Plan A Walking School Bus
Remember when preparing your students to travel to school this year:
- Check that students can still hear and see properly when wearing personal protective equipment such as helmets, masks and other gear.
what is a walking school bus?
A Walking School Bus is a group of students walking to school together with, or without, supervision. If that sounds simple, it is, and that’s part of the beauty of the walking school bus. It can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their children to school, to as structured as a route with meeting points, a timetable, and a regularly rotated schedule of trained volunteers. This program is voluntary and is most successful when it is initiated by the PTO or other parent group.
Steps for a successful program ….start small, be successful, and grow.
- Meet interested parents, propose routes
- Map routes, noting times, meeting points
- Host a meeting to confirm leaders, rules, days, times
- Advertise, promote
- Start, continue engaging families on route
- Keep promoting walks and safety messages
- For questions, assistance, and free safety vests contact Beaverton Safe Routes to School.
Planning a walk route is very important! When picking a safe route, choose sidewalks or paths wherever possible, even if that means the trip will take a little longer. Minimize the number of street crossings and avoid busy, high-speed or multi lane roads, wherever possible.
Interested in getting funding for more prizes, reflective vests, or a volunteer stipend? Check out our Micro-Grant Guide for Metro's Safe Routes to School $500 Micro-Grant.
Safety is a key component when planning a Walking School Bus! Follow these steps for safety.
With younger groups, the Walking School Bus has an adult leader and a caboose, stay between them! Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible, and always cross at the corner. Make sure you look left, right, left and behind before, and while, crossing. Stay together, don't run ahead of the group!
Getting your child to agree to be safe and follow direction is a key component to a safe Walking School Bus. Below are some other resources with a printable version.
Steps for crossing a group at an intersection: Safety is Priority!
- Curbside Assembly Leader stops students as a group at specified intersections, standing one step back from the curb or edge of roadway. Students are instructed to “bunch-up” and stay bunched up until instructed to cross by leader.
- Select a Good Time to Cross Leaders must not control traffic. When a clear gap in traffic occurs, Leader #1 puts out hand and enters crosswalk after all traffic has stopped. Stop in middle of intersection facing on-coming traffic if possible. Make eye contact with approaching motorists and with motorists in each lane.
- Initiate Crossing Give verbal instructions to students to cross. Leader #2 is now the front leader.
- Maintain Position Leader #1 remains in the crosswalk until the last child has cleared the roadway. Students, led by Leader #2, are to quickly cross and wait on other side of road in a position where all students in group can safely be off the road. Wait until Leader #1 has also completed crossing before continuing walk.