Walk Only school: WWYD

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Walk Only school: WWYD
15
Fri, 06-04-2010 - 6:11pm

Recap: we've been hs'ing DS9 for 2 years now. We moved and are signing him up for public school for next year, hoping for the best.

I just found out it's a walk only school!!! We're 1 mile walk from it. We only have one car and if I didn't have other children I'd just walk him. But I can't.

On the times he had to walk on his own 0.2 miles a couple years ago, he would get kicked, bullied, etc. on the way home. Plus that was only a couple blocks away and I could see most of the walk.

Now we're ONE MILE away. Should I just let him go? He has no sense of time and is easily lost... plus unsupervised for that amount of time? I already called the school to see and they said it's walk only and if he was in any other school they would have him walk too since it's only one mile.

What do you guys think? Am I being over protective?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Fri, 06-04-2010 - 6:46pm
I personally would insist on transportation.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2006
Fri, 06-04-2010 - 7:57pm

We're a mile away from our elementary school as well. I always drove to pick them up, but when David started going to the middle school, which is even further, it became harder. Eventually I had to have David walk to Nathan's school on his own, which was kind of scary for him at first, but it's pretty much the nicest walk you can ask for---over a little bridge with views of brown pelicans and S.F. in the distance.

Although we never took advantage of this, our school did have something they called Walking School buses. Basically, a group of kids would walk home together with one parent accompanying them, and they'd go in a route that drops each kid off at their house. A mile doesn't seem so long, but for a tired 7 or 8 year old, it IS a long way. It takes most of an hour, especially on a hot afternoon.

We've just started homeschooling David, and I sure hope it works out, because I have no idea how he'll get to the local high school. It's more like 2 or 3 miles away, and they are expected to take the city bus. Have you ever been on a city bus jam-packed with high-schoolers? Yikes!

Anyway, this is something that the school will have to help out with somehow. He should be eligible for the special ed bus, I would think.

Avatar for ralenth
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-04-2010 - 9:24pm
I don't think you're being overprotective. I'd be extremely uncomfortable letting my son walk a mile alone. I'd look into adding transportation into his IEP. There is a section in the IEP on transportation...
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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 12:12am

He doesn't have an IEP. He wasn't diagnosed with Aspergers until after we pulled him out of school. I don't know if he'll get an IEP or what's going to happen when he goes.

I talked to the principal and she "I know he has aspergers but":

1) I "put the babies in the stroller and walk him". I can't do that since my DD3 will be getting off the bus at the same time and I need to be home to get her.

2) Daycare. Have my husband bring him to their daycare before work and come get him after. DH leaves for work at 6am and gets home at 5. No daycare please.

She just said there's no way anyone gets a bus.

I wonder if there's anyone else I could talk to? How do you prove he needs a bus?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 1:09am

OK how to go about making a case for a bus: Make it a health and safety issue, based on his diagnosis.

First of all, map the route, noting all points where he may need to cross the street, pass a liquor store, walk on the street because there is no sidewalk (take pictures)or any other points of potential danger. Document this in as much detail as you can, using maps and photographs.

For bonus points, go to sites like "map sexual offenders" (google it ans similar) and if there are any registered sex offenders on or near the route, make sure they are mapped too. http://www.mapsexoffenders.com/

Bring this information to the doctor or better - to the person who diagnosed him as AS. Get a note from same that walking this route would not be safe for him and could expose him to danger.

If none of this works, go to the press with the information.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 2:09am

I searched that site before, but great idea to search again! There aren't any offenders on his route, but my gosh there are a lot within a half mile, including a whole house of them a few blocks away! The walk to school has no stores, has side walks, but he does have to cross the street a lot. The streets aren't busy though.

I can't find anything horrible on the route. I still don't feel comfortable.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2006
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 8:35am

are there any other children in your neighborhood attending the same school ?

Avatar for sselwa
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 10:32am

Does he have an IEP? If he does then transportation can be written into it.


I would be extremely uncomfortable letting a typical child walk alone to school these days.

Susan, mom to Sam
Susan, mom to Sam 11 and Connor 9
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 11:32am

He does not have an IEP. He might later on, I really don't know.

I don't know anyone at all in the neighbourhood. The streets are all curved, so I can only see just a few houses, and there are no children there, just older people, which is another reason we want to send him to school this year. So no carpooling, but I LOVE that idea!

He has to turn quite a few times to get to school, which is another reason I'm a little worried! Him and I BOTH got lost on the way home, lol. My husband says it should be fine, but arg, I just wish I could just make them pick him up!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2010
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 12:30pm

My dd's school is supposed to be walk only also. All children that go to that school because of boundaries are within the 2 mile area. That said, there are a couple of buses that come to her school. I believe they transport special needs and her school is also where all the ELL (English Language Learners) students go so they get bused from all over town. There is one boy in my dd's kindergarten class that rides the city bus. I'm not sure if that would be an option for you, but thought I'd throw it out there as something to check into. In our city students can ride the city bus for free.

Are there any activities going on this summer that may give you an opportunity to meet other parents in your area for possible car pooling?

I hope you get it all figured out.

Tami

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