School Pool Pilot Project Grants Awarded!

03-Jun-2010 Congratulations to Anser Charter School and Mountain Rides (in partnership with Blaine County School District) for receiving Idaho’s first ever School Pool Pilot Project Grant funding.

In April, CTAI announced the opportunity for schools to submit applications to receive funding to support a School Pool pilot project. School Pool, an on-line ride-matching system, made available for schools through RidehsareOnline.com (Idaho’s FREE ride-matching system), allows schools to create and coordinate ride matches for parents and students.

The purpose of the grant is to 1) understand the level of effort necessary to start and support School Pool programs in Idaho, and 2) quantify the value such a program offers schools so that such value can be replicated in other Idaho schools in subsequent years.

Submissions were reviewed by the approval committee - representatives from CTAI, State Department of Education, Safe Routes to School, and PTA). Due to the outstanding creativity, commitment, and clear direction of both Anser and Mountain Rides’ applications, the $15,000 grant was shared between the two groups.

Because Anser is a charter school, all students are dropped off and picked up by parents, creating a great deal of traffic before and after school. The junior high students at Anser recognized this as both a safety and environmental concern. School Pool funding will allow Anser to address student and parent concerns by:
 Studying traffic patterns directly around the school and in the parking lot to determine more efficient use of the area
 Potential parking lot re-striping and fencing
 Signage for directing traffic, designating carpool parking and lanes, and cautioning drivers about areas with heavy pedestrian usage
 Development of their School Pool website (within RideshareOnline.com)
 School Pool stickers for cars participating in the program
 Educational information and promotional materials
 Staff support

Mountain Rides, the regional transportation authority for Blaine County, has been working with the Blaine County School District since 2004 – organizing Safe Routes to School carpools, bike trains and walking school buses. The School Pool program will be an extension of their current efforts supported by the Safe Routes Coordinator by:
 Working in conjunction with each school’s Safe Routes Task Force to establish similar programs across the district, with minor adjustments to account for the individual character and demographic of each school
 Establishment and management of each school’s online network through support of the Safe Routes Coordinator and a school partner
 Development of School Pool promotional and educational materials
 Volunteer recruitment
 Consistent and coordinated education and outreach efforts
 Leveraging of existing community partnerships (YMCA, Ketchum Parks Department, Blaine County Recreational District, Blaine County School District, and The Community School) and development of additional partnerships (Environmental Resource Committee, Blaine County GIS) to improve publicity and data collection

Programs are slated to begin in the coming school year and each grantee will provide CTAI data regarding day-to-day management, parent involvement, program impact, and challenges faced. We look forward to sharing updates with you as each get their programs underway!
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