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PUSD Schools Celebrating International Walk to School Week

PUSD is promoting walking to school this week as part of an international holiday.

Pasadena Unified School District schools is celebrating International Walk to School Week from Monday to Friday this week with local elected officials and law enforcement escorting students.

On Monday, Altadena Sheriff's Station Capt. John Benedict and PUSD Board Member Elizabeth Pomeroy walked with students to Jackson Elementary School in Altadena.

On Tuesday morning Superintendent Jon R. Gundry and State Senator Carol Liu joined students on their walk to McKinley Elementary.

Here are the activities planned for the rest of the week:

  • Wednesday, October 3, 8 a.m. 
    Julianne Hines, District Director for State Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, will join parents and students for a "Walk to School" week event to promote healthy habits and physical activity. Norma Coombs Alternative School, 2600 Paloma St., Pasadena 

    Thursday, October 4, 7:30 a.m. 
    Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Chief of Police Philip Sanchez join parents and families for a "Walk to School" week event to promote healthy habits and physical activity. Jefferson Elementary School, 1500 E. Villa St., Pasadena 

    Friday, October 5, 8 a.m. 
    Field Elementary celebrates "Walk to School" week with an event to promote healthy habits and physical activity. Field Elementary School, 3600 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena 

With PUSD's open enrollment policy, which allows students to apply to enroll to any school in the district, many students don't necessarily live within easy walking distance of their schools.

Patch asks: Do your kids walk to school?  Did you walk to school when you were a child?  Do you think it is safe for kids to walk to schools in your neighborhood?

navigio October 02, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I walked miles to school when I was a child. Even had to cross a freeway. I loved it...as long as I stayed out of the crossfire... There is no priority in our city for pedestrians and bicycles so the vast majority of people do not feel safe letting their kids walk to school, even when its close enough to do so. And with almost half our public school kids not attending their neighborhood schools, (much more than half if you include those in private), it should be clear that most dont even have that option. Walk to school day probably mostly means, drive to within a couple blocks of school, then walk from there...
pusddad October 02, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Too bad that what you say is so true. My kids are the lucky exceptions. 6 years w/in walking distance to ncas followed by 7 years walking to Marshall. It sure makes life easier.
Tony Brandenburg October 03, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I am sorry I can't attend the event spearheaded by ms. julianne "i don't care what happened (to that child)" hines. maybe i'll park the f150 across the street with a swell message painted across it: "maybe you should care, ms. hines."
Tony Brandenburg October 03, 2012 at 02:37 AM
i used to love walking to school. down a railroad track and across three big intersections. it was a great way to kick the brain in gear........ there is a sad rush to be on time in our culture tho, and as much as we tell our kids to be safe, there is that nagging design that says. 'be punctual' and drivers are under the same code. it is scary on the streets leading to and at our schools in the morning. it really is.
True Freedom October 03, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Maybe the mothers who choose to drive will slow down for those who are walking or biking. I had a chat with a very lovely woman this morning who was driving 50 in a 25 zone rushing her child to school. She gave me (and her poor child) a lesson in four letter words. Nice parenting.
Mary Brandenburg October 03, 2012 at 04:43 AM
The near misses I've seen in front of Marshall have become more frequent over the past couple of years. Could there be a correlation between the hazardous driving and the tardy sweeps? I don't know. I do know that some doctors will suggest prior to medicating a child for hyperactivity, trying a brisk morning walk. It can be a way to help a child to organize and focus for at least the first hour or so of the day.......I'd imagine though that by recess, the need to expend that energy is in high gear- and these kids are often those that lose that necessary movement break.
navigio October 03, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Its interesting.. In the state of the schools address a point was made that research seems to show that the 'achievement gap' is caused more by out of school time than in school time. In other words, it exists before kids enter kindergarten, stays constant during the school year but tends to increase over the summer. I dont want to argue whether this is true (though there is research that says so), rather the point is that a school policy-maker's response to this is to try to get more influence over the child. Especially when we use test scores to 'assess' district quality. If districts feel they are being unfairly graded because score differences are more a function of what happens outside of school where their influence cannot exist, then it seems natural they would want to increase the amount of time they have access to kids. One side-effect of this dynamic is that in-classroom time has become increasingly valuable to the extent that schools are going out of their way to make sure kids are in the classroom as promptly as possible, stay as late as possible, and to reduce the time impact of any mid-day curriculum or program changes. Many schools and districts have even lengthened the school day (not in our district) or have classes on the weekend (some schools in our district have done this). Although I do agree on the value of being on time, I think we have an unhealthy obsession with it. But given our culture, I'm not sure a happy medium is really possible anymore.
Mary Brandenburg October 03, 2012 at 07:00 PM
@Navigio- good points, especially re: the unhealthy obsession with time. True, schools need to maximize the time of the students while they're there, and definitely encourage punctuality. It's the punitive time management that seems to negatively impact students, besides the safety issues. I find that tardy sweeps pull students out of class 10 to 15 minutes, for a 30 second tardy. I also have seen students wait out the tardy sweeps, or even skip class to "avoid" the consequences. Doesn't make sense.
Louis Educe October 03, 2012 at 09:35 PM
for navigio: Here is a link to a site which posted data on the "summer drop" in student reading and math levels. http://www.ldonline.org/article/8057/ we see this at my school and the difference is large between kids who have some type of summer learning (summer school, family learning field trips, library reading programs...) and those that don't, increases as the grade levels go up.
navigio October 05, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Thanks Louis, I have seen the data. it wasnt necessarily my goal to discuss it, though now that you bring it up.. ;-) I will say that I think the focus on changing our school calendar is misguided. The irony is the basis for some of those positions usually includes using the number of days in school as an indicator of time in front of the teacher. The reality is that many places that have nearly year-round schooling, often have a much shorter day. And in some cases, this translates to a fewer total hours in class (sometimes even with increased performance). It is important to understand the cultures that choose those things because they differ very significantly from ours. Our culture focuses on output (usually economic). As a result, we implement policy that allows us to 'compete' more effectively (I see the rise in day care as a direct result of that, maybe even the idea of 'compulsory education'). We have many, many dual-income households, and single-parent households. Sending children home at noon or 1 is pretty much out of the question given our current working culture. In europe this is easy, (its even not uncommon to see kindergartners walking home by themselves in small towns). But in spite of that, one of the reasons for a summer drop is the type of income and resource disparity kids have at home in our society. If we are assuming we will never fix that, then its clear the school is the place to focus. But we should not forget, there are other ways to fix that.
navigio October 05, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Agreed Mary. There needs to be a balance somewhere between encouragement and punitive measures. Personally, I think a large part of punctuality is making the school a desirable place to be. I strongly feel that parents have a huge responsibility in that department, especially at the elementary level. But so do teachers, principals and even the office staff. Kids and parents will want to be at a place that is positive and enthusiastic. They wont want to be at a place where no one smiles, or people are treated rudely. Sometimes its the little things.. actually, its almost always the little things.. :-)
navigio October 05, 2012 at 07:51 PM
A while back, I saw a mom in a honda odyssey go through a red light (had been red for at least 20 seconds) facing backwards looking into the back seat at her kids. She was, of course, speeding as well. Had I been at that intersection a second earlier, I would no longer be here to pick on TF so much.. I am extremely grateful that I did not have my children in the car. For anyone who believes the world could be a better place, remember, it is exactly what we collectively make of it. Be safe!

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