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Posts Tagged ‘Sitka School District’

may 22 bike to school day poster

Sitka will host its own Sitka Bike To School Day on Friday, May 22, as part of a busy National Bike Month schedule of events.

This event was a late addition to the event calendar, and it was added because Sitka School District Live Well Physical Activity and Nutrition program coordinator Lauren Havens and Sitka Community Hospital director of health promotion Doug Osborne wanted to have a chance to visit classes at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary and Blatchley Middle School to teach the kids about bike safety. Havens and Osborne were still visiting classes when National Bike To School Day happened on May 6, so they decided to host a special Bike To School Day for Sitka students.

During their classroom presentations, Havens and Osborne gave the students a bike safety quiz and they also gave them a special password for student discounts this month at Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop. Students who ride their bikes to school on Friday, May 22, will be entered into a drawing for prizes at both Keet Gooshi Heen and Blatchley.

Students riding to school are reminded that there is a youth helmet ordinance in Sitka for cyclists, scooter riders, skateboarders, etc., age 18 and younger and helmets are required equipment. Parents are invited to join their students on the bike ride to school, and drivers are encouraged to watch for children on bikes in the roads. Please make sure your child is wearing bright clothes (preferably with reflective tape) so they are easier for drivers to see.

 

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patrickwilliamsbikehelmetsMay23JP

BIKE SAFETY: Sitka Community Hospital health educator Patrick Williams shows students at Baranof Elementary School how to adjust a bike helmet during a May 22 presentation at the school. The Sitka Community Hospital Injury Prevention program teamed up with the Sitka School District’s Live-Well Program to distribute 150 bike helmets to local elementary school students in an effort to reduce head trauma rates in Sitka. Organizers said Sitka’s unintentional injury rate is one of the highest in the state, 20 points higher than the state average. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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ssdk12logoSitka School District classes start on Wednesday, and the Sitka Police Department reminds drivers to watch for students walking and biking to school.

In particular, the Sitka Police Department reminds drivers to pay special attention in school zones and near school bus stops during the morning before classes and afternoon when classes end.

“Be extra attentive around the elementary schools where smaller children are going to be present, and around the bus stops,” Sitka Police Lt. Barry Allen said. “Smaller children may not be visible as they walk between cars and around other visual obstructions. The smaller children tend to be most active in the mornings and the most eager to get home in the afternoons. They may not be paying close attention to vehicles on the roadways.”

The Sitka School District has about 1,300 students at five schools around town. In addition, there are about 400-425 students at the state-run Mount Edgecumbe High School boarding school, which also started classes this week.

Parents should teach their children the importance of looking both ways before crossing streets and other safety tips for walking. In addition, they can request free reflective tape to put on their child’s clothes (front, back and sides) and backpacks by contacting the Alaska Injury Prevention Center in Anchorage. Parents also can work with the Alaska Safe Routes To School program to help make sure popular walking and biking routes to Sitka schools are safe for students. A few years ago, a coalition of local residents developed a Safe Routes To School master plan for Sitka. Sitka does have a mandatory bicycle helmet ordinance for youth age 18 and younger, and the ordinance includes kids using scooters, skateboards and other similar devices.

Finally, a reminder that the International Walk (and Bike) to School Day this year is on Wednesday, Oct. 9. It’s not too early to start planning local events to promote safe walking and the health benefits of students walking to school.

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Pacific High School students and staff ride their new classroom set of bikes from Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop to a storage facility in October. The bikes, to be used for PE classes, were funded by an Alternative Schools Healthy Students Initiative grant from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. Pacific High School is an alternative school operated by the Sitka School District. Pictured from left: Hillary Seeland, William Biggs, Raven Young, Eric Matthes, Carson Conner, Jill Williams, Scott Thomas, Ryan Kauffman, and Tommy Svilar. Not pictured are Sarah Ferrency and Jessie Young. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Ferrency, Pacific High School co-principal)

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