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Get On Board: Safety First

AISD, city of Austin partner to prepare students for the new school year at 12th Annual Back to School Bash

Austin ISD and the city of Austin's Safe Routes to School Program stressed safety to the entire community at this year's 12th annual Back to School Bash. The Bash is a resource fair that brings together thousands of families each year to prepare students for the new school year.
 
"We're proud to be partnering once again with the city of Austin and other community organizations to bring the Back to School Bash. The Bash gives families a single place for resources and safety information," said Superintendent Paul Cruz. "This event helps ensure students are ready to learn on the first day of school."
 
Vaccines, car seats, haircuts and backpacks full of school supplies were available at this free event.
 
Bash aims for students to have everything they need to take advantage of the quality education offered at AISD, while promoting safety in and outside the school.
 
Since 1991, the city of Austin's Safe Routes to School Program has educated students on pedestrian and bicycle safety and provided crossing guards at crucial intersections. The program aims to tackle barriers that prevent students from walking and biking to school. The goal is to empower the community by making walking and biking to school safe, convenient and fun for students and families.
 
The city of Austin Public Works Department supports this effort by employing 230 crossing guards and crossing guard supervisors, stationed at 96elementary schools in seven school districts.
 
In 2016, Safe Routes to School trained more than 49,531 students in safe street crossing, bicycle safety and safe train and bus riding procedures.
 
AISD urges community members to recognize the importance of school bus safety, especially by not passing school buses that are displaying flashing red lights.
 
AISD's Department of Transportation encourages drivers to reduce their speed when driving near schools and to follow posted signs that require drivers to slow down to 20 miles per hour or less when lights are flashing. Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or stop when school bus lights are flashing, and speeding through school zones when lights are flashing could result in a fine.
 
The district's transportation team would like to reinforce several safety tips for students:
  • Always remain in direct eyesight of the bus driver.
  • Arrive at the bus stop in plenty of time, at least five minutes prior to the scheduled time.
  • Take 10 giant steps back from the curb while waiting for the bus and 10 steps away from the curb when exiting the bus.
  • Never try to re-board the bus without the driver's permission to retrieve an item after exiting.
  • Never reach underneath the bus.
  • Always follow the driver's directions for how to cross the street.
  • Be alert to traffic and look both ways.
  • Always cross in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is safe. 
     
The collaboration includes more than 120 departments from AISD, city of Austin and Travis County, non-government organizations and other entities that seek to help the community.
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For more information about the City of Austin Safe Routes to School Program, visitaustintexas.gov/saferoutes. Follow SRTS on Facebookwww.facebook.com/atxpublicworks.
AISD is the largest school district in central Texas, serving more than 83,000 students at 130 schools. Follow AISD on Facebook at www.facebook.com/austinisd, Instagram at @austinisd or on Twitter at @AustinISD.