When it comes to the students, staff and the community as a whole, safety is a priority for the leadership of the Redwood Area School District.

That has been demonstrated in a number of ways through procedures, policies and infrastructure updates, and now another effort has been made to help make those who come to the Redwood Valley schools campus safer.

As of May 9, a new traffic flow process has been implemented for the lane that encircles the main parking lot of the campus.

Now, when students are dropped off at the beginning of the school day and picked up at the end of the day, they will be using a different area than was used in the past.

For years, the flow of traffic meant school buses and personal vehicles would come together in those lanes, and concerns about the safety of those involved continued to rise.

According to Rick Ellingworth, Redwood Area School District superintendent, additional concerns had been raised recently by school bus drivers about the potential for accidents as those personal vehicles and buses were in the same area during those busiest times of the day.

To reduce the potential for accidents, the school district has placed signs directing the two types of traffic in different directions.

During the time frame from 7:45 until 8:15 a.m. and from 3-3:30 p.m., the circle drive area in front of the main entrance of Redwood Valley will be open for school bus traffic only.

Only school buses will be permitted to pull into the circle drive area in front of the school during that half hour in the morning and in the afternoon.

Ellingworth discussed the idea of making the change with members of the school board at a recent meeting, and when the signage arrived it was installed and the new procedures were enacted.

Personal vehicles will pull into the area to the left in what is the visitor parking area, and those visitor parking areas at the front of the lot have been blocked off to help with traffic flow.

Ellingworth said school leadership will be observing the new procedure to see if any additional changes will need to be made, especially as it relates to traffic flow and any back-ups that are caused by the change.

With the work on the addition scheduled to begin soon, that south lot designated pick-up and drop-off area has been eliminated, but the procedure will be reevaluated next winter when that project is scheduled to be completed.

“We just want to keep everyone as safe as is possible,” said Ellingworth.