Monday, April 23, 2012
Superintendent Phil Ertl heard from parents that most were opposed to earlier school hours, especially for high schoolers. He has revised his proposal, keeping high school at 8 a.m. and starting lower grades 10 and 20 minutes later.
If there is a change in school start times, it will be toward later bells rather than earlier ones. In an effort to improve school safety by reducing congestion, Wauwatosa Superintendent Phil Ertl recently proposed spreading out the start times of the three school levels and advancing the high school bell to 7:40 a.m. He asked for feedback from parents and staff, and he got it, apparently by the earful. Ertl said Monday night that the results of a survey and direct communications from parents showed a strong majority were opposed to earlier school starts, especially the 20-minute advance on high school hours. He is now proposing the opposite course — keeping high school starts at 8 a.m. and moving both middle schools to 8:10 and all …
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Sarah Lerand recognized for efforts to improve safety conditions around school hemmed in by busy thoroughfares.
During 2011, school zone safety became a topic of concern for all of Wauwatosa. Several accidents – a 4-year-old being struck by a car in front of Eisenhower Elementary School, another student hit near Madison Elementary, another near Longfellow Middle School and suffering a severe leg fracture – opened eyes and created calls for action. At McKinley Elementary School, action was already under way. Before any accident happened there, McKinley mom Sarah Lerand recognized the dangers inherent in traffic congestion nearby to busy West North Avenue and Swan Boulevard, and she began a campaign to minimize the danger. On Wednesday, Lerand will herself be recognized for contributing to a safer community when she will receive an award from Safe …
Friday, April 6, 2012
Congestion from both school and commuter traffic, especially around three schools concentrated on West Center Street, prompts proposal for advancing school bells.
The Wauwatosa School District will consider a proposal this month for earlier start times for all schools, mainly because of traffic safety concerns. In a letter to district parents (below), Superintendent Phil Ertl pointed out that a number of accidents and incidents last year could be attributed to traffic congestion. This is especially true in the West Center Street corridor where West High, Whitman Middle and Eisenhower Elementary stand in a row, all currently start within five minutes of one another, and all start at the height of commuter rush hour. The district's proposal would also make start and end times consistent for all schools at each level. High school start times would be most affected, with students expected to be in class…
Thursday, February 2, 2012
At least six schools could benefit from crossing rebuild and safety studies.
- Jim Price
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Joint efforts between three government entities will bring some needed attention to three Wauwatosa school crossing zones, with one slated for a colorful rebuilding next year and two more being studied for possible improvements. As part of the Zoo Interchange Project, the crossing at Glenview and West Wisconsin avenues will be updated in 2013, with full attention given to pedestrian safety, including broad, colored crosswalks. Meanwhile, West Center Street between North Mayfair Road and North 124th Street and North 100th Street between Ruby Avenue and the north city limits will be the subjects of safety studies this year, with recommendations for improvements to come. Those studies cover the routes leading to and past Madison Elementary …
Saturday, January 7, 2012
School receives one of just 26 such awards given nationally, will use it to promote and build on Walking School Bus program.
Wauwatosa's McKinley Elementary School has received a national grant to help expand its Safe Routes to School program. The National Center for Safe Routes to School (NCSRS) awarded McKinley one of just 26 mini-grants of $1,000 to support projects that encourage students and their families to walk or bicycle safely to school. The grant becomes available during this semester. McKinley intends to expand its Walking School Bus (WSB) program by reaching out to community members, businesses and three nearby universities. WSB encourages encourages parents who have been driving their children to school to form groups that walk together with volunteer adults accompanying them. The program reduces traffic congestion around schools and increases …
Monday, December 19, 2011
Momentum has been building toward creating less hazardous conditions for children; we need to keep that fire lit.
I was driving west on Wisconsin Avenue last week at about 3:20 in the afternoon when something happened that stuck with me. As I approached the corner at Glenview Avenue, there was a county bus stopped at the curb. I had a green light, so I proceeded past it in the main traffic lane, slowing a bit for caution. Just as I was passing, a school crossing guard took a step out from in front of the bus, waving his handheld stop sign. I couldn't even begin to stop, so I swerved a bit away from him and kept going, while he quickly retreated to the cover of the bus. I didn't really come close to hitting him, but I was, for a moment, shocked and appalled with myself. I thought, "What have I done? I failed to stop for a crossing guard! I must be one …
Monday, November 21, 2011
Led by parent pediatrician and an involved alderman, school has developed a comprehensive community approach.
An accident Nov. 7 near Longfellow Middle School that left a student with a serious leg fracture prompted calls for a city and School District review of safety. On top of a minor accident in front of Eisenhower Elementary last spring, it seemed more needed to be done to protect Tosa's schoolchildren. Sarah Lerand, a McKinley Elementary School parent, didn't wait for the worst to happen. She could see it coming and, beginning a year and a half ago, decided to do something about it. "After talking to some people in my neighborhood association, it was clear there was a lot of concern," Lerand said. "We got the city's attention. We came with a petition with more than 300 names." McKinley School is a building beset with double traffic trouble. …
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Much safer crossings come about through a grant that arrived too late to complete work before school year.
- Jim Price
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Sometimes good things come with a price. Students, parents, teachers and staff at Jefferson Elementary School were more than a little miffed when, on the first day of school last week, contractors showed up and began demolishing the key corner crossings around the school. There was heavy equipment, noise and dust, and worse, it meant everyone, including very small children, had to walk around barricades and into the streets to get to and from school. One Jefferson teacher called it "idiotic" to schedule such critical work so close to the school at such a time "when they had all summer to do it." The scene was the same at Wilson Elementary School and St. Jude's. The most important crossing corners were being torn up and rebuilt at seemingly…