Safe Routes to School
SRTS Starter Kit
Whether you’re new to Safe Routes to School or you’ve laid the foundation for a SRTS program in your community, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve assembled all the materials you’ll need to grow your SRTS program. If you think something is missing or would like more individualized guidance, contact us on the toll-free SRTS hotline at 1-855-601-7787, or contact one of our Local Technical Assistance Coordinators.
Also be sure to check out our Resource Library to find additional tip sheets and guides to fully develop a sustainable Safe Routes to School program at your school. You can also find activity ideas and best practices that have been used at other schools across the state.
What is Safe Routes to School? How do I discuss it with my community?
The following resources provide a general background on the national and Virginia’s Safe Routes to School program. Feel free to review these on your own or to print these resources out and share them with interested schools and community members.
- VDOT SRTS Program Brochure – The SRTS program is administered at the state level, which means that every state has its own unique approach to implementing SRTS. This brochure explains Virginia’s SRTS program.
- SRTS Talking Points – If you’ve been asked to speak about the SRTS program, reviewing this resource is a good starting point. These talking points neatly summarize the program and provide statistics and studies to support the benefits of Safe Routes to School.
- SRTS Customizable Power Point – This customizable power point presentation is designed for you to use in your community or at your local school. The presentation already includes information discussing SRTS, the 5Es, funding opportunities, and where to find resources online. Simply add your schools information for an individualized and complete Intro to SRTS presentation.
- Learn it. Do it. Live it! Steps to Creating a Safe Routes to School Program – This four-page resource offers eight steps that have proven effective for other communities in starting a local SRTS program.
- Learn it. Do it. Live it! SRTS Calendar – This resource discusses the importance of working with your school and school division to get SRTS events on the official calendar so that students, parents, and schools can look forward to and prepare for Safe Routes events. This resource also includes a customizable academic calendar that shows the important upcoming SRTS dates and can be used in the classroom or to help plan for SRTS events.
My school is ready to participate in a SRTS activity, how do I organize it?
Need ideas for a SRTS event? Or do you have an activity in mind, but you’re not sure how to get started? Begin your planning here with a series of Learn it. Do it. Live it! tip sheets and guides to benefit from the experience of other schools in the state.
- Getting Started Guide - Walk and Bike to School Day Events are great ways to kick-off a program. These events can be as big or small, simple or complex as you like! Whatever the flavor of your event, this is a good resource to turn to for planning a successful event.
- Ways to Participate - There are many different ways to show students, families and communities that walking or bicycling to school is a fun and feasible way to travel. In general, events are usually one of three different types, with many variations to each. The basics of these three event types are explained in this tip sheet. Use it to get some basic ideas, then brainstorm dozens of ways to customize these concepts!
- Event Ideas – Walk or bike to school events can be as simple as encouraging kids to walk or bike to school on a particular day. This tip sheet describes several effective ways other local SRTS programs have used successfully.
- First Time Tips for Planning a SRTS Event – This tip sheet offers advice from seasoned event organizers. If this is your first event (or if you’re looking for ways to plan a smooth event), review this short tip sheet.
- Including Students with Disabilities - Safe Routes to School programs and activities can and should include students of all abilities. For tips and guidance on ways to make sure everyone can participate, read the guide created by the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
- How to Plan a Walk or Bike to School Event in 7 Days - Do you only have a week or two to pull off a walk/bike to school event? Don’t panic! You can plan an event in as little time as a week. Look over this planning guide to organize your steps over the course of seven days.
- Learn it. Do it. Live it! QuickStart Mini-grant Guide – Virginia DOT Safe Routes to School offers $1,000 mini-grants throughout the school year to help fund SRTS activities in your school and is a great way to fund a school’s first SRTS event. This tip sheet describes activities that other schools have funded with Mini-grants as well as directions for applying and using a QuickStart Mini-grant.
My school or division wants to create a sustainable Safe Routes to School program that continues year to year. How should we proceed?
- Program Building Blocks - Virginia SRTS has a new framework to guide local programs. Like you, it's goal-oriented, with the ultimate goal of helping more students to safely walk and bicycle to school. The framework has five building blocks: Equitable and Sustainable Program, Safe Streets, Welcoming Campuses, Safe Behaviors, and Supportive Culture. Learn more about the building blocks and example activities in this document.
- Program Plan Template - The Program Plan is the first phase of any SRTS effort and outlines a school or community's intentions for making active travel to and from school safer and more sustainable. It's a great way to organize programs, projects, and people in support of SRTS. Once complete, the Program Plan also serves as a legacy document for the school's or division's SRTS program.
The Program Plan Template is an editable document that outlines a community’s intentions for enabling and encouraging students to engage in active transportation (i.e. walking or bicycling) as they travel to and from school. This template will walk you through each planning step, including: identifying schools, developing a SRTS team, crafting a vision, reviewing existing policies, exploring walking and biking potential, identifying key issues, developing activities and strategies, and gathering support for the program.
- Program Dashboard - This spreadsheet is designed to help you keep track of the schools within your program, plan activities, and monitor implementation. It is designed to be used with the Program Plan document above.
If you still have questions or want to share your ideas, call us on the toll-free VDOT SRTS hotline at 1-855-601-7787.