Dan Mini Elementary
Dan Mini Elementary is an active participant with Solano Safe Routes to School (SR2S). Academic Support Provider (ASP) J. R. Matulac heads the school’s participation in Safe Routes events and activities. Celebrating International Walk to School Day the school hosted Supervisor Erin Hannigan that morning to greet students as they arrive, 180 students participated that morning. The school has participated in International Walk to School Day yearly since 2013. Dan Mini has also participated in Travel Surveys, Safety Assemblies, Helmet Fittings and National Bike to school Day.
As an advocate of safety for students travelling to and from the school ASP Matulac along with Principal Yvanna Wheeler applied for a Safe Routes to School Micro Grant for incentives, potential safety projects and safety materials. The grant application was successfully funded for safety materials and incentive items for students that walk or wheel to school. The grant application also provided an opportunity for discussions with the City of Vallejo and the SR2S Program around potential city projects to increase safety for students walking and biking to school.
Prior to the Covid-19 shutdown of schools, Dan Mini expressed interest in working with SR2S to begin an ongoing walking program like a Walking School Bus and/or Walking Wednesdays. The SR2S Program is ready to continue the partnership with the school when on campus classes resume.
Solano Widenmann Leadership Academy
Elsa Widenmann Elementary School merged with Solano Middle School in August 2019 creating a K-8 school on the site of Solano Middle School. Both schools have been active in the SR2S Program at their independent sites previously.
Carolyn Finley as the Academic Support Provider at Solano Middle School (and continuing at the new school) has worked closely with the SR2S Program since 2015. Both schools’ participation included, hosting Bike to School and Walk to School Days, completing Student Travel Tally Surveys, and inviting SR2S staff to attend the school family resource nights. In May 2019, Supervisor Erin Hannigan supported students and families of Solano Middle School with a “call to action” event providing much needed resources, as well as partnered with SR2S for helmets and the Bay Area Bike Mobile to provide free bike repairs.
In advance of the start of the school year and to prepare for the increase in students, the School District reconfigured the parking lot by removing parking spaces and adding a one-way drive through pick up/drop off area. Concerned about the increase in traffic after the school merger and for the students’ safety, Ms. Finley reached out to SR2S staff for assistance, who conducted a walk audit observation once school started.
Arriving in the morning before school, SR2S staff observed driver behavior, traffic patterns and the number of students walking and biking to school. This visit provided important data for staff to help begin to address Ms. Finley’s concerns. During the observation staff saw students being let out of cars to and crossing the street mid-block and not using the crosswalk in front of the school. Many parents were seen using Cascade Ave. as a drop off zone, sometimes u-turns at that location held up traffic. There is also a SolTrans bus stop directly in front of the school, a few students were observed using the bus to get to school.
After the observations, SR2S staff met with Ms. Finley to discuss options for education and improvements around the school. It was suggested Solano-Widenmann apply for the pilot SR2S Micro Grant to fund safety incentives and equipment. The Solano- Widenmann application was successfully funded, and discussions have begun with the City of Vallejo and the Vallejo City Unified School District to consider additional infrastructure improvements on the streets surrounding the school. Efforts were placed on hold in March 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. SR2S will continue to support Solano Widenmann K-8 when students return to school. (Renamed Solano Widenmann Leadership Academy beginning 2020-21 school year)
Everest Academy is active in the SR2S program thanks to the hard work and creativity of Carmen Cassius, Academic Support Provider, who devised an on-campus Walking Wednesday in 2016-2017 school year to encourage students, parents and teachers to build positive relationships and stay active. On average, 71 students and 16 adults participate in the event every week and students are “happy, smiling, singing and dancing” as they walk around campus. Everest academy also participates in other Safe Routes to School events including International Walk to School day, the annual Poster Contest, and semi-annual Hand Tally Surveys.
Annie Pennycook Elementary
Pennycook Elementary began a Walking School Bus in the fall of 2016. Led by Arnika Nichols (Academic Support Provider) and parent volunteers, students meet three times per week to walk to and from school. Pennycook also plans to launch Fit Fridays in the spring which will encourage students to engage in physical activity by walking or biking to school as well as participating in an on-campus activity. Pennycook also participated in a number of Safe Routes to School events throughout the years including International Walk to School Day, Bike to School day, the annual Poster Contest, and semi-annual Hand Tally Surveys.