The Palo Alto Police Department is urging drivers to practice greater awareness and caution during their morning and afternoon school commutes, as the public school year starts later this week.
"We’ll have officers and crossing guards out to help keep everyone safe," police stated in a press release, "but please also do your part by being patient and watchful on our roadways."
Schools start the day at various times, ranging from 7:55 a.m. for high school zero period to 8:15 a.m. for elementary schools and 8:30 a.m. for middle schools. High schools' first period begins at 9 a.m.
Dismissal times vary widely by grade level and day of the week. The bulk of students leave school between 2:20 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., but some are dismissed as early as noon. Others stay at school through 5:50 p.m.
Parents who need information on the safest routes their children can take when going to school can consult the "Walk and Roll" route maps for each school posted on the city's website.
Additional information about commute safety is available at cityofpaloalto.org/SafeRoutes.
For members of the school community who want to participate in discussions or raise concerns about student traffic safety, the City/School Transportation Safety Committee meets monthly on Zoom. The committee includes school district and city staff. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, Aug. 23, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.