if you plan to pick up your child regularly. All changes to a student’s dismissal must be entered into SDM by 1:45pm (11:15am on Early Release days). 

Please note there are no guest riders allowed on school buses.  

Instructions for using School Dismissal Manager are found at the conclusion of this letter.

If you have any SDM questions please call our school secretaries in the main office at 203-221-2900.

Once again, we will be using the FastLane feature for parent pick up.

If you will be picking your child up early, we ask you to do so by 2:45pm so that the office is not interrupted unnecessarily during the dismissal process.  This helps to ensure a safe and efficient dismissal process for our entire school.


Car Pick Up:

When picking up your child, you will enter our drop-off/pick-up loop in your car and pull into the pick up zone. Please have a sign with your child’s name, grade, and teacher on it located prominently on the passenger side of the vehicle.  If you elect to walk to school to pick up your child, or park along the side of the road, please stand in the grassy area between the pick up loop and stone wall, and have a sign with your child’s name, grade and teacher on it.  Whether in your car, or on foot, please press the FastLane button in the app to notify the school that you have arrived and are ready to pick up your child.  Your child will then be dismissed.


Dismissal will begin at 3:10 this year.  All students must be picked up by 3:30.


Bus Dismissal:

As always, please expect to be at the bus stop 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after the stop time listed.  Remember, kindergarten parents must meet their child at the stop or the student will be returned to school. Students are expected to sit from oldest to youngest on the bus, with our Kindergarten and First Grade students sitting in the front of the bus.  If you would like siblings to sit together, the older child must sit forward with the younger child. 

We ask you to review the following bus rules with your child: All students must remain sitting in their seats throughout the bus ride, and they must maintain a safe body, use an inside voice, and use kind words on the bus.  Students should not bring any personal items to play with as they can get lost; there is also no eating on the bus.  Finally, there can be no use of electronics on the bus; all electronics must be turned off and stored in backpacks, including laptops, cell phones, or smartwatches.  Please consult the WPS parent handbook for more information about electronics and cell phones/smartwatch policies.

 We appreciate your assistance as we work to maintain a safe arrival and dismissal process for all of our Saugatuck students.



Beth Messler




School Dismissal Manager

Parent Welcome Letter - School Year 2022-2023


Welcome to School Dismissal Manager (SDM), an organized and more efficient tracking system for afternoon dismissals!  Using your desktop or smartphone browser, quickly and easily update your child's dismissal instructions when they need to be changed, making it no longer necessary to call or send notes and emails to the school for dismissal changes.

The easy-to-use interface will allow you to make changes in advance or for the current day by creating “exceptions”.  You can report absences, early dismissals, and schedule recurring dismissal instructions for after-school activities.  When creating an exception for the current day, note that the cut-off time on regular days is 1:45 pm and on early release days is 11:15 am.  After the cut-off time you will need to call the school office to make any changes for the current day.

Saugatuck Elementary School will begin using SDM to report daily dismissal changes on August 30th.

Here are a few Fast Facts that you will need to know for getting started:

1.    The app is compatible with Android and Apple devices and native apps can be found in the respective app stores or via our website.  IMPORTANT:  Returning parents need to ensure their app has the latest UPDATED version before the first day of school.  If your phone is set to update automatically no action is required but those that don’t will need to update manually.

1.    Android – Search in the Play Store for School Dismissal Manager and Install -OR- open a Chrome browser window, go to, and login.  Then click the three stacked dots at the top right corner, scroll down and click on Add to Home Screen, and follow the onscreen instructions to install the app.

2.    iPhone – Search in the App Store for School Dismissal Manager and Install -OR- open a Safari browser, go to, and login.  Then click on the box with the arrow pointing up, scroll down, and click Add to Home Screen.  Type in (or click on if auto-filled) SDM and then tap Add to install the app.

2.    First Login 

Check your child's default dismissal (how your child goes home most days) and make sure it is set correctly.  If changes are needed, select the green Set/View Default button above the calendar or if using the SDM app, select Default Dismissal from the menu at the top left, to set the correct dismissal.  Setting a weekday default will override the main default on a specific day of the week.  Always set the main default first, then set weekday defaults only as necessary.

3.    FastLane Parent Check-in Method

Parent Self Check-in:  We will be utilizing FastLane during our afternoon dismissals. You will be asked a series of questions when creating a FastLane dismissal.  Select the Any Parent of… option, unless it is necessary to be specific, so that no matter which parent shows up their PIN number will be valid for pick-up.  A blue Check-In button will be available shortly before the start of dismissal within your SDM account just under the two-week calendar.  DO NOT click this button until your vehicle is at our clearly marked Check-In location.  FastLane will begin on August 30th, so be sure your child’s default dismissal is correct before this date.

4.    The Parent Dashboard always displays the current and following week.  Days where there is no school or there is an early dismissal will be clearly marked.  To opt in for text messages, click Preferences in the top menu to add your mobile number.

5.    Recurring Dismissal Exceptions:  If your child has a temporary, recurring dismissal exception click the Recurring Dismissal Instructions located at the top of the screen and fill out the details as required.  DO NOT use the Recurring Dismissal feature to put in your child's ''default'' dismissal.  The difference between a Recurring Dismissal Exception and a Weekday Default Dismissal is that recurring has a start and end date because it is a temporary dismissal.   Default dismissal occurs regularly on a specific day of the week for the entire school year.

6.    Carpools:  If your child is part of a carpool or going home with a friend, you will need to set up a carline pick-up.  Once the correct dismissal option is selected, you will be asked a series of questions.  In the “PARENT OF” field, search for the parent driver by their student’s first or last name and select the parent who will be picking up.  You may use the individual calendar days or Recurring Dismissal Instruction feature to assign your child(ren) to the parent driver that is picking up on certain days.

7.    Email Notifications:  When receiving email notifications regarding dismissal changes or cancellations made, know that hitting Reply or Reply All on those emails does not reply to the school or person making the change.  If you need to respond to a notification (i.e., to inform the school it is incorrect, provide additional details, etc.), click Help in your top menu and fill out the details to email the office.

8.    FAQs:  As you begin to use School Dismissal Manager, if you have questions, check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) link found in the Parent login area at the top of the SDM homepage or click on Help in your top menu.  Here, you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions.  If your question remains unanswered after checking here, please contact the school office and we will be happy to assist you further.


If you find you need further assistance, contact the school office at 203-221-2900.  For reasons of safety and security, SDM staff does not respond to parent requests or emails and will redirect any parent callers to the school office.