Sample PolicyProcedures for Walking School Bus

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					    Sample Policy/Procedures for Walking School Bus
1. The Walking School Bus always follows the same route. The driver does not have the
   authority to change the route or stops without permission.

2. Walkers should arrive at the designated stop a few minutes early. The WSB will leave each
   stop at the designated time. It does not wait for latecomers. If a child misses the Walking
   School Bus in the morning, parents may chose to choose to help them catch up and join the
   group at a later stop or work out a backup plan. In the afternoon, if a student misses the
   WSB, they should report to the school office and ask to have their parent/caregiver
   contacted. They will wait in the office until the designated adult arrives to pick them up or
   until further instructions are given by the parent/guardian.

3. Children are not to go into other people’s houses. Walkers wait on the sidewalk or in the
   designated area for pick up.

4. Apartment buildings will have one designated spot for pick up and drop off.

5. Bus drivers escort the children onto the school property. (Kindergarteners may be walked to
   their rooms as determined by the school.)

6. Students may not leave the WSB enroute or get off at a different stop unless written
   permission is granted from the parent/guardian.

7. The bus stops on the sidewalk before crossing the street. Children cross together.

8. Participants must stay with the group and not wander off, run ahead or lag behind.

9. Children are expected to obey all ‘bus drivers’.

10. Walkers must follow accepted pedestrian rules: stay on the sidewalk, cross at crosswalks, and
    be respectful of property and of others.

11. No wheels on the bus: i.e. skateboards, rollerblades, scooters, wheelie shoes.

12. Students are expected to carry all their belongings independently.

13. The ratio goal for supervision will be one parent to no more than 8 children.

14. Children are asked to walk in pairs along the route.

15. Determine if there must be a parent at home when children arrive home on the ‘bus’.

16. Volunteers must register with the school as a ‘driver’. Any non-parent or staff member will
    have a background check. Volunteers will be provided with a name badge and safety vest to
    wear at all times while operating the WSB.
         Having Fun and Maintaining Interest in the WSB

   Have theme days: Make your own titles such as:
             o Marvelous Moving Mondays
             o Talk and Trek Tuesdays
             o Wild Walking Wednesdays
             o Thoughtful / Thrilling / Theatrical Thursdays
             o Finally Fridays/ Fuel-Free Fridays / Fabulous Fitness Fridays
   Dress up on special occasions:
             o Hat day, Sneaker day, School colors day, Sports team day
             o Rainy weather? Have a Rubber Boot Parade or an Umbrella Train
   Play games:
             o “I see something striped, or golden or orange, etc.” … see who can guess it first.
             o Alphabet Walk: the first child finds something on the walk that starts with an A, the
                 second looks for something that starts with a B and so on.
             o Nature Day – appreciate, discuss aspects of nature
             o Sing a song or cadence
   Have a traveling mystery sign to post along the route. Get permission to change its location to
        different lawns or in the window of businesses you pass daily. See who can spot it first.
   Have a contest to name your routes or program.
   Create a mascot as your hero.
   Network with other schools who run a Walking School Bus program to share ideas.
   Reward walkers with a Frequent Flier Miles card, occasional prizes or recognition.
   Use pedometers for all or one pedometer per route to track steps. Map the miles and walk to a
        virtual destination.
   Acknowledge your volunteers with recognition at an appreciation event, PTA meeting
   Give a free breakfast or lunch ticket to your bus drivers periodically as a thank you.
   Give volunteers certificates with quotes from kids or titles such as ‘Best Morning Greeting Award”
        or “Best WSB Caboose” “Most Energetic Walker”.
   Take pictures and create a display for a visible bulletin board at school.
   Give incentives to kids who have perfect attendance on the WSB or who have reached a
        milestone number of walks, miles or steps. Incentive suggestions: certificates, shoe laces,
        stickers, reflectors, shoe tokens, pedometers or activity related items.
   Make a large WSB sign for kids to carry on Walk to School Day in October.
   With permission, use sidewalk chalk to write an uplifting message or a hopscotch form on the
   Hold a special walkers day to invite a special person to walk and talk with the group such as the
        mayor, the principal, a veteran, a police officer, a grandparent or a local celebrity or mascot.
   Promote the WSB at school events, for example, at a basketball half-time, invite all the WSB
        walkers to come front-and-center to form a bunny hop line across the court. Make a public
        announcement to thank the bus drivers.
   Highlight special stories about the WSB in your school newsletter, on the school website or in the
        local paper.

                   Evaluation of the Walking School Bus
We are interested in your comments to evaluate the Walking School Bus. The Walking School Bus is
comprised of volunteer parents who walk with students to or from school in an effort to increase
physical activity for kids, improve safety and reduce traffic congestion around the school.

Here is a summary of our project for this school year:
Our program operated ____ walking routes to / from school _____ days a week for ______weeks.
Approximately _____ kids participated and _____ volunteers assisted.

    1. Did your child(ren) participate in the walking school bus?         Yes _____         No _____

    2. If you did not participate, what were the reasons you choose not to participate?
       ___ My child rides the bus
       ___ My child attends School Age Childcare or Daycare
       ___ Our house is not close enough to the walking school bus route
       ___ My child walks to and from school already
       ___ My child is scheduled for before/after school activities at that time
       ___ It did not work for our schedule
       ___ We did not know about walking school bus
       ___ Other ____________________________________________________________________

If you participated in the walking school bus program, please answer the following questions:

    3. What did your child(ren) enjoy about the program?

    4. Did your child(ren) arrive home in a timely manner? ____Yes ____ No ____ Unsure

    5. Did you/your children feel comfortable with the volunteers? _____Yes _____No

    6. Do you have any comments about the operation of the program?

    7. Do you anticipate that your child(ren) will participate in the program next year?
       ___Yes      ___ No        ___Unsure

    8. What changes would you suggest to our walking school bus program?
       ___ Additional route ___________________________________________________________
       ___ Different times ___________________________________________________________
       ___ Changes in designated stops__________________________________________________
       ___ Changes in policies or rules _________________________________________________
       ___ Other:___________________________________________________________________

    9. Did you volunteer for the program? ____Yes ____No

    10. Please share any other comments or ideas: (use back as needed)

Please return this survey to your child’s teacher or mail to the school office. Thank you for helping us
evaluate this program. Your comments are appreciated.
Dear Parents,

Our school is offering an exciting opportunity to children within the school’s walking
boundaries called a “Walking School Bus”. In order to encourage students to walk safely to
school, and decrease morning traffic around the school, we are organizing adults to walk
with students along designated routes.

What is a walking school bus?
A walking school bus is made up of one or more adult leaders,
who gather students at designated stops along a specific route
and walk with them to school.

Who are the drivers?
The drivers are parents and other community volunteers who commit to driving the bus one
or more days a week.

How does it work?
The bus will designate specific stops for children to gather. The driver will start at the
beginning of the route and pick up children along the way. The ‘bus’ will not go directly to
houses, but will pick children up at stops on various corners in the neighborhood. The
Walking School Bus will run rain-or-shine each morning year-round (except on late start
days). Children can use the bus every day or as many days as the family schedule allows.
Walking School Buses will be established on the routes most heavily used by students and
will be dependent upon the availability of volunteers.

Are you interested?
We would like to know what the interest is for setting up a Walking School Bus network at
our school. We would be grateful for your assistance in completing the Interest Survey
attached. Please return it to the school within one week. If there is enough interest, we
would like to start one or more routes every school day morning. This is a free service led by
volunteers. A coordinator will be assigned by the school to organize parent volunteers who
act as drivers for each bus route.

Volunteers and interested parents are welcome to attend an informational meeting prior to
the kick off of the Walking School Bus. Check the school newsletter for coming details.


Attachment: Interest Survey
            Initial Interest Survey for Walking to School
   1.   How far do you live from school? _____________________________________________
   2.   Do you feel this is within walking distance to school?         ____Yes ____No
   3.   How often does your child walk to school in the fall/spring?     ___ days/week
   4.   How often does your child walk to school in the winter?          ___ days/week
   5.   How often does your child walk home in the fall/spring?          ___ days/week
   6.   How often does your child walk home in the winter?               ___ days/week

   7. Does your child ride a bike or scooter to and from school?              ____Yes ____ No

   8. What are the barriers that prevent your family from walking or biking to/from school?
   ____ crossing roads
   ____ traffic concerns
   ____ walking alone
   ____ do not like to walk
   ____ health issues
   ____ time constraints
   ____ after school commitments
   ____ distance
   ____ potentially unsafe neighborhood
   ____ weather
   ____ other __________________________________________________________________

   9. What would encourage your family to walk to/from school?

   10. Do you participate in the ‘Walk to School Day’ in October?
       ____Yes ____ No ____ Not sure _____ N/A

   11. Do you carpool? ____Yes ____ No         If yes, how often? ____ days per week

   12. If there was a group of adult volunteers to walk groups of children to/from school, how likely
       is it that your child(ren) would participate in walking to school in the morning?
       ____very likely ____ somewhat likely _____unsure _____unlikely

   13. If there was a group of adult volunteers to walk groups of children to/from school, how likely
       is it that your child(ren) would participate in walking home from school?
       ____very likely ____ somewhat likely _____unsure _____unlikely

   14. How likely would you be to volunteer to walk children to/from school?
       ____very likely ____ somewhat likely _____unsure _____unlikely

   15. What ideas do you have to promote wellness in our school? (Use back if necessary.)

   16. I would like to be contacted for more information about walking to school:

                    Neighborhood Walkability Survey
                                   for the Walking School Bus

Take a walk and use this checklist to rate your neighborhood’s walkability.
How walkable is your neighborhood?
Location of your walk:
1. Did you have a place to walk?
There were sidewalks or shoulders to walk on                      Yes            No
Sidewalk started but then stopped                                 Yes            No
Sidewalks were broken, cracked or uneven                          Yes            No
Sidewalks were on too steep a grade                               Yes            No
Sidewalks were blocked with signs, trees, shrubs, dumpster, etc. Yes             No
Too much vehicular traffic on the streets for comfort             Yes            No
Other comments: _____________________________________________________________________
Locations of problems ________________________________________________________________
Overall Rating (circle one):
 1=excellent 2=very good           3=good    4=some problems      5=multiple problems
2. Was it easy to cross streets?
There were crosswalks and walk/don’t walk signals                 Yes            No
Road was too wide to comfortably cross                            Yes            No
Timing on walk signal was long enough                             Yes            No
Parked cars blocked the view of traffic                           Yes            No
Trees or plants blocked the view of traffic                       Yes            No
There were curb ramps in good repair                              Yes            No
Other comments: _____________________________________________________________________
Locations of problems ________________________________________________________________
Overall Rating (circle one):
 1=excellent 2=very good           3=good    4=some problems      5=multiple problems
3. Did drivers behave well?
Drivers looked for pedestrians at intersections and
when backing out of parking                                       Yes            No
Drivers yielded to people crossing the street                     Yes            No
Cars entered into crosswalk when people were crossing             Yes            No
Drivers sped up to make it through traffic lights or
drove through red lights                                          Yes            No
Other comments: _____________________________________________________________________
Locations of problems ________________________________________________________________
Overall Rating (circle one):
  1=excellent 2=very good 3=good 4=some problems                 5=multiple problems
4. Was it easy to follow safety rules? Could you . . .

Cross at crosswalks where you could see and
be seen by drivers?                                               Yes            No
Easily see both directions before crossing streets?               Yes            No
Walk on sidewalks or on shoulders where there
were no sidewalks, facing traffic?                                Yes            No
Cross with the light?                                             Yes            No
Other comments: _____________________________________________________________________
Locations of problems ________________________________________________________________

Overall Rating (circle one):
 1=excellent 2=very good         3=good     4=some problems       5=multiple problems

5. Was your walk pleasant?

Needed more grass, flowers, trees, or interesting sights          Yes            No
There were intimidating dogs                                      Yes            No
There was good lighting                                           Yes            No
There were maps, or signs to help me find my way                  Yes            No
Clean, not much litter                                            Yes            No
Other comments: _____________________________________________________________________
Locations of problems ________________________________________________________________

Overall Rating (circle one):
 1=excellent 2=very good         3=good     4=some problems       5=multiple problems

Walking Wishes
Now that you have reviewed and summarized your work, think about the five most
important changes you would like to see in your neighborhood. Write down five specific
“walking wishes” in the space provided below.
1. ______________________________________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________________________________________________
5. ______________________________________________________________________________________

Participant Name: _____________________________________________________________________
Daytime Phone: _______________________________________________________________________
E-mail: _________________________________________________________________________________

     Thank you for letting us know what you think about walkability in your neighborhood!
                            WALKING SCHOOL BUS PROGRAM
                                Parental Consent Form

Purpose and Explanation of the Program

The Walking School Bus program is designed to get communities to work together to get children to
or from school actively and safely. Children who participate in the program will walk to/from school
led by adult volunteers. Children will walk independently to their homes from the designated stop or
may be met by a parent. Children will not be walked to their door.

Potential Risks

The Walking School Bus program is intended to reduce the risk of injury to children as they travel
to/from school through the use of adult supervision. However, there are risks associated with child
pedestrians. These specific risks include, but are not limited to, injury as a result of motor vehicle
accidents, falls, overexertion, or other unforeseen events. Adult volunteers will do their best to ensure
that no harm comes to any of the participants. The Walking School Bus program will run regardless
of weather, so please dress your children appropriately.

Voluntary Consent

I would like my child/children to use the Walking School Bus. I realize that my child’s journey to
school is still my responsibility. I have discussed the expectations of the Walking School Bus to my

X    Signature of Parent / Guardian: ______________________________________Date:________

Name of child:    ___________________________________ Age_____ Classroom ______________
Name of child:    ___________________________________ Age_____ Classroom ______________
Name of child:    ___________________________________ Age_____ Classroom ______________
Name of child:    ___________________________________ Age_____ Classroom ______________

My child/children will join/leave the bus at this location:___________________________________

Circle the days and times you expect you child/children will be using the Walking School Bus:
                        Morning        M T W TH F
                        Afternoon      M T W TH F

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the school office.
In case of emergency or changes in the schedule please contact the school office.

        Please check the box if you would like to sign up to volunteer to help with this program