- Back to School
- Crossing Guards
- School Bus
- Be Idle Free
- Skateboards/ Scooters
- Bike Parking
- School Team
- Annual Reports
Now is the perfect time to plan for and practice getting to and from school safely. Whether your children walk, bike, ride the bus, or ride in a car, a little planning and preparation can go a long way towards keeping children safe. Practice and discuss these safety tips (spanish) as a family and be a great example by always practicing how to travel safely with your child.
We created this video to remind us all the steps needed to cross various intersections safely.
Check your route to school, and practice. When possible, choose streets with low traffic volumes, slow speeds, few intersections, good bicycle lanes and good sidewalks with no roadway construction.
Pupil Transportation section at the Oregon Department of Education has resources and training options available for both adult crossing guards and student safety patrol.
Most states and some Oregon School Districts have local resources that can be valuable to specific jurisdictions. A non-local but valuable website with several resources that can be used with minor alterations is produced by New Jersey Safe Routes to School Resource Center. Of particular interest was their Tip Sheet on Crossing Procedures that anyone can use as we walk and cross streets with others.
Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car. That’s because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road; they’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries; and in every State, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists.
- Different by Design: School buses are designed so that they’re highly visible and include safety features such as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors and stop-sign arms. They also include protective seating, high crush standards and rollover protection features.
- Protected by the Law: Laws protect students who are getting off and on a school bus by making it illegal for drivers to pass a school bus while dropping off or picking up passengers, regardless of the direction of approach.
Safety Starts at the Bus Stop
Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.
Get On and Off Safely
- Stand 3 giant steps back from edge of street.
- Wait until bus comes to complete stop before approaching bus.
- If crossing street, look driver in eye and cross in front of bus when driver says it’s OK.
Many parents, community members and school personnel drive near schools on most weekdays. Each driver can contribute to or detract from the safety of the walking and bicycling environment for children.
A parent's own behavior impacts the safety of their child and all children as they walk or bicycle to school. For example, a parent who speeds to drop off their child at the school makes a less safe environment for walkers, bicyclists and all other road users. Parents who walk with their children to school can provide supervision and guidance for children who are learning how to negotiate traffic and people in their environment.
Key messages for drivers:
- Reduce speed in school zones and be ready to stop at all times.
- Stop and stay stopped for pedestrians at all intersections, marked or unmarked.
- Be patient and wait for students to complete crossing before proceeding.
- Follow directions of crossing guards, traffic signs and signals.
In addition to encouraging those who can to walk + bike to school, we can help to improve air quality around schools by encouraging driving parents to turn off their engines while waiting in the school zone.
Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxins, which are pollutants known to increase the risk of developing asthma, respiratory problems and other adverse health effects especially in children whose lungs are still developing. Limiting a vehicle’s idling time can dramatically reduce these pollutants and children’s exposure to them.
Things you can do:
- Leave your car at home and walk or bike.
- Turn your engine off while waiting.
- Arrive to school a few minutes early in morning or late in afternoon to avoid the long lines.
Beaverton School District students helped create the below video to show how idling effects their health and their ability to learn.
Scooters and Skateboards are gaining in popularity. Both are, like walking and biking, a fuel-free, eco-friendly, healthy and safe way to travel to school, work, the park, or just around the neighborhood. Safety should always come first when riding a scooter and skateboard. Check out these tips/tricks to be the best rider you can be!
Scooter and Skateboarder Safety: from Seattle Children's Hospital gives good information kids and their parents, including helmet fitting.
Providing a safe and protected place for students and teachers to store their bicycles during the school day is important when encouraging bicycling through Safe Routes to School programs. For years, schools have been provided racks that sometimes are inefficient, unusable, or poorly located on school grounds. Building and installing secure and sensible places for students to store their bicycles during school hours is one way to help get more students on their bikes more often.
The Eugene Springfield Safe Routes to School Program has developed a Bike Parking Assessment Tool to assess bike parking facilities at one school or to compare and contrast the quantity and quality of bike parking facilities at different schools. You can read the full Eugene-Springfield Bike Parking Report here.
Check out the webinar: Striving for A+ Parking: Introducing a New Tool to Grade Your Schools Bike Parking brought to us by Shane McRhodes, Emma Newman and Isaac Meyer from Eugene and Springfield.
Portland Public Schools Bike Shelter Project Development Guide provides a great how-to guide for getting approval for, designing and installing a Bike Shelter.
Safe Routes to School National Partnership Bike Parking Tip Sheet provides guidance and examples to districts, school staff, and parents to either build or improve school bicycle and skateboard parking and storage that accommodates students who choose to wheel their way to school.
While a local Safe Routes to School program usually has one or two “champions” who initiate and manage the process, it’s important to involve a wide array of representatives from your community. Safe Routes to School programs are built on collaborative partnerships among many stakeholders that should be brought together to create a Safe Routes to School “team.”
The types of people to invite to serve on your Safe Routes to School Team could include:
School Personnel: education, promotion, volunteers.
Parent-Teacher Group: volunteers, event funding, walk route identification, promotion.
Green Team: education, promotion.
Students: promotion, walk route identification, participation.
Elected Officials: promotion, media, policy.
City Staff (Engineers/ Planners, Police Officers): infrastructure options, enforce, educate, promote, connections.
Health Officials: promotion, volunteers, school outreach.
Non-profit Organizations: promotion, volunteers, outreach.
Business and Community Leaders: promotion, media, volunteers, incentives.
Kids need exercise! It is recommended that children should get 60 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
The 2010 Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health reported that 78 percent of children fall short. By walking or bicycling to school, students get more physical activity, reduce their risk of obesity and diabetes, perform better at school and improve their overall physical and emotional health.
Beaverton School District has had a dedicated Safe Routes to School program since 2015, funded by Metro. Below are our Annual Reports to date as well a Oregon's SRTS Network Report which features BSD's program in addition to the other wonderful programs throughout the state.