Many Wheaton schools will begin the new school year on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The safety of our community’s students is a top priority for the Wheaton Police Department. As part of the Wheaton Police Department’s back to school safety plan, there will be an increased police presence at all schools that are returning for in-person learning to ensure everyone arrives to/from school safely and to enforce safe transportation practices around our schools. Below, we would like to share several tips to make this a safe and successful school year.
Back-to-School Safety Tips
- Ensure students know their address and phone number.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Whenever possible, walk or bike with another person.
- Stay in well-lit areas.
- Limit the use of distracting devices.
- Avoid engaging with or answering questions from strangers.
- If something occurs that makes you feel unsafe, report it immediately to a trusted adult.
- Parents and guardians are encouraged to role play possible situations with students and discuss personal safety and awareness tips.
- Cross using marked crosswalks designated with a crossing guard.
- Look before you cross and follow the direction of school crossing guards.
- Always walk on designated sidewalks or paths, never along the side of the road.
- Obey speed limits and school zones.
- Avoid distracted driving.
- Watch for students walking or on bikes.
- Do not pass a stopped school bus.
- Ensure everyone in a vehicle wears their seatbelt.
- Adhere to the directions of crossing guards to ensure the safety of children and drivers.
- Helmets are required for riders ages 14 and younger but are recommended for ALL riders.
- Keep right and ride with traffic.
- Please note that if you are riding your bike in the downtown, you must walk (not ride) your bike on sidewalks.
- Secure your bike with a lock when not in use.
- Know and follow the rules of the road.
When to Stop for School Buses:
- On a two-lane road, vehicles traveling in both directions MUST stop when a school bus is loading/unloading.
- On a multi-lane road that is paved all the way across both directions of traffic (where there is no raised median, physical barrier, or unpaved space at least 5 feet across), vehicles traveling in both directions MUST stop. Exception: If the road has 4 or more lanes, the vehicles traveling in the opposite direction from the bus may proceed with caution.
- On a divided highway (where there is an unpaved space at least 5 feet wide, a raised median or physical barrier), vehicles behind the bus MUST stop. Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction may proceed with caution.
The Wheaton Police Department welcomes all students back to school, whether you are attending in-person or remotely, and we wish you a safe and successful school year.