The overall goal of the San Mateo County Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) is to enable and encourage children to walk or bicycle to school by implementing projects and activities to improve health and well-being, safety, and also reduce traffic congestion due to school-related trips. Below are resources for expanding access to safe transportation at your school or district.

Grant Funding

The San Mateo County Office of Education Safe Routes coordinates Safe Routes to School (SRTS) projects for 501c3 charitable organizations that serve children of San Mateo County. Grant funding is available for schools interested in participating in the San Mateo County SRTS program. Since 2011, over 100 schools have participated in the grant program. Through participation, schools have learned that parents provide a number of reasons for choosing to drive their children to school, often citing distance, convenience, the ages of the children, and safety. SRTS programs address a number of these obstacles.

2019-2020 Call for Projects

The call for projects for the 2019-2020 school year is now closed. Check back here in spring 2020 for the 2020-2021 call for projects. 

Previous Projects

Grant funding has supported a variety of non-infrastructure activities. A few examples of funded projects include:

  • Education: Bike Rodeos, Pedestrian Safety Assemblies, After School Bike Club Cycling Education, During School Bike Mechanics Courses, Parent Education Events, Route Maps, Website Development
  • Encouragement: Materials for hosting weekly/monthly Walk and Roll to School Days, Golden Sneaker Contests, Walk/Bike Across California and the United States, Secret Bike Brigades
  • Enforcement:  Materials for Students Safety Patrol/Kiddie Valet and volunteer Crossing Guard Programs
  • Engineering: Not applicable for the 2019-2020 grant cycle
  • Evaluation: Data Entry of Program Data
  • Project Coordination

County-wide Events

Safe Routes to School supports schools and districts in facilitating the following events. Interested in hosting an event at your school? Sign up to receive free resources and remember to share your event participation data.

International Walk to School Day: October 2, 2019

International Walk to School Day (IWTSD) is a global event involving children walking and biking to school.

Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day: November 14, 2019

Ruby Bridges became a symbol of the civil rights movement at age six when she was the youngest of a group of African American students designated to integrate schools in the American South. On November 14, 1960, her first day of school at William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Ruby was escorted by four federal marshals and spent the entire day in the principal’s office as irate parents marched into the school to remove their children. 

Districts and schools in San Mateo County are encouraged to recognize Ruby's impact by adopting "Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day" on November 14, or on the second Tuesday of each November when November 14 falls on a weekend. SMCOE provides a number of resources to support districts and the community in taking part in this initiative. If your school(s) would like to participate in Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day on November 14, please RSVP no later than Friday, November 1.

Golden Sneaker Events: February 2020 - March 2020

Golden Sneaker events are a fun way to get children and families walking to school! With this event, students track the number of times they bike, walk, carpool or use transit as a means of getting to school. The classroom with the greatest participation rate earns a coveted Golden Sneaker Award. While events may be held at anytime, the formal San Mateo County Golden Sneaker Competition is held during the last week of February and first week of March.

Earth Day: Week of April 22, 2020

Join San Mateo County Safe Routes to School and RecycleWorks of San Mateo County in Celebrating Earth Day! Walking School Buses and groups can pick up litter along the way to reduce carbon emissions and keep our home beautiful.

Bike to School Day: May 6, 2020

Join cyclists from around the nation in celebration of National Bike to School day! The first National Bike to School Day event was held on May 9, 2012, and scheduled to coordinate with the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Month.

Weekly/Monthly Events

Schools that have had success with special events often expand them into regular activities that occur on a regular basis, such as "Wednesday Walk to School" or "Walk and Roll (i.e., Bike) Day." Walking school buses, bicycle trains, and park and walk activities are all ongoing encouragement activities. These weekly and monthly events help to institutionalize positive behaviors and multiply the benefits of the activities, enabling walking and biking to become the preferred mode of travel from home to school.

Resources

Reserving Our Bike Blender

A bike blender is a bike pedal-powered blender. They are a great tool to reward participation in Safe Routes to School Program activities, teach about health and wellness, and enhance Safe Routes to School education and encouragement activities. To reserve our bike blender, send an email to Ruth Wallace at srts@smcoe.org.

Safe Routes to School Guidebook

The Safe Routes to School Guidebook is available for download.

Additional Resources

Theresa Vallez-Kelly

Coordinator, Safe Routes to Schools and TUPE

Email: tvkelly@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5429

Vanessa Castro

Project Specialist, Safe Routes to Schools

Email: vcastro@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5430

Ruth Wallace

Administrative Assistant, Safe Routes to Schools

Email: rwallace@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5428