Just before 8 a.m., the courtyard outside Washington Elementary School is tranquil. On this February morning, the only sound is the soft rain pattering through the pine trees that tower over the school.
Voices break through the stillness. Around the courtyard perimeter, groups of children appear. They splash through the puddles pooling up on the concrete sidewalk. Behind them follow volunteers—parents or community members—clad in blaze orange and yellow vests and holding umbrellas and safety flags.
Washington Elementary School has one of the highest poverty levels in the Vancouver, Washington, school district—90 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. In the Rose Village neighborhood plagued by gang violence and illegal drug use, the walking school bus is a safety necessity. It’s also one of the many ways the school takes care of its students.
Original source: American School Board Journal, October 2017