Getting to School
Teaching Children to Walk and Bicycle Safely
Hoover encourages families to walk, bike, or use other foot-powered wheeled devices as often as possible.
- Getting physical activity in the morning helps students perform better academically and reduces stress.
- Walking/biking to school is a regular opportunity to practice and develop essential traffic safety skills to prepare children for future independence.
- Walking/biking to school reduces traffic congestion and improves safety on Hoover’s campus and our school routes
School route and campus traffic during peak travel times is greatly exacerbated by parents driving children to school. Congestion has been identified as one of our top community problems in Palo Alto. Most car trips to school are less than two miles—an easy distance to bike. Our temperate climate allows year-round walking and biking. To help students learn the rules of the road, our school offers the Hoover Walk & Roll Route Map as well as in-school pedestrian and bicycle safety education for every grade level (except 4th), including a PTA-sponsored Bicycle Life Skills three-lesson curriculum for the 3rd grade, which includes an on-bike component where students practice essential bike handling and safety skills.
We encourage parents to be good role models. Try to walk or bike to school at least once a week, starting in kindergarten. You may be surprised to learn that walking or biking can be faster than driving.
If you must drive, a very safe and generally congestion-free option is to park your car in the Mitchell Park lot and walk the park path to Hoover. Enter campus through the Mitchell Park gate. This will make pick-up and drop-off more convenient, and students can take advantage of the 5-minute walk to get exercise and fresh air for a strong start to their school day.
Even in the rainy season students should walk, bike, ride a bus or shuttle, or participate in a rainy day carpool whenever possible. Warm, waterproof and lighting and/or reflective clothing is the key to successful walking a bicycling during the winter months.
Remember, every active trip to school provides the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with your child and demonstrate civic responsibility. We are the traffic, let’s make smart and safer transportation choices for our children.