The back to school shopping lists are rolling in. Trapper Keepers (ok, those might not be a thing anymore), pencils, new uniform shirts, and fresh haircuts are on the list of to-buy and to-do before the big day. And perhaps what's most exciting for parents kids actually getting back on a schedule and going back to school. Cue the happy parents.

"I wouldn't say we dance in the street to celebrate," said Marty Smith FRONTSTEPS Vice President of Customer Success and father of four. "But we are indeed super pleased to send them back to school."

Smith isn't alone. This writer is counting the days until her darling daughters head back to class. Smith's kids take the bus. My kids ride their bikes or walk, depending on the weather. My kids are, for the most part, aware of their surroundings when they walk out the door and load up on the bus or pedal through the neighborhood to school.

For Smith, it's everyone else I worry about. Drivers racing to work and ignoring speed limits is pretty common, mostly because they haven't seen buses around for the summer and so it takes a bit of getting used to.

"But now is a good time to remind residents why it's particularly important to follow the rules of the road. Here are 4 ways to get your neighborhood ready for school.

  • Send out a communication (email or text) to your residents and remind them that kids are heading back to school and to drive with caution. Include some gentle reminders to slow down and obey traffic signs (no rolling stops through stop signs).
  • Suggest that the parents, caregivers, and kids in your neighborhood get together and walk through the community together to discuss safe biking routes, crosswalk rules, and bus loading/offloading procedures. Lead the show, if need be. And encourage others to join the mini-parade so they can get to know area kids.
  • See if a local police officer wouldn't mind adding some few extra patrols of the area, especially if your neighborhood is one that commuters often use to avoid clogged freeways.
  • Remind parents and kids to affix reflective tape, stickers, or cool reflective wheel stripes to bikes and backpacks. There's a ton of hip reflective gear nowadays including arm bands, bike lights, and more.

For additional tips on improving resident experience in your community, get your copy of our free six-step guide.

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