Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
Helping students get physically active while taking cars off the road.
As we transition to in person instruction this spring consider your student’s transportation choices. When safe and possible have your student use active transportation to school, walking, biking, or scootering. Active transportation has many benefits to our students:
- Exercise and fresh air every day for the walkers.
- Get rid of extra energy for better concentration in class.
- Get to know your neighborhood and feel safe in it.
- Learn important pedestrian safety skills.
- Builds your student’s independence and confidence.
- Fewer students being dropped off = fewer cars at school = a safer school zone!
- Fewer cars = less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Walking is free! Driving a vehicle costs money (gas, maintenance)
Walking Wednesdays will continue throughout the school year. If you can’t walk every day, try to join in one day a week on Wednesdays. If your walk to school is too far, consider parking away from school and walking the rest of the way.
Bike to School Day is May 5, 2021. Schools can register for Bike to School Day starting in March 2021.
May 21, 2021 is Bike to Work Day and all of May is National Bike Month. Contact the FCPS Safe Routes to School Coordinator if you need help planning a Bike to School Day event.
About Safe Routes To Schools
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs help students get physically active while taking cars off the road. Over the past four decades:
- The percentage of students who walk and bicycle to school has declined from 48 percent (1969) to 13 percent (2009).
- The percentage of parents using Kiss and Ride has increased.
- Traffic conditions around many schools has gotten worse making it more difficult for student walkers and bicyclists to get to school.
Originally a federally funded program, SRTS is now in schools in every state. Safe Routes to School can:
- Educate students on pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- Help students reach the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
- Help students arrive at school energized and ready to learn.
- Reduce traffic around schools.
- Improve air quality around schools.
About 30 percent of our elementary and middle schools take part in SRTS programs. The goals in FCPS are:
- To increase the number of schools participating.
- To increase the number of students who take part in safe walking and biking activities.
Student Travel Tallies and Parent Surveys
Each fall schools survey their students about their travel to and from school. Collecting tallies on an annual basis is a great way to track the impact of your SRTS program.
A Student Travel Tally is a quick, in-class survey that provides valuable information on how students get to school. For more information on how to conduct a Student Travel Tally or a Parent Survey contact the FCPS Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator.
Community champions are parents or teachers who lead the effort to get more students to walk or bike to school. This can be informal or a formal position in the PTA/PTO. The champion helps to organize Walk to School Day or Bike to School Day events. They can also promote weekly or monthly walking/biking programs. Are you your community’s champion for Safe Routes to School?
Middle School Safe Routes to School video contest winner!