It’s the end of summer and the start of a new school year. Parents can have mixed emotions about the start of the new year, other residents feel they are not involved with the school routine, but our entire community is affected in some way with students going back to school.
Part of Peninsula School District’s mission is to provide a safe environment for all its students to allow them to become productive citizens.
We all have a stake in our future citizens and creating a safe zone for them as they get down to the business of learning. The community can help contribute to the district’s mission by providing a secure environment outside of the class on the roadways and beyond.
As the busses are back out of the barn and kids are back on schedules with new supplies in hand, its an important reminder for drivers to take extra care with road safety.
Construction sites, notably around Wollochet Drive and the Donkey Creek area, directly impact the drive to schools such as Artondale and Harbor Heights Elementary, affecting drive times and creating impatience for residents trying to get around and keep on a schedule.
Its important to leave a few minutes of leeway to get to where we are going and take time to watch for children.
Children often are gathered along the roads, many with no sidewalks. Little ones can lose track of their surroundings. It’s up to citizens to be courteous, aware and patient.
The National Safety Council notes that children riding on a school bus are 13 times safer than in a passenger vehicle and 10 times safer than walking. However, children are most likely to be hurt getting off or on the bus by drivers who try and move illegally around a bus, especially younger children who may forget to look both ways before crossing a street. It’s up to drivers to be in charge of students’ safety to compensate for what children lack in height and awareness and abundant energy.
A few reminders from the NSC include stopping for busses in both directions on undivided roadways, or when directly behind a school bus. Also, never pass a bus on the right as it is illegal and unsafe for passengers. Take care in drop-off and pick-up spots as children’s enthusiasm may cause them to dart out unexpectedly. Speed limits and flashing lights in a school zone are there for a reason.
We also encourage members of the community to get involved this year with all the wonderful things the school district has going. Everyone comes out for the annual Fish Bowl, but there are other events the school district will showcase throughout the year. Go to school plays, choir performances and sporting events for both boys and girls. Students appreciate the recognition for the time, talents and energy spent preparing for these special events. It is a great way to show support and generate strong community traditions and ties.
Whether you have a child in school or not, you can make a difference by volunteering, mentoring, tutoring, or sharing. Back to school starts with doing our small part of driving safely, but it doesn’t have to end there.
This community is special, but we can make it even better. It takes us working together and being committed to providing an environment that helps produce productive citizens.