7 E's of Approach

Our 7 E’s Approach to Sustainable School Commute Planning is foundational in the Ready Step Roll (RSR) initiative. It facilitates capacity building within school communities throughout their participation in RSR so they can keep it rolling in years to come.

Many of the resources below have been developed for participation during the RSR Initiative, but all resources have been made available for public use in all regional school communities. Contact us if you would like more information on obtaining additional resources to enable greater mode shift toward active and sustainable transportation at your school.

Equity in sustainable school commute planning supports creating solutions that help everyone acquire the tools they need to be successful. Approaching sustainable school commute planning through an equity lens helps build and strengthen community connections while embracing the unique abilities, backgrounds, identities and experiences of all individuals.

Program stakeholders offer solutions and opportunities to remove or lessen barriers to active and sustainable transportation while considering how these barriers may be cultural and economic in nature, resulting in disproportionate impacts to lower income and/or culturally diverse neighbourhoods.

School Community Activity Ideas and Opportunities:

  • Financial Equity:
    • Create a Student Equipment Exchange Station (bikes, helmets, rain gear).
    • Host a local bike mechanic for free bike tune ups at school events.
    • CRD can share bursary and grant opportunities to support school activities.
  • Social and Emotional Equity:
    • Highlight safety efforts that work to support all students.
      • Crossing Guard appreciation events, new infrastructure, celebration stations
      • School Bus Driver appreciation and awareness
    • Create opportunities for students to participate in safe active transportation
      • Volunteer with a Walking School Bus, Cycling Train, or at school events.
      • Recruit student leaders to help with morning and afternoon cone duty.
      • Address gaps in AM/PM supervision to support family schedules.
    • Educate and support students to make safe street smart decisions
      • Host Road Safety Education (Think of Me)
      • Host Personal Safety Education (WITS)
  • Accessibility
    • Ensure all proposed strategies consider solutions are suitable for all ages and abilities.

School Community Challenges

  • Heavy reliance on PAC based volunteers and funding

Transportation and carbon

Choosing to travel on foot, by bike, or by bus not only helps to reduce our emissions, but also improves local air quality, reduces traffic congestion, is more affordable, and is healthy for us. Active transportation is the most environmentally-friendly choice. 

Evaluation is a key component of Sustainable School Commute Planning. The Ready Step Roll initiative collects data and user insights to understand each school transportation context, create opportunities and solutions and identify barriers in school catchments. Understanding the current conditions for transportation on school-area roadways and communicating opportunities for active and sustainable transportation is foundational to the initiative.

Each Ready Step Roll school will help construct and receive the following deliverables as part of their participation. Prospective schools are encouraged to read examples from past years.
  • Final Reports
    • Review these reports to learn about your school's active and sustainable transportation culture.
    •  Monitor changes over time through the Action Plan in each final report.
  • In Class Hands Up Surveys
    • These surveys can be used to understand broad scale commuting patterns in schools. When repeated over time, Hands Up Surveys can be used as an indicator to identify general school transportation patterns. By a show of hands, teachers record student commute modes for one week to identify how students get to and from school.
  • Baseline School Commute Survey
    • Available for Ready Step Roll schools, the CRD hosts an online survey open to parents and guardians asking about their current commuting habits and concerns about participating in active and sustainable transportation. The data obtained from this survey guides action planning.
  • Follow Up Feedback Opportunities
    • Feedback is welcomed from all participants. School and local government partners involved in the initiative will have the opportunity to provide feedback upon completion of the cohort to guide future program development. All partners are asked to evaluate the program to ensure we are meeting the needs of the partners and enable us to continually improve the program.

Communities are encouraged to explore different infrastructure interventions such as road space reallocation or examples in the BC Active Transportation Design Guide.

When streets and environments are designed with all users in mind, everyone benefits! Ready Step Roll engages local experts (parents, guardians, and school staff) to identify locations in the school’s catchment that could be improved to be more accessible, safe and connected.

Ready Step Roll also works to communicate the benefits of allocating road space for active transportation in order to find solutions for complete streets in more areas throughout the region.

Ready Step Roll works with local governments to develop a long-term, community-based, strategic Action Plan to address infrastructure concerns on a priority basis. Due to the scope of the program, the Action Plan to focuses on the immediate school-neighbourhood, common/high-use routes and on school property.

Learn more about your school's Action Plan by reviewing the Final Report.

Enforcement plays a vital role in keeping school routes safe. However, it doesn’t always need to be in the form of a ticket. Crossing guards, PAC leaders, and school staff all help enforce drop-off area parking restrictions, traffic safety, and student protective equipment use.

To support the enforcement of traffic safety for all users, the Ready Step Roll program offers a variety of opportunities and ideas. When used in unison, parents and guardians are given peace of mind, knowing their child will arrive to and from school safely.

The enforcement role of the Ready Step Roll program includes:

  • Liaising with local police to advocate for enforcement of safer driving in school areas.
  • Working with municipalities to review parking enforcement in school areas.
  • Partnering with CRD Parks to review school area awareness along Regional Trails.
  • Supporting education initiatives for shared road and trail enforcement:

With the right training, students can walk, bike, or roll to school more often while enjoying increased physical skill sets and self-confidence.

School communities learn about the benefits and caution points of active and sustainable transportation through road and traffic safety education and bike skills courses, developed in partnership with police, ICBC, and local non-profit organizations.

  1. Road Safety Scavenger Hunt - Keep your eyes peeled! This resource challenges families to find different infrastructure, traffic signs, special vehicles, and neighbours while you walk through your community. Use it to teach your child about traffic safety or to change up your daily walks.
  2. Move your Feet on the Street Challenge - How many ways can you move on your street? We're challenging kids to travel their "home stretch" using as many different forms of active transportation as possible. Includes a warm up brainstorming activity, followed by hands-on learning and finally, thematic podcasts to help kids wind down after moving.
  3. Ready Step Roll Bingo - On your marks, get set, BINGO! Challenge family members to be the first player to complete a line on their bingo card while performing different strength-building movements, exercises, and stretches to help stay active at home.
  4. Backyard Adventure Course - Get creative and see how you can move through your homemade obstacle course! This resource includes ideas on how to transform common household objects and toys into different obstacles for kids to maneuver through in the driveway, backyard, or even the living room.
  5. Physical Literacy Resource List - A growing master list containing links to websites with ideas and activities to help keep kids active while they develop personal physical literacy. This list will continue to be updated.
  6. ICBC Road Safety Resources for Educators - Free learning resources developed to teach B.C. students road safety skills and awareness. These grade-specific resources were developed to meet the Ministry of Education's curriculum guidelines and incorporate First Peoples' Principles of Learning. 
  7. BC Transit - BusReady - Free online educational materials for parents, guardians and educators. Fun and engaging content for children to support them on their transit journey. Contact BC Transit - BusReady for scheduling free in-class delivered programming by BC Transit staff.

Although walking, biking and rolling can be fun, convenient and sustainable, sometimes we need a little encouragement to get moving!

Ready Step Roll supports school cohorts and students by fostering a culture of active and sustainable transportation in each school community. Depending on the level of support available, school administration, PACs and community members can host events to encourage active and sustainable transportation using a variety of resources.

Additional Ideas to encourage Active Travel:

  • Participate in the Terry Fox Run, Jump Rope for Heart, GoByBike Week, WALKtober and many other campaigns to encourage active and healthy lifestyles in students.
  • Host Celebration Stations for active and sustainable school commuters with stickers, snacks, prizes, or all of the above.
  • Connect with Island Health to support healthy living beyond physical literacy.