Safe Routes to School
October 1 - 5th is our WALK/ROLL/BUS/CARPOOL CHALLENGE WEEK. We're encouraging every family to make as much use of these environmentally friendly (and fun!) modes of transportation throughout the week. For those of you for whom these options might not be viable, we encourage you to consider parking at an off-site location (the bridge street parking lot) and either accompanying your child from there or letting him/her independently get to school. In past years, there have also been some great "walking school bus groups" from some of our neighborhoods!
We participate in SRTS (Safe Routes to Schools) for numerous reasons, one of them being to help garner funds and support to improve the routes that we have available to our students. As evidenced in the video footage captured below, many of you already walk & roll to school, but encounter some hazardous road crossings and traffic. Our SRTS program helped generate the funds for the new east-side sidewalk scheduled to be installed soon, as well as cross walk and speed warning lights to be installed in front of the school next spring. We hope you will join us in promoting further safe routes AND enjoying an environmentally friendly AND brain-boosting transportation experience!
For the past five years, Waitsfield Elementary School has participated in the Safe Routes to Schools program. This program partners with schools throughout the country to help promote safety, health, a sense of community and choice around traveling to and from school. Within our own school, our program goals include:
- Building support for infrastructure changes (paths, sidewalks, bike lanes);
- Supporting energized children arriving at school awake and ready to learn;
- Fostering independence, and promoting health and physical activity
- Teaching about environmentally friendly transportation alternatives.
Our school’s involvement in this program not only supports our students, but also opens the door for grant funding and state support throughout our town. For example, our ongoing participation in the Safe Routes to School program allows the town of Waitsfield to apply for grant funding for sidewalks, road improvements and biking/walking paths in this current year. Impact of this kind of funding will be seen in a crosswalk and flashing lights anticipated to be installed on rt. 100 in front of the school by VTrans this spring; this project was initiated and funded through the Safe Routes to Schools program.
In the fall of 2012, school families were asked to complete a survey regarding travel patterns and priorities. Click Here to see the results of this survey. The Safe Routes to Schools steering committee is currently working to update our long range plans (known as our travel plan); look for that document to be shared here soon.
For further information about the Safe Routes to Schools program here at Waitsfield, please contact Jen Stella firstname.lastname@example.org coordinator of SRTS at Waitsfield.