Open Letter to Educators
Welcome, Ontario teachers and educators. We’re looking forward to a productive partnership with you through the CAA School Safety Patrol Program to ensure Safety Patrollers can achieve their greatest potential.
CAA has a long-standing legacy of delivering top-notch road safety initiatives and the CAA School Safety Patrol Program is the cornerstone of this legacy, as it was developed in the 1920s. Thank you for your interest and participation.
To participate in the CAA School Safety Patrol Program, you must have a designated Patrol Supervisor to coordinate the program at your school.
As a Patrol Supervisor, you have the leadership qualities, safety skills and dedication that will make this year’s CAA School Safety Patrol Program a wonderful experience for your students. We share the responsibility of your students’ success – which is why we’ve created this special school information section to assist you. Here you will find more information about the program, how the partnership works, your role, and tools to help you run the program at your school.
We wish you a successful and safe school year.
Patrol Supervisor Resources
We appreciate you leading the CAA School Safety Patrol Program as a Patrol Supervisor at your school. We’ve seen the influence that teachers have – not only on the growth of the program, but in the personal development in the children participating. Your Patrollers will remember this time for the rest of their lives. Thank you for your commitment.
If you’re new to the role of Patrol Supervisor, or looking for reference materials, we’ve put together some teacher resources below. They will help answer the most frequently asked questions and set your school up for a successful year.
As the Patrol Supervisor at your school, it’s up to you to select the students who will participate in the CAA School Safety Patrol Program. Students must be between the ages of 11 and 14. The number of Patrollers you have is determined by your school’s needs. Your community training partner will consult with you on the numbers of Patrollers needed based on safety concerns.
As in any activity, parent support is mandatory. In order for students to participate in the Safety Patrol Program, parental consent forms need to be completed annually as per your school board’s requirements. Keep returned permission forms on file for the duration of the school year.
When drafting a communication to parents, be sure to point out the benefits of being a Patroller.
What traits make a good Patroller?
Look for volunteer and leadership attributes: responsibility, self-confidence, punctuality, dedication and enthusiasm.
Remind students that the commitment is for the entire school year – during warm and cold days. Other students rely on them, so ask them if they are truly willing to commit.
You would be selecting Foot and/or Bus Patrollers. When choosing your Bus Patrollers, consider the drop-off and pick-up locations in relation to the school. For example, it is beneficial to choose Patrollers who will be on the bus longer distances and therefore on duty longer, rather than Patrollers who exit the bus at the first stop.
Patroller Training & Program Supplies
More than 800 schools in Ontario participate in the CAA School Safety Patrol Program. As part of this program, all new and returning Patrollers must attend mandatory fall training in order to participate in the program. They must also successfully pass a short exam. To schedule foot or bus patrol training in your area, contact your local CAA-approved training partner or CAA. Patroller supplies will be distributed during the training sessions.
As student volunteer numbers may change during the year, you may need to have additional Patrollers trained to sustain the program.
Patrol locations are determined in conjunction with your training partner. It’s good practice to familiarize yourself with your school’s patrol location(s). For areas with Foot Patrollers, take a walk to see the location of the sidewalks, stop signs, traffic control devices and loading zones. If you have any questions about the locations requiring patrols, call your local police service community officer or local CAA –approved training partner.
You may have Bus Drivers or Adult Crossing Guards at your school. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself to them and open the lines of communication to ensure that they are aware of the CAA School Safety Patrol Program and how they will work with Patrollers
To ensure everything is running smoothly at your school, patrol meetings should be held regularly, but how frequent is up to you.
During these brief meetings, you should discuss patrol duties, any challenges the Patrollers face, successes and rewards, as well as ways to improve the program at your school. Additionally, you should review safety rules and how to properly care for equipment.
A notice board helps keep things organized. Use it to plan shift schedules and upcoming meetings and events. You may want to assign this activity to a more senior member of your patrol team as a development opportunity.
All CAA School Safety Patrollers receive a student handbook when they complete their training. The back of it has a handy calendar for tracking the days when they are on duty.
Some groups like to recite the Patroller Pledge before they begin a meeting, or after successfully completing Patroller training, as a way to connect the group. It’s a good reminder of their commitment to safety.
Rewards for Patrollers
It’s important to keep Patrollers motivated, so celebrate successes and reward them for their volunteer work during the year.
Depending on your community, incentives may already be in place such as hot chocolate days, picnics and play days. CAA regularly hosts movie days and an annual training camp that are open to current School Safety Patrollers. Your local training partner will provide details of these opportunities if they are available in your area.
You can also nominate some of your school’s top Patrollers for the annual CAA School Safety Patroller of the Year award.
But feel free to get hands-on with your own incentives – you know your students best.
Here are some suggestions:
- Verbally thank your Patrollers for their hard work. Don’t underestimate the power of words to encourage and motivate Patrollers
- Create a Safety Patrol bulletin board to acknowledge the patrol team at your school
- Acknowledge Patrollers during a school assembly
- Design Patroller classroom/school awards
- Provide extra privileges for Patrollers
- Write a note of thanks or a card
Highlight Patrollers by asking them to read safety messages over the school P.A. system
School Zone Safety
The bell rings as school starts or ends for the day, and it’s a busy time. Excited kids are walking to and from school, buses are loading and unloading students and parents are dropping off or picking up kids.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario school population includes over two million students. With this much movement of people and vehicles, it’s easy to see how safety is important.
CAA wants to assist with safety in school zones. In fact, that’s the main reason we started the CAA School Safety Patrol Program back in 1929. Through the program, student volunteers are trained to assist at road crossings and on school buses, so that their peers remain safe.
The route to school should always start with safety
Another way we’re helping to drive school zone safety is through providing educational materials. We know everyone has a role to play when it comes to school zone safety – parents, schools, pedestrians and motorists. The following downloadable brochure explains these roles, rules of the road around schools and buses and some safety tips.
To request copies of this brochure, email firstname.lastname@example.org