Since the school year begins in less than 5 days, we thought we’d share some “Back to School” information in this week’s update. We are so excited for the coming year, and wish you and your family success, health and happiness as school ramps up.
Anchorage School District Calendar
Our office uses this calendar, distributed by ASD, to find out what days are In Service, when holiday breaks occur, and when other events of note are going on! This can be a great item to print out and keep on your fridge, or to save in your phone for future reference.
Safe Driving = Safer Kids!
Once school begins, there will be more students and parents out in our neighborhoods walking to and from class, practices and activities. As drivers, it is imperative that we are vigilant in watching for increased pedestrians, bikers and young drivers. Here are a few helpful tips from the National Safety Council for back-to-school driving:
Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:
-Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
-Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school
-Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school
SHARING THE ROAD WITH YOUNG PEDESTRIANS:
According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:
-Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
-In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
-Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
-Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
-Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
-Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
-Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way
SHARING THE ROAD WITH SCHOOL BUSES:
If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
-Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
-If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
-The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
-Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks
SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLISTS:
On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.
-When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
-When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
-If you’re turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
-Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially tend to do this
-Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
-Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
-Check side mirrors before opening your door
Cheer on our Students!
With the beginning of the school year comes the start of some awesome sports programs! Some sports, like football, cheerleading, cross-country running and more have already started to practice and play, but many others are still to come! Our office feels so grateful to be able to watch and cheer on these amazing student athletes, and we’re really looking forward to all the fun games and meets to come.
If you are interested in learning more about the sports programs at your child’s school, you can visit:
High School: https://www.asdk12.org/Page/5458
Middle School: https://www.asdk12.org/Page/5459
Or you can chat with the administrators at your child’s Elementary School to find out what awesome opportunities the school and volunteers have to offer!
School Bus Update
Will your student be riding the bus to or from school this year? ASD has a great page with information on bus routes, safety, and policies: https://www.asdk12.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5419
You can also look up the best way to transport your student or find a route by visiting http://busroutes.asdk12.org/Students/BasicTransBoundarySearch.aspx
Thank you to all our bus drivers in the district for their hard work to keep our kids safe and to get them to school on time!
Once again, we wish you and your family a wonderful school year, and want to express our gratitude and well wishes for all of our hard working teachers, administrators and support staff. We will be cheering you on and look forward to bumping into folks at schools and PTA’s throughout the fall!
Enjoy your weekend!