I am writing concerning a very serious issue, the safety of our students walking to and from school and during family drop-off and pick-up. Yesterday I sent home a letter with every student due to potential safety concerns observed by staff, students, and community members living on Courcelette and Fallingbrook Roads.
The letter is as follows:
March 6, 2018
Our school procedures facilitate the safe arrival and dismissal of students as there continues to be a concern with the number of cars dropping off and picking up children in areas that pose safety risks for our students. As you know, there is much traffic congestion during the drop-off and pick-up times. Staff, students, and parents have expressed concerns about traffic safety, specifically the drop-of and pick-up of students on Fallingbrook Road and Courcelette Road.
With the coming spring season, this is a good opportunity to review traffic safety and what we can do to keep students safe as more students will be walking to and from school. The need to be aware and alert at all times, on any road, and even in the most routine circumstances is key to traffic safety. This applies to students and drivers alike so please take extra care on the roads and in particular in the vicinity of the school, especially in areas where children might be present.
Please observe City of Toronto posted signs about speed limit and parking regulations, particularly on Fallingbrook Road and Courcelette Road. Parking is very limited and in most places, not permitted on these streets near the school (in particular on Courcelette Road). It is very dangerous to stop your car and let students exit or enter without safely parking in an area identified as permissible. Whenever possible, I want to encourage everyone to please help set an example by walking to school.
As you know, the health and safety of students and staff at Courcelette PS is a top priority. School staff periodically review street and traffic safety with students. Parents can help reinforce these safety messages with children at home. Please do not put our students at risk by driving or parking in restricted areas.
Thank you for your support and co-operation as we work together to keep our students safe. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel to contact me at the school.
I have also contacted the City of Toronto, Toronto Police Services, and City Councillor Gary Grawford for their support in enforcing the posted signs and regulations. I want to thank everyone for being vigilant and helping all of the children in the neighbourhood move safely to and from school. I have made announcements to the students and following a staff meeting today, staff will continue the conversation in the classrooms. Some suggestions that may help:
- Leave yourself plenty of time to walk or travel to school. The bell rings at 8:40 AM.
- Students should be on the grounds and lining up to meet their teacher at 8:40 AM.
- Cross at stop signs, never cross in the middle of the street or in between cars
- Parents and caregivers should model safe habits and discuss potential dangers
- Make arrangements for a “walking school bus” and take turns leading children in the neighbourhood to school
- Call Parking Enforcement 416-808-2222 to report issues
- Toronto Police Services will be coming in the week of March 26th to make classroom visits about safety