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Safe Routes to School: South Shore K-8

What is the South Shore PK-8 Safe Routes to School Program?

The South Shore PK-8 Safe Routes to School Program is a local program working to make it safer and easier to walk and bike to South Shore PK-8 School. When environments are safer for people on foot, safety is improved for everyone, whether they are walking from home or just travelling in the passenger seat of a car. Made possible by funding from the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Seattle Department of Transportation, the South Shore program is part of a national movement called Safe Routes to School (SRTS).  SRTS programs improve the safety of walk and bike routes near schools by funding construction projects, coordinating with law enforcement, and providing education services and encouragement campaigns to get more students walking and biking on those routes. 

This project will run through November 2015 and is one of four SRTS projects in Seattle Public Schools this year. Find out about the others by visiting their program pages: Greenwood Elementary, Wedgwood Elementary, and Mercer Middle.

Baseline Survey Results Are In!

The baseline results for the Parent and Guardian SRTS Survey have been tabulated. These are the results of the surveys taken in English. We also received surveys in Chinese, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese; however, the small quantity in which we received those surveys did not lend themselves to be put into chart form. If you are interested in learning more about the results of the Chinese, Somali, Spanish or Vietnamese surveys please contact the Safe Routes to School Director at info@feetfirst.org

Check out the valuable input that parents and guardians shared through the survey here.

Circulation Plan:

Based on an observation of arrival and departure procedures conducted in May 2015, a circulation plan will be created for South Shore K-8. Check back to this web page to view the circulation plan. Copies of the circulation plan will also be circulated to families through the school.

Walk/Bike Audit:

A special thanks to the approximately 15 people who attended the South Shore PK-8 Walk/Bike Audit conducted by the Seattle Safe Routes to School Partnership on April 21, 2015. Splitting into a walking group and a biking group, participants looked 360 degrees around the school to identify problems and solutions that will facilitate a safer and calmer space for families wanting to incorporate walking and biking into their daily routine. 

Neighborhood Improvements:

Funding for this project will improve bicycle and pedestrian access to school by installing school zone flashing beacons on Rainier Ave S near S Henderson St; a pedestrian curb bulb, refuge island, and new pedestrian countdown signals at Rainier Ave S and 51st Ave S. To keep up to date on the construction, visit the project engineering page or project fact sheet.

Upcoming Events:

Walk to School Month
October is Walk to School Month! The Seattle SRTS Partnership will organize an encouragement campaign at South Shore following the theme of Walktober in order to get more students walking and biking to school together. Check the South Shore Sea Dragon's Facebook page and expect more information in student backpack mail as Walktober approaches.

Helmet Giveaway
Cascade Bicycle Club will be attending South Shore's Back to School BBQ on Sept. 11, 2015 for a free helmet giveaway.

Safety Assembly
Cascade Bicycle Club is scheduled to do bicycle and pedestrian safety assembly for the lower grades within the first month of school, date tbd.

Basics of Bicycling, and Advanced Basics of Bicycling (for upper grades)
Cascade Bicycle Club will be offering students grades 3 - 8 the opportunity to practice bike safety and handling skills during a three-week PE unit this fall. Students will learn basic traffic concepts such as stopping at stop signs and how to avoid the most common accident types such as riding out of a driveway without looking. Students will also be taught the importance of wearing a helmet. Upper grades will build on these skills in an advanced curriculum co-created with the PE Specialist.

Past Events:

Walk to School Week
During the last week of school Feet First encouraged students to see how many times they could get to school by kid power. Walk & Roll cards were passed out during lunches and the school Field Day. Students who walked or biked to school were congratulated by Camina, the Giant Chicken mascot and many school staff members upon their arrival.

Bike to School Month
Cascade Bicycle Club organized a friendly Bike to School Challenge during the month of May 2015 to encourage safe riding and walking to school.  Students recorded the number of minutes they rode each day on a tracking calendar and earned prizes at the end of the month based on their level of activity.  Bike to School Day was celebrated nationwide on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 and Cascade representatives were at South Shore before school to welcome riders and walkers with healthy snacks and prizes!

Urban Cycling Club  
Five students participated in an after-school club to learn more about bike safety, handling skills and rules of the road. The after-school urban cycling club graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 9 was a huge success. It was well-attended by school staff, community and SRTS partners, and students' families. The students presented to the group on a safety topic of their choice, and then were fitted for a refurbished mountain bike to take home (gifted by Bike Works), just in time for summer riding.

Safe Passages
The SRTS grant partners coordinated with a local program called Safe Passages, who work to eliminate student violence in the Rainier Beach area, especially after school.

To learn more or to get involved contact the Safe Routes to School Director at info@feetfirst.org

Did you know? :

In 1969, 48% of students in the United States walked or biked to school on regular basis. Today, the national average is 13%.

What’s happening locally?

Here are the South Shore PK-8 baseline measurements from 2012:

South Shore PK-8 currently serves 700 students. Of those 700 students, 616 (88%) students live within two miles of the school.

Meet the Seattle Safe Routes to School Partnership!

The following people and agencies work together to provide education and encouragement activities for Safe Routes to School. Look for them in your school and community over the course of this grant and beyond!

Teresa Frizell is the Interim Safe Routes to School Program Director for Feet First. She facilitates the Seattle SRTS Partnership working to ensure that the grant makes it safer and easier for students to get school.

Shannon Koller is the Director of Education at the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation. Shannon is responsible for coordinating with the school PE Specialist to deliver the bicycle education and encouragement portions of this grant.

Ruby Stacey participates in this grant as the Safe Routes to School Event Coordinator with Feet First. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, her involvement is focused on providing direct service to the school and students.

Teresa Frizell is the Interim Safe Routes to School Program Director for Feet First. She facilitates the Seattle SRTS Partnership working to ensure that the grant makes it safer and easier for students to get school.

Cathy Tuttle is the Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. She is responsible for leading family activities including Walk/Bike Audits, and making connections between the schools and nearby family-friendly streets.

Elizabeth Esselman is a Program Operations Specialist at Harborview Medical Center and coordinates Safe Kids Seattle South King. Elizabeth will connect with the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center to help evaluate the program’s impact

Phyllis “PJ” Porter is the Outreach Coordinator & Events Specialist at Bike Works and participates in this grant as part of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.  Phyllis will assist with family activities connected to family-friendly streets

Brianna Mills: is part of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center Methods Core and is working toward her PhD in Epidemiology. Brianna created the parent survey to help us evaluate and learn from local Safe Routes to School efforts.

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