Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools want to see every child arrive at school safely, on time and ready to learn. We know that parents share these goals, so we offer the following guidelines to help parents choose safe and healthy transportation options for their children. We encourage parents to consider these health and safety concerns when choosing a form of transportation. By working together, we can create a safer and healthier environment for our children.
Ride the School Bus
The school system provides free bus transportation for students who live more than a half-mile from school. The more students who ride the bus, the more funds the school system receives to operate the buses.
Traffic congestion around schools is a growing problem caused by too many private vehicles. This increased traffic creates other concerns:
- Air pollution around the school and playground where students will be exercising.
- Blocked access for emergency vehicles during arrival and dismissal times.
- Safety hazards for students who wish to walk or bike to school.
- Less physical activity and interaction with the outdoors for the students being driven.
In addition, students who ride a school bus are statistically less likely to be involved in a crash than those who ride in private cars. So we encourage you to take advantage of this available transportation option.
Walk or Bike to School
If you live close enough, consider walking or biking to school with your child. Walking in a group with other parents and their children can be fun for everyone, and a healthy way for your child to start the school day.
If your child is in 4th grade or higher, consider letting your child walk or bike with friends to school. Route maps are available to show the preferred routes with less traffic and fewer crossings.
If you want to walk or bike but live too far away, consider meeting at a friend’s house, park or church near the school so your children can walk together.
Walking School Bus Program
Beginning with a Walking Wednesdays program at Kimberley Park Elementary School, the Safe Routes to School Program is working on starting a Walking School Bus Program at a few schools. At participating schools, a designated coordinator will recruit adult volunteers to walk with groups of students to school. These volunteers will undergo a background check and will be trained as “drivers” for the walking school bus. The school coordinator will design routes according to where participating students live. Stay tuned for more information as the program develops.
Carpool with Other Parents
If you feel you must drive, consider carpooling with neighbors or other parents to help reduce the number of private vehicles and the amount of air pollution at the school. For some school locations with sidewalks or trails, you could also drop students off a few blocks from the school where they could walk together to school.