Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School
Walkers holding hands

Celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 10th

When more people walk and bike instead of driving, neighborhood streets become safer and more welcoming for everyone. The exercise we get from walking and biking has benefits too—including improved focus, cognition, and mental health. On October 10th, Minneapolis Public Schools will join families and students across the nation in this celebration of community, wellness, safe streets and cleaner air. More than thirty MPS schools representing thousands of walkers and bikers have registered their celebrations. Whether your school has signed up or not, plan on joining the movement by walking or biking on October 10th—to school or to somewhere else.
 

HOW WILL YOU GET TO SCHOOL THIS YEAR?

The Minneapolis Walking Routes for Youth map can help you plan your route!
For younger students, a walking school bus is a fantastic, friend-filled way to get to school.
Check out the safety tip sheets for walking (English), walking (Spanish), biking (English) and biking (Spanish)

Save the dates! Add to your 2018-2019 calendars!

Walk/Bike Day is October 10, 2018 REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL NOW
 
Winter Walk Day is February 6, 2019
Winter Wellness Week is February 4- February 8
 
Bike/Walk Day and the Let's Roll MPS is May 8, 2019 
MPS Wellness Week is May 6-May 10

MINNEAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS SAFE ROUTES to SCHOOL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN  

The new Minneapolis Public Schools Safe Routes to School Strategic Action Plan is completed! Providing fun, safe, and convenient opportunities for youth to walk and bike not only improves wellness, connectedness, and quality of life in our community, but is also one piece of achieving the academic goals of MPS. The plan brings a focus on equity throughout all SRTS actions and in coordination between MPS, City, and Hennepin County staff. Together with our many partners, we will work toward a vision where all students have opportunities to walk and bike, where communities are safe and connected, and where the beauty that Minneapolis offers is accessible to all. 

Active Commute Equals Active Mind

MPS Safe Routes encourages students and families to actively commute to school. Research suggests students who walk to school have better attendance and higher achievement than those who do not. A recent study found that walking or biking to school improved children's concentration during the school day much more than eating breakfast or lunch did!. Other research links walking and creativity. As we all play a role in student success, in students achieving their dreams, MPS Safe Routes offers the commute to school as a small piece of this larger goal. Please contact MPS Safe Routes if you'd like assistance starting Safe Routes efforts in your community, educating staff and students on safe routes, organizing bike/walk events and walking buses, establishing school-owned bicycle fleets and/or addressing safety concerns.

Recent publication  | Journal of School Health | Critical Connections: Health and Academics | Volume 85, Issue 11 | November 2015

The November Issue of the Journal of School Health is devoted to the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model. One article in this issue focuses on Health and Academic Achievement. Some excerpts: “Despite these [reform] efforts, there has been minimal improvement in student achievement. One reason might be that these education-specific approaches are not addressing health-related barriers to learning… Researchers have been examining the association between physical activity and academic achievement for almost 50 years…[research] consistently showed that physical activity had a significant positive association with students' cognitive functioning (eg, concentration and memory)…. In addition, a recent review, based on a meta-analysis of 20 experimental studies, concluded that students participating in physical activity had improved academic achievement including better concentration and attention, higher achievement tests scores, and higher math scores compared with students who did not.” Read the article.

Safe Routes to School Highlights from 2017-2018:

  • Fifteen schools held once, monthly, or weekly Bus Stop & Walks this year: Anwatin, Bancroft, Cityview, Hale, Hiawatha, Howe, Kenwood, LNCS—Keewaydin, LNCS—Wenonah, Loring, Lucy Laney, Lyndale, Northrop, Seward, Sullivan. Each week, more than 5,000 “extra” students experienced the joys and reaped the benefits of walking to school. In a year-end survey of the Bus Stop & Walk, 97% of staff reported that on the days of the Bus Stop & Walk, students arrived to school MORE ALERT and READY to LEARN!  (See full survey results.) The state of Minnesota is creating a Bus Stop & walk guide, based on our efforts in MPS. MPS staff, students, and parents also star in the Minnesota online crossing guard training. The stars of MPS shine brightly!
     
  • MPS SRTS joined MPS Culinary & Wellness Services and engaged the community in updating its strategic SRTS, due out summer 2017, with help from a planning grant from MnDOT SRTS.
     
  • More than 1,500 MPS students discovered freedom, beauty, and adventure on the streets and trails of Minneapolis using the MPS bicycle fleet and the Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum. These students from Anishinabe, Bethune, Folwell, Heritage, Loring, Lucy Laney, Lyndale, Marcy, Nellie Stone Johnson, Seward, Sullivan, Transition Plus, Webster, and Whittier collectively pedaled their bicycles more than 8,000 miles—going farther than the year before and biking the equivalent of  Miami to Seattle and THEN BACK AGAIN.
     
  • In the summer many more students will be bicycling EVERY DAY in the Stem Academy summer programs at Andersen and NEMS and during physical education class at South High School. School bicycle fleets across MPS will also be in use this summer!
     
  • The bicycle maintenance class at Transition Plus took excellent care of the MPS bicycle fleet over the winter. The school also created and implemented a first-of-its-kind bike share for students, providing convenient access and life-long skill development for T-Plus students.
     
  • Three more MPS staff completed League Cycling Instructor training in May: Tammy Cowan (MACC – Minneapolis Academy & Career Center ), Lisa Herr, (Seward) and Jerilyn Rogers (Anwatin)! Way to go BIKE LEADERS!
     
  • Thirty-seven schools took part in Bike & Walk to School Day events in celebration of MPS Wellness Week and National Bike to School Day. More than 10,000 walkers and bikers participated!!! Check out the list of participating schools. More than 36 schools and 9,000 students and staff participated in October walk and bike to school day events.28 MPS schools celebrated Winter Walk Day during the second annual Winter Wellness Week.
     
  • The third annual Let's Roll MPS was held on National Bike to School Day!  more than 100 students, staff and community members joined in the five mile bike ride in celebration of MPS Wellness Week and National Bike to School  Day! Thank you to awesome groups from Bethune, Lucy Laney, Nellie Stone Johnson, Pillsbury Pedal Power, and Whittier and all the riders and volunteers! We ended the ride with some MPS True Food deliciousness served from our Streets Eats food truck. Mark your calendar for May 8, 2019, and plan to join us in 2019!