TCU Nursing and Blue Zones groups assisted Christene C. Moss Elementary School in an effort to make morning drop-offs safer for their students.
One group was assigned to C.C. Moss Elementary because the school identified a safety issue that had been noted four years ago.
Parents were stopping in the middle of a two-way street, slowing the flow of traffic. This made students walk in front of other cars to cross the street.
Since then, staff members have been placing cones in the drop-off area and directing cars to the stopping point. Staff also assists students out of their cars. This allows a convenient drop-off for the parents and a safe one for students.
The groups collected data of arrivals and dismissals, creating a plan for implementation of new drop-off procedures. They also provided flyers and spoke with parents about the new initiative.
Team member Hayley Walz said TCU Nursing has returned to the project every spring to try and improve safety for the children.
“We believed that C.C. Moss was in most need of an adjusted drop-off procedure,” she said. “We saw that the groups before us had worked on assessing the traffic situation and taught pedestrian safety to the children.”
Assistant principal Charla Staten said the TCU Nursing group was very beneficial in assisting C.C. Moss with their arrival procedures. They trained staff, created an official launch date and allowed C.C. Moss to implement the new drop-off procedures.
“We are very thankful for their participation and support in ensuring that Moss is a safe learning environment,” she said.
Staten added that the staff enjoys collaborating with the TCU Nursing students because they always provide great insight on how they can alter some of their practices in order to make the school and community safer.
“We would like to thank TCU Nursing cohort and professors for always being very supportive and having a vested interest in the wellbeing of Christene C. Moss Elementary and its community,” she said.
The group based their model off of practices from Safe Routes to School toolkit and from models used by other schools with safe drop-off procedures.
Safe Routes to School aims to create safe, equitable and healthy communities throughout the United States. They also focus on the advancement of safe walking and bicycling to and from schools as well as to improve the health and wellbeing of all children.
Group leader Claire Parker said working in the east Fort Worth community was unique for her team. Instead of working in a hospital with individual patients, they could focus on a whole community.
“Having the chance to be hands-on in creating a safer environment for elementary students in the Stop 6 district of Fort Worth was humbling and rewarding,” she said. “We got to see the students and greet their parents every morning.”
Parker said parents were responsive to the pilot programs, such as directing traffic in the mornings, showing their desire for a safer drop-off routine.
TCU Nursing students said they will continue to make the campus safer with the relationship they have maintained with the community.
Staten said parents have adjusted to the new routine and trust that staff will ensure the safety of all students.