Support for Safe Routes to School

Explanation: Safe Routes to School programs and activities encourage physical activity, bolster student safety, reduce traffic congestion at the beginning and end of the school day, and even have been shown to improve students’ concentration.[31]  School districts that do not explicitly support Safe Routes to School through clear policy language can inadvertently discourage walking, bicycling, and other forms of active transportation. Providing supportive language within school district policy ensures that all schools will promote and plan for Safe Routes to School programs and activities.

Option 1: District supports Safe Routes to School programs and activities because active transportation can:

  1. Increase physical activity levels for students,[32]
  2. Improve student health,[33]
  3. Decrease automobile congestion and related danger of injury to students,[34]
  4. Reduce air pollution and related greenhouse gas emissions,[35]
  5. Reduce costs related to busing,[36] and
  6. Improve attendance rates and student achievement.[37]

District further supports efforts to increase participation in Safe Routes to School programs and activities in those schools with the fewest resources, and among low-income students, students with health challenges, and those with physical and mental disabilities.



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Getting Started

Each page of the Policy Builder consists of an explanation of one policy element, followed by one or more potential choices for wording of that element.  Read the explanation, then read each of the element choices.  

  • If you don't want to include this element in your policy at all, click on "Do not include this element in my policy." 
  • If you do want to include this element, click the wording you'd like to use for that element.  In general, the first option on the page is the least stringent, and each subsequent options becomes more stringent.  After each is a "Score," represented by 1 to 3 stars.  The more stars, the more stringent the wording, and the stronger that element will be in your policy.

At the bottom of the page you'll see "Previous" and "Next" buttons which you can use to navigate through the twenty-six different elements in the policy.

In the left sidebar you'll see a list of policy elements, organized into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.  In addition to using Previous and Next, you may jump directly to any section. 

When you've addressed all the elements, click the "Finish" link, or simply click the "Next" button on the last element in the list.  You'll receive a score based on the policy choices you made, as well as some suggestions as to how to improve that score and make your policy stronger.  You can follow those links, or use the links in the left sidebar to change any of your choices.

When you're satisfied with all your choices, return to the "Finish" page and click the "Download My Policy" button to save a copy of your policy to your computer.  You can open and further edit this file in Microsoft Word or any other word processor. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at or use the "Help with Policy Builder" link in the left sidebar.

That's it!  Click "Get Started" below to begin your Safe Routes to School policy!

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Each policy is eligible for a given number of stars, depending upon how much the policy contributes to creating a safe and encouraging atmosphere for children to walk and bicycle to school. Some policies are only eligible for one star, others for two stars, and others for three stars. For some policies, selecting a stronger option may provide additional stars.

Users of this document should be aware that every funding source has different requirements governing the appropriate use of their funds. Under U.S. law, no federal funds are permitted to be used for lobbying or to influence, directly or indirectly, specific pieces of pending or proposed legislation at the federal, state, or local levels. Organizations should consult appropriate legal counsel to ensure compliance with all rules, regulations, and restrictions of any funding sources.