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 encouraging safe and active transportation at your school or district.

Safe Routes to School and COVID-19

The way students travel has changed in the age of COVID-19. There are more people out walking and biking these days and, once students return to school, we will support them in continuing to walk or bike. We are working with schools and cities to make streets safer for students. Click HERE to view resources from a meeting we hosted for city staff. 

While students are learning at home, we’re working with schools to integrate movement in their days with a focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum and safe walking and biking while practicing social distancing. Click HERE to see our social distancing guidelines for walking and biking.

Students can play our Star Wars themed virtual escape room, Baby Yoda's Safe Journey, and learn how to navigate the streets safely on foot or by bike.

 

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.

Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day: November 18, 2020

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 following Wednesday of each 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. Click HERE for the Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day website or go to www.tinyurl.com/RubyBridgesWalk

Golden Sneaker Events: February 2021 - March 2021

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, 2021

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 5, 2021

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.

Past Events

Pedestrian Safety Month: September 2020

There are a lot of people out walking these days! Pedestrian Safety Month is a reminder to practice safe walking techniques and to be a conscientious and alert driver. The San Mateo County Office of Education is celebrating Pedestrian Safety Month with the One Month Challenge. Complete the Challenge and return it to - Safe Routes to School 101 Twin Dophin Drive, Redwood City, CA 94065 - for a SRTS activity kit. 

Click HERE and HERE for Pedestrian Safety Month resources from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Walk to Anywhere Week: October 5-9, 2020

International Walk to School Day (IWTSD) is a global event involving children walking to school. This year, due to Covid-19 and distance learning, we celebrate a week of taking a walk to anywhere! Make sure you wear a mask and practice social distancing guidelines for walking and biking.

’21-’22 Safe Routes to School Grant 

A program budget for non-infrastructure activities of up to $258,000 and up to $105,000 for small capital infrastructure and special projects has been established for the 2021-2022 school year. Any San Mateo County school/district interested in applying for SRTS funds may apply for up to $20,000 in small capital infrastructure/special projects and up to $9,000 in non-infrastructure funding (for single school applicants)School districts may apply on behalf of their schools with a maximum award of $50,000 per district for non-infrastructure. Please note: If a district is applying on behalf of their schools, single school applications within that district will not be considered.  Applications must be received no later than 5:00 pm on June 23, 2021 and must be submitted via the link provided in the application. Click HERE for the grant application folder.

Schedule for the Review Process

May 19, 2021                                             Call for Proposals available on Safe Routes webpage

June 23, 2021                                            Proposals Due by 5:00 pm (submission link provided in application)

June 24, 2021 – June 30, 2021                  Review Proposals

July 5, 2021                                              Applicants Notified via e-mail regarding application status

TBD                                                          Notification of Award Letters Sent and MOUs

 

Submitted Questions - ’21-’22 SRTS Grant

Q - If a project is awarded Transportation Authority funding for small capital infrastructure and it cannot be completed in a year, can the funds carryover into the next fiscal year?

A - Yes

Q - One of the potential applicants is interested in a project outside of a school and involves making a crossing safer. However, the project would take place on Caltrans roadway and the applicant is concerned that it could take more than a year to jump through all of Caltrans hoops. If this project were awarded funding, would it be possible to extend the funding into the following fiscal year if the project cannot be completed in ’21-’22? (Transportation Authority funding only)

A - Since the applicant does not have design started or approval from Caltrans, at this point we will not fund the project until the design and environmental clearance is finished along with a finalized plan and approvals for implementation (i.e. We need to know who will actually implement the final project and that agency will need to sign off on everything).  The TA is open to the applicant applying for funds to do the design and environmental work this year to help them work through this.  Then they could apply for the construction/equipment next year to the SRTS grant.  However, the TA will not provide funds for the actual equipment until these issues have been resolved.  We recommend they apply for $5-10k for planning/design/environmental clearance this year toward the eventual capital project. We are not opposed to the project itself though.

Q - Once I submit my application via the survey monkey link that was provided, will I receive confirmation that it went through?

A - Yes. You will receive confirmation within 24 hours if you submit M-F. If any items are missing, you will be notified and will have 24-48 hours to submit those items. (If you submit your application on the due date, 6/23, and you are missing items, they must be received by 6/24.)  If you do not receive an email confirming receipt of your application, contact Spring Ho - sho@smcoe.org

Q - Has the grant review and award announcements timeline changed?

A - Yes. Grant applications will be reviewed 6/25-7/8. Notification of awards will be emailed no later than 7/15.

 

Resources

Reserving the 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 srts@smcoe.org.

Safe Routes to School Parent and Community Empowerment Toolkit

The Safe Routes to School Parent and Community Empowerment Toolkit is available for download.

Safe Routes to School Walk + Roll Guidebook 

The Safe Routes to School Walk + Roll Guidebook is available for download.

Safe and Supportive Schools Travel Kit

The Safe Routes to School Safe and Supportive Schools Travel Kit is available for download.

 

Community Partnerships

Cooline Team of East Palo Alto is a non-profit organization founded and led by Christian Sbragia, a passionate local activist and youth leader. The Safe Routes to School team partnered with Cooline Team of EPA (or CTEPA) to assist with their Winter Project, which consisted of a winter box delivery and a 3 day online winter camp. The boxes were delivered on Saturday, December 19th to 100 students in 80 households. A team of Safe Routes to School representatives and CTEPA representatives put the boxes together and made the deliveries following COVID safety practices. The boxes included many goodies, such as books, bike lights, safety vests, Safe Routes to School activity books, coloring sheets, food, and more. The impact of this project was vast, as resources, activities, food, and holiday cheer were delivered across the city of East Palo Alto and beyond! Looking ahead to 2021, the Cooline Team of EPA has more camps, box deliveries and projects in store and the Safe Routes to School team looks forward to supporting them!

Theresa Vallez-Kelly

Coordinator, Safe Routes to School and TUPE

Email: tvkelly@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5429

Vanessa Castro

Project Specialist, Safe Routes to School and TUPE

Email: vcastro@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5430

Sonia Schendel

Americorps Fellow: Safe Routes to School (Ravenswood)

Isabella Farinelli

Americorps Fellow: Safe Routes to School (Office of Traffic Safety)

Email: ifarinelli@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5439

Spring Ho

Administrative Assistant II

Email: sho@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5428