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Boreal Community Media

Safe Routes to School welcomes back students

Aug 19, 2019 03:39PM ● By Editor

Media Release from the Safe Routes to School Committee - August 19, 2019


Students will be back to school soon and many will be getting there on foot or bike. The Safe Routes to School Committee (SRTS) works year-round to make it safer and easier for children to walk and bike to and from school. Studies have found that physical activity, such as walking or biking to school, allows students to concentrate better during the school day. And while many students in our county do not live in Grand Marais, some walk or bike to an afterschool destination in Grand Marais. In the upcoming weeks, crosswalk repainting, Slow Down lawn signs, an additional speed feedback sign, and school zone speed and crosswalk enforcements will be at work to remind our community of the upcoming start of the school year and drive carefully to keep students safe. 

International Walk to School Day is October 2nd.  The SRTS Committee, in collaboration with the schools, will be leading walking school buses.  Walking School Buses are groups of students and adult volunteers walking to school together. Each Walking School Bus stops at ISD 166 and GES in time for school to begin. Each school will distribute information for this event in mid-September.  If your student normally gets a ride to school, come in a little early and walk or bike with the Walking School Bus!  There will also be a Winter Walk to School Day on February 5thand a Bike/Walk to School Day on May 6th.  

Grand Marais also has a weekly walk or bike to school club, Walk and Roll Wednesday, that walks to both schools each Wednesday morning in September, October, November, March, April and May.  If your child is interested in joining this group or if you would like to volunteer to be a parent leader, please contact the SRTS Coordinator or check the Facebook Page, for more information.

When not participating in a Walking School Bus or Walk and Roll Wednesday, it is recommended that you pick a route with your child and test it out together. Once a student and parent/guardian set a route, it is best that the student follows it consistently so that an adult knows where the student is traveling. The SRTS recommended walking route map is on your school’s website or available upon request from the SRTS Coordinator.  *Please note that the Safe Routes to School group, Minnesota Department of Health, and Statewide Health Improvement Program work together to encourage walking and bicycling to school, but do not ensure safety or assume liability for anyone’s commute to or from school. 

Another important piece of Safe Routes to School is school bus safety.  Please be mindful around school buses.  Over the last school year, there was an average of 1 stop arm violation per week.  Remember that you must stop at least 20 feet away from a school bus that has its stop arm out and red lights flashing.  You will need to wait until the stop arm is up and the red lights are no longer flashing before you can move forward.  Please help us keep our students safe this year!  

Cook County SRTS strives to improve the health of kids and our community by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier, and more enjoyable. In addition to coordinating Walking School Bus days in the fall and spring, SRTS also offers the annual bike rodeo in the spring, in-school education, and works to create safer routes with improved pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure, crossing guard equipment, and community signage (“Slow Down & Smile! Kids on the Move!”). 

For more information about Safe Routes to School, to volunteer, or for a Slow Down lawn sign, contact SRTS Coordinator, Andrea Orest, at 218-387-2330 ext. 110 or [email protected].

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