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Spring ISD Asks the Community to Exercise Caution in Neighborhoods and School Zones as More Students Walk and Ride Bikes to School

August 23, 2011

Spring – Aug. 19, 2011 – With students heading back-to-school Wednesday, Aug. 24, the Spring ISD administration is asking the community to show extra caution when driving through neighborhoods, especially during the times when students will be traveling to and from school.

“With the reduction in bus transportation to the two-mile state limit like neighboring districts, we expect more of our students will be walking and riding bikes to school than ever before. We want to enlist the support of our community in helping to keep our children safe,” said Dr. Ralph H. Draper, superintendent.

Due to the state’s reduction in school funding, the decision was made to reduce bus transportation to the two-mile state limit, which is projected to save the district $1.5 million. Spring ISD is one of the last in the Houston area to change to the two-mile limit.

The change in transportation also made it necessary to change the arrival and dismissal schedule for schools. Elementary schools will be in session from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and middle schools from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. High schools will be in session from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. except for Thursdays when the starting time will be 9:30 a.m. to allow for Extended Professional Learning Time for staff. The new schedule will extend the regular day at high schools by 35 minutes and at middle schools by 15 minutes.

“We need community members to be aware of the change in school schedules and plan their own travel time accordingly. They might want to allow extra drive time if their schedule coincides with before-and-after school schedules,” said Chief Alan Bragg, Spring ISD police department.

Bragg said community members should also be reminded that school zone speed limits will be in effect and using cell phones in a school zone is prohibited. In addition, although bus transportation has been reduced, the district will still have school buses on the streets and drivers are asked to be aware of traffic laws regarding school buses.

“Drivers should pay close attention when red lights are flashing on a school bus. Vehicles traveling in both directions must stop unless there is a median dividing the street. On streets with medians, only vehicles traveling the same direction as the bus are required to stop,” Bragg said.

During the first week of school, the Spring ISD Police Department will have officers directing traffic at each campus, and campus staff members are also trained to assist during student arrival and dismissal times.

“With the change in bus transportation, we expect there will be more parents dropping their children off at school this year. We ask parents to be patient and help us make this transition as smooth as possible,” said Bragg.

A crossing-guard program is being developed, primarily for elementary schools, to assist walkers and bike riders at off-site locations and will be implemented soon. More information will be provided to parents as this new program becomes operational.

“We are preparing for a safe and orderly start to the new school year, which is always a priority, and looking forward to working with parents and the community to ensure our students’ safety throughout the year,” said Draper.

For  more information about hazardous walking routes, contact the safety and risk management department at 281-891-6440; bus transportation, contact the transportation department at 281-891-6490; and the crossing guard program, contact the police department at 281-891-6911.

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