Active school travel is a human powered means of getting to and from school. It includes:
- in-line skating;
- non-mechanized wheelchairing; and
Active school travel is a great way for children to be physically active, which is associated with improved physical and mental health, while making school zones safer, by reducing traffic volumes at and around schools. For more information on the benefits of active school travel, see School Travel Planning: Introduction for Parents.
Walking the Rural Way Project
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, with their active school travel partners in Brockville, Smiths Falls and Mississippi Mills, was successful in receiving $100,000 over two years to pilot the “Walking the Rural Way” Project. The project is supported by Ontario Active School Travel, a program of Green Communities Canada with funding from the Government of Ontario. The goal of the project is to increase the number of students in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark who choose active school travel for the journey to and from school. To do this, the project will offer Walking School Bus programs unique to each school and community.
The Walking the Rural Way project is a partnership between many organizations and agencies from Brockville, Smiths Falls, Mississippi Mills, and recently Prescott (November 2018) including:
- Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO)
- Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
- Upper Canada District School Board
- Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
- Green Communities Canada
- City of Brockville
- Town of Mississippi Mills
- Town of Smiths Falls
- Town of Prescott
- Brockville Police Service
- Smiths Falls Police
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Bartholomew Community Hub
- YMCA of Brockville and Area
- Volunteer Centre of St. Lawrence Rideau
- LifeFit Athletics
- Mills Community Support
- Commonwealth Public School
- Westminster Public School
- Duncan J. Schoular Public School
- Chimo Elementary School
- St. Francis de Sales Catholic Elementary School
- R. Tait McKenzie Public School
- St. Mark Catholic School
- Wellington Elementary School
What is a Walking School Bus?
A Walking School Bus is a group of children walking to school under the supervision of a trained adult leader. Like a yellow school bus, the Walking School Bus follows a fixed and safe route with designated “bus stops” and “pick up times”. Walking to school is not only a convenient and fun way for your child to travel to school with their peers, but it also promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.
Which schools are participating in the Walking School Bus Program?
Starting in the 2018–19 school year, there will be 8 schools from 4 communities (Brockville, Smiths Falls, Mississippi Mills, and Prescott) participating in the Walking School Bus program. The schools participating are:
- Commonwealth Public School (Brockville)
- Westminster Public School (Brockville)
- Chimo Elementary School (Smiths Falls)
- Duncan J Schoular Public School (Smiths Falls)
- St. Francis de Sales Catholic School (Smiths Falls)
- R. Tait McKenzie Public School (Mississippi Mills)
- St. Mark Catholic School (Prescott)
- Wellington Elementary School (Prescott)
Additional schools may be added at a later date.
Who can participate in the Walking School Bus?
Any student attending the participating schools listed above is welcome to join! Students using mobility aids may also participate, however a barrier-free route cannot be guaranteed.
Parents/guardians will be required to register each child they wish to participate in the program. Space on the Walking School Bus will be assigned on a first come first serve basis. When all the spaces available on the route have been filled, a waiting list will be created.
Registration for the Walking School Bus
Before registering your child please review the following resources:
- Walking School Bus Frequently Asked Questions
- Walking School Bus Code of Conduct
- Routes and Schedules
To register your child for the Walking School Bus program please complete the Walking School Bus Registration Form.
Additional Information for Parents/Guardians
- Teaching Children to Walk Safely
- Tips for Walking Through the Seasons
- Tips to Encourage Safe Backpack Use
- Remember Your Walk to School Poster
- Active and Safe Routes to School Infographic
- Active School Travel Safety Tips
Information for Schools and Teachers