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					Spring 2009
                                            School Travel Planning

  Issue 3

  News & information about the Canadian School Travel Planning Pilot Project

                                     Pilot Project Near Completion
The pilot test of School Travel Planning across Canada                                                                                               School Travel Planning National Pilot Project:

is nearing completion: School Travel Plans are complete                                                                                                                                STUDENT SURVEY

and implementation is well underway, with some actions
started or completed long before the Action Plans were                                                Hands-up Classroom Survey
even finalized. The Provincial Progress articles in this                               Ask students: “How did you travel to school this morning?”
issue of STP News share some successful implementation                                   School Name: ________________________________________________________________
                                                                                         Grade: _________________      Room/Class #: _____________ # Students: _____________
stories.                                                                                 Teacher: ___________________________ Dates: Mon ___________ to Fri ____________
                                                                                                                                                  Please aim to complete survey by <insert deadline>.

     Since School Travel Plans are living documents,                              Weather     Walked
                                                                                                                              School    Public         Carpool
                                                                                                                                                      (2 or more
                                                                                                                                                                       (Just my        Other?           Total
                                                                                                        part-way*              Bus      Transit
intended to be revisited on a regular basis, the process                  Mon
                                                                                                                                                       families)        family)

will be ongoing at our original 12 pilot schools. However,                Tues

to evaluate the effectiveness of the School Travel Planning               Wed

process, the pilot test includes a final data collection                  Thurs

component. This data collection will take place in the

next few weeks, and will include:                                              Daily Avg =

• a hands-up survey of the students in their classrooms                            Total/5
                                                                          *Walked at least one entire block.

     about how they got to and from school each day for
                                                                                             Hands-Up Classroom Survey Template
     a full week (at all pilot and control schools);
• a family survey collecting information about travel
     patterns, as well as attitudes about and perceived                 in a final report which will include recommendations for
     barriers to active transportation (at just the pilot               revisions to the tools and process in preparation for the
     schools);                                                          next phase of this important work—a nation-wide launch.
• focus groups with School STP Committees and                               Thanks to some additional funding received from
     Municipal STP Committees (for pilot schools only) to               Public Health Agency of Canada for this quarter, two
     gather feedback from pilot participants about the STP              research projects are being conducted to collect informa-
     process; and                                                       tion about how to modify the STP tools and process for
• an exit interview with the principals of control schools              two unique communities within Canada—First Nations
     to gather anecdotal information to explain any travel              and French-Speaking communities. Final reports for these
     mode changes noted in the student surveys.                         projects are scheduled to be completed by March 31.
     Once the final data is collected, data entry and anal-             This research will provide the recommendations needed
ysis will begin. The University of Toronto will handle that             for pilot tests in these communities, which are planned as
portion of the project, then the results will be summarized             part of the nation-wide launch.

  Provincial Partners:

                Ontario                         Nova Scotia                             Alberta                                        British Columbia*

* Until the end of June 2008, the Way to Go! School Program was the official partner in BC. After this time, when funding from the Autoplan
Broker Road Safety Program ended & the program discontinued, work on the STP pilot continues through key Way to Go! individuals.
          What is School Travel Planning?
School Travel Planning brings together community stakeholders to identify
barriers to active transportation for each school and develop a written action
plan for addressing those barriers. The flexibility of the School Travel Plan
framework being tested in this pilot project allows communities to customize
their approach to fit local circumstances.
                                                                                                  Q&A                     ?
                                                                                                 What is the planned for STP
                                                                                                   post-March 31, 2009?
                                                                                              A comprehensive draft of a plan for a
    Through a five-step process (see table below), each school writes a                        nation-wide launch of School Travel
School Travel Plan, with assistance from the community stakeholders, that                    Planning has been written, and will be
includes an action plan describing steps they plan to implement such as:                    modified based on lessons learned from
• engineering improvements at or near school sites—e.g. pedestrian crossings,                the pilot. This plan has been designed
    repairs/upgrades to sidewalks, signage;                                                   to take STP to a new level in Canada,
• introduction of school infrastructure—e.g. bike shelters, bike racks, lockers;            where it will not be dependent on grant
• education—e.g. traffic safety education for pedestrians and cyclists,                     funding from a single source, but rather
    education about personal security;                                                          will be funded by all three levels of
• community mobilization—e.g. walking school buses, walking buddies,                        government, from multiple departments,
    ride sharing;                                                                               as well as from suitable corporate
• encouragement—e.g. celebrations of physical activity and environment,                      sources. This will be a true partnership!
    event days, recognition and rewards for walking/biking.                                    For more about funding for the next
                                                                                            phase of this work, see the “Funding for
                                                                                                   the Future” article on page 7.

Where Are We At?
School Travel Process At-A-Glance
     Phase             Who’s Involved                             Outcomes                                       Status
 Program Set-Up    • Local council            • Relevant stakeholders contacted & Municipal          Completed at all pilot schools
                   • School                     STP Steering Committee established.                       in NS, ON, AB & BC.
                   • School Travel Plan       • Selected school committed to participating in
                     Facilitator                School Travel Planning project.
                                              • Overall goals determined.
                                              • Timeline developed.
 Data Collection   • School Travel Plan       • School STP Committee is established.                    School STP Committees
    & Problem        Facilitator              • Baseline data collected (classroom and family         established at all pilot schools
  Identification   • Council (GIS, data         surveys, maps of where students live and best         in each province. All baseline
                     analyst)                   routes, traffic/ pedestrian/cyclist counts,                   data collected.
                   • Students, parents &        walkabouts) and analyzed
                     teachers                 • Wider school community consulted.
                   • Wider school             • Issues summarized to take to the School STP
                     community (residents       Committee.
                     or business owners)
 Action Planning   • School STP Committee     • Plan of action is written for dealing with            All School Travel Plan documents
                   • Sometimes experts/         challenges identified and achieving stated goals.                   written.
                     specialists from         • School Travel Plan document is written that
                     Municipal STP Steering     summarizes background information and outlines
                     Committee                  the detailed action plan that includes initiatives,
                                                timelines and assignment of responsibility for
                                                each task.
                                              • School Travel Plan is signed off by all stakeholders.
 Implementation    • Stakeholders responsible • Tasks outlined in action plan are completed.           Implementation underway.
                     for each action as per   • Outcomes communicated to school community.
                     the action plan
    Ongoing        • School: parents,         • Post-implementation data collection is done          Final data collection scheduled
   Monitoring        teachers, students         to evaluate progress toward goals. The plan is              for mid-March 2009.
                   • School Travel Plan         tweaked if necessary.

Issue 3  Spring 2009                                                                                                     Page 2
                         Provincial progress
      British Columbia

                                   Social Outreach for Walking
by Arthur Orsini, STP Facilitator, BC

“But as your mum, I want to meet the parents of the kids that would be in your walking group.” Those words – in the
middle of our mock-debates with Year 5 students – seemed to sum up the social link missing in our efforts to promote
walking to school. I was in Ms. Bradley’s class at Maungawhau Elementary School facilitating student debates where
we were trying to identify what it was going to take for these 10- and 11-year-olds to earn the independence to cross
Auckland’s Mt. Eden Road in on their own. Our result was the “Consent Card” activity, which has become the source
for a couple of modified activities currently taking place in BC’s STP pilot schools.
    The Consent Card is a simple “licence” given to parents of participating students at a morning coffee/juice
information session. Beforehand, students were given an activity workbook with resources for their family to practice,
model and assess safe walking along their route to school. The parent decides when to give the Consent Card to
their child – and they can list any conditions they feel to be
necessary on the back.
    The information sessions to launch the activity are
catered to particular “pizza slices” of the school catchment
area. In this way, parents living on the other side of Mt.
Eden Road met together and shared concerns and strategies
to get their kids safely to school with fewer car trips. After
very little discussion, parents who regularly walked to
school were ready to assure other parents that they do,
and would continue to, “keep an eye out” for the safety
of senior students crossing Mt. Eden Road. These informal
conversations help to broaden the social outreach of the
school community and make it more likely that families will
recognize each other, wave, greet and chat along the walk
to school.
    At Riverview Park Elementary in Coquitlam BC, the
Consent Card is called a “Licence to Walk” and the                Riverview Park driveway is closed on Walking Wednesdays...
school hopes to strengthen each family’s social network by
including a page in the activity booklet for addresses, email
and telephone numbers of friends and neighbours along the
family’s walking route. The activity was launched at a recent
monthly Walking Wednesday on February 4, 2009.
    Also, Pleasantside Elementary in Port Moody BC recently
launched the Pied Piper Walking Groups activity. Here,
senior student leaders have collected names from a map of
participating school families to create walking groups that
include one student from each grade. This approach aims to
address circumstances that indicate families tend to be less
acquainted with neighbours if their children are in different
grades. By forming groups with students from Kindergarten
to Grade 5, Pleasantside also hopes to strengthen the
school community’s social networks with more familiarity
along the walking routes to school.                                  ...and that means a lot more room for cartwheels!

Issue 3  Spring 2009                                                                                            Page 3
                          Provincial progress
 Small Steps for School Communities, Big Steps Towards Change
by Bev Esslinger, STP Facilitator, AB

Making changes that affect behaviours        to examine traffic issues in the         to model and promote a healthy
and actions takes time. One could            community.                               lifestyle and encourage parents
describe the School Travel Planning               St. Clare School also registered    as well as students to add to their
initiative using the famous quotation,       for International Walk to School         physical activity that week. They asked
“That’s one small step for a man, one        Week as part of their campaign           everyone to make a special effort to
giant leap for mankind” as schools take                                               walk, ride a bike or blade to school.
steps to change their school culture.                                                 Parents were encouraged to walk with
     St. Alphonsus school has set up                                                  their children. Parents were advised
a STAARRS committee (St. Alphson-                                                     to make sure they were aware of their
sus Active Routes to a Safe School)                                                   child’s regular pathway to school and
which kicked off a year-long focus on                                                 to provide safety tips along the route,
encouraging students to walk or bike                                                  and to help model and encourage a
to school with the aim to:                                                            street wise and health minded lifestyle.
• teach children the skills to walk,                                                       St. Clare hosted a special activity
     bike or bus safely;                                                              for their phys ed classes where
• encourage physical activity; and                                                    students were given a shoe – on this
• reduce traffic congestion, pollu-                                                   shoe they were to record the date
     tion and speed near schools.                                                     they walked to and from school
     Their first step was participating in                                            on the outside, and inside make a
International Walk to School Day on                                                   mark if they walked to school and
October 8 when students were encour-                                                  another if they walked home from
aged to walk or bike to school; walk                                                  school. For those who took the bus,
to the bus stop; or for those who need                                                they could walk three laps around
to rely on their vehicles, simply park a     Signs to improve safety around schools   the playground to count as either to
block from the school and finish their                                                or from school. The chart of student
commute with a stroll to St. Alphonsus.                                               progress was posted in the gym and
     Since then, STAARS has been                                                      at the end of the week the student in
actively educating their school                                                       each division as well as the class who
community about the benefits of                                                       walked the most were rewarded.
walking to school and the safety                                                           St. Clare is planning a Health
concerns regarding traffic issues,                                                    and Wellness Day where specialists
etc. They have put information in the                                                 are coming to share with students in
monthly newsletter and presented                                                      45 minute classes the benefits and
information at School Council                                                         incentives to get active! Active & Safe
meetings. They have also run a Bus                                                    Routes to School will be one of the
Safety poster contest throughout                                                      workshops presented to students.
the school. They had school-wide                                                           St. Basil is planning to host a
participation in Winter Walk Day on                                                   special day with Calgary Police and
February 11.                                                                          Health Region coming to talk about
     They are now working reaching                                                    benefits of getting active and walking
out in the community, working with                                                    to school as well as education on the
the Renfrew Community Association             Alberta students en route to school     safety aspects to consider.

Issue 3  Spring 2009                                                                                             Page 4
                         Provincial progress
 Variety of Activities Underway to Promote Active Transportation
by Colleen Cooper, Public Health Nurse, Injury Prevention Program
Waterloo Region has been busy              School. Williamsburg Public School        supported by the three municipalities
working on many aspects of the             (JK - 6) does not have a ring road        (Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo)
School Travel Planning process, from       and cars are not allowed on school        who currently fund the training.
data collection to implementation.         property. The workgroup is interested     Bussing to the training will be
Below are some of the highlights of        to find out if travel patterns are        provided by the local Transportation
the work that has taken place since        similar at the two schools. Stay tuned.   Consortium.
the last issue of the newsletter.
                                             Walking School Bus Leader                    School Travel Planning
      School Traffic Survey                           Training                                 Workshops
In September 2008 an intensive             The STP community workgroup               The second annual School Travel
traffic survey was undertaken at W.T.      provided training to students in          Planning workshops will take place
Townshend Public School, a JK to           those schools who were running            March 31 to April 2, 2009. School-
Grade 8 school in Kitchener. The           Walking School Buses (WSBs).              based workgroups made up of one
findings indicated that the majority       In September 2009 the training            teacher, up to ten students and
of students at this school use active      will be incorporated into the half        interested parent volunteers will be
transportation to get to school. Over      day training that is provided to all      invited to attend a two hour planning
five days, 61%-65% of the students         standing and bus safety patrollers.       session. They will leave the session
walked to school in the morning            This plan has been endorsed by the        with a plan to be implemented by
and 81%-85% walked home from               Waterloo Regional Police Service and      June 2009.
school. Despite the high numbers of
walkers, the traffic congestion around
the school, particularly at dismissal,
was still problematic. This is a very
compact neighbourhood with very
little on-street parking available.
      This school was the last to be
built by the Waterloo Region District
School Board to feature a “ring-
road.” This ring-road is open to cars
in the morning but not after school.
Is the convenience of morning on-site
drop-off contributing to the number
of children who are driven? Does the
presence of older (grade seven and
eight) students result in older siblings
walking with younger siblings? The
municipal workgroup would like to
look more closely at school travel
patterns to try and answer such
      There is a plan to conduct a
second intensive traffic count this
spring at another school in the same            The ring-road out front of W.T. Townshend Public School in Kitchener
neighbourhood, Williamsburg Public

Issue 3  Spring 2009                                                                                          Page 5
                        Provincial progress
          Nova Scotia

                       Walking School Bus “WOW”s Students at
                       École Grosvenor-Wentworth Park School
by Cheyenne Dickinson, STP Facilitator, NS

The Walking School Bus program at École
Grosvenor-Wentworth Park School is
“WOW”ing all of the students taking part.
     The school launched their first Walking
School Bus route in October, and it’s been go-
ing strong ever since. On average, about 25
students take part each Wednesday, when staff
members meet students at a shopping plaza
on the corner of Castle Hill Drive and Kearney
Lake Road – about half a kilometre from the
school – and accompany them on their walk to
     The school has combined their Walking
School Bus initiative with the WOW program,
which stands for “We Often Walk or Wheel.”
The WOW program was developed by Nova
Scotia’s Active & Safe Routes to School pro-
gram as another way to encourage children
and youth to walk and wheel more often. The
idea was borrowed from a similar program in                          WOW card (front and back view)
the UK.
     Students keep track of how often they walk     one kilometre away by
using WOW cards and receive rewards or              road. Weather permit-
recognition from the school for their efforts. At   ting, this group could
Grosvenor-Wentworth Park, once a student fills      also use the nearby
their card (10 trips), they get to choose a prize   “School Trail” through
from the school’s “treasure chest”. The cards,      Hemlock Ravine Park for
as well as posters promoting the program, are       their trip to school.
provided for free by Active and Safe Routes to           Even with only one
School.                                             route, the Walking
     The program has benefited from the ad-         School Bus program
dition of some welcome, albeit unexpected,          has already become an
participants. “Some of the students that arrive     important part of school
on the 8:10 bus have actually started walking       culture at École Gros-
down with staff to pick up the other students       venor-Wentworth Park
from the plaza,” says École Grosvenor-Went-         School, says principal
worth Park School principal Alyson Hillier.         Hillier. “It’s become a
     Plans are in the works to launch a second      bit of a school project, a
Walking School Bus route in the spring for          real reflection of school      Walking School Bus at École
students from the Cresthaven Drive area, about      spirit.”                     Grosvenor-Wentworth Park School

Issue 3  Spring 2009                                                                                   Page 6
                     FUTURE PLANS                                                      School Travel Planning News
                                                                                       is an e-newsletter that will be
                   Funding for the Future                                              published three times per year
                                                                                       (Spring, Fall & Winter) during the
As described in the Q&A section on page 2, the current pilot test is just one          pilot project.
step toward making active transportation a high priority for all Canadian
students. Plans for the next phase of School Travel Planning have been
developed and steps have been taken to find funding from multiple sources.
                  Corporate Funding Already Received                                   Colleen Cooper, Writer
Green Communities Canada is pleased to announce that George Weston                     Cheyenne Dickinson, Writer
                                                                                       Bev Esslinger, Writer
Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited have made a donation to the national
                                                                                       Jacky Kennedy, Writer
roll-out of the School Travel Planning project. Work is now underway to start
                                                                                       Arthur Orsini, Writer
the national roll out of the project in April 2009, once the current phase             Stephanie Hahn,
of developing the model STP framework is complete. Both George Weston                  Editor & Graphic Design
Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited are excited to support School Travel
Planning in Canada as it fits their mandate to encourage and promote the
health and fitness of Canada’s children.
     “George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited are delighted
to support the innovative and important work of Green Communities and the             PUBLISHED BY:
School Travel Planning Project. As the largest food retailing and distribution
companies in Canada, we feel we have a vital role to play to help Canadian
children stay healthy and get active. Together we can make a difference.”
Tamara Rebanks, Director, Community Affairs, George Weston Ltd and Peggy
Hornell, Sr. Director, Community Investments, Loblaw Companies Ltd.                   How to reach us...
                                                                                      Mailing Address:
          Expansion of STP Through Strategic Partnership                              Box 928, Peterborough, ON K9J 7A5
Green Communities Canada is thrilled to be working with Metrolinx                     Phone: 1-877-533-4098 ext. 411 or
( on the “Stepping it Up” project, aimed at testing the                     416-488-7263
Canadian model School Travel Planning framework developed through the                 Fax: 416-488-2296
national pilot project. Stepping it Up will take place over three years in Hamilton
and the Region of Peel. Funding is provided in part by Transport Canada’s
ecoMOBILITY program. The project will be implemented by Metrolinx (lead),             What we do...
Green Communities Canada, City of Hamilton, Region of Peel, and the                   Green Communities Canada
University of Toronto.                                                                (
                                                                                       is a national association of non-
                                                                                      profit organizations that deliver
                                                                                      innovative, practical environmental
                                                                                      solutions to Canadian households and

                           NATIONAL NEWS                                              communities.

                                                                                         Production of these materials
    Final National STP Meeting Scheduled                                               has been made possible through
                                                                                       a financial contribution from the
                                                                                       Public Health Agency of Canada.
A national face-to-face meeting of         provide feedback about the project
                                                                                          The views expressed herein
all the key project team members           and suggest recommendations for                do not necessarily represent
for this pilot project is scheduled        adjusting the tools and/or School            the views of the Public Health
for mid-March in Vancouver BC. At          Travel Planning process moving                      Agency of Canada.
this meeting, the STP Facilitators will    forward.

Issue 3  Spring 2009                                                                                           Page 7