Three years after a fire engulfed their school, Marysville K-8 School families and staff greeted the New Year with a newly remodeled building and the challenge of a new morning routine.
The 2009 fire not only took the community’s beloved school building, it also robbed students of the opportunity to walk to school. For three years, Marysville students were bused or driven to their temporary Rose City Park school. Until this week, this year’s Marysville 3rd graders had never had the opportunity to get to school under their own power.
While the new Marysville School building lies within most students’ neighborhood, it sits in the center of a triangle bordered by busy arterials at SE Holgate Blvd, SE Foster Rd and SE 82nd Ave., creating challenges for students and families that want to walk or bike to school.
Families can drive their students, however Portland Public Schools (PPS) Security Services staff is especially concerned about drop-off traffic in front of the school on SE Raymond, a very narrow street. With these challenges in mind, PPS staff contacted PBOT’s Safe Routes to School for help.
On January 4, Safe Routes staff attended the Marysville School evening open house to promote walking school buses to parents and families. A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school under the supervision of one or more adults. It provides parents an opportunity for their child to get to school in a safe, healthy way even on days when the parent can’t take their child to school.
PBOT’s Safe Routes to School staff have worked with schools and families throughout Portland to organize walking school buses. There are currently more than a dozen operating in the city.
Most of the Marysville families at the open house were excited about the idea and Safe Routes moved forward with planning. Two Walking School Bus start locations were identified, including one at 84th and Ramona, and one at Essex Park, and Walking School Buses commenced on Monday morning.
To learn more about the Marysville walking school buses or creating one at your neighborhood school, contact Carolina Iraheta Gonzalez at 503-823-1189.