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The 2015 Wellness Promotion Policy Annual Report
The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida
Planning and Intergovernmental Relations

The School District Planning and Intergovernmental Relations Department continues to promote wellness through advocating for Safe Routes to School.

The District has not received any funds for non-infrastructure projects to teach safe routes to school principles at schools. However, the Department, in conjunction with Palm Beach County Engineering, has been successful in obtaining funds to provide overhead flashers at schools where mostly needed such as Australian Blvd.

Staff from the Department continue to serve as the School District’s representative on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Bicycles, Greenways, Pedestrian Advisory committee. The objective of the TAC is to create the overall Master Plan for the County including the cities that tie in with the Regional Plan for Transportation. This committee also prioritizes capital improvement transportation projects, which includes sidewalks and bike paths. The Executive Director for the MPO has committed to assisting the District in identifying potentially hazardous walking conditions within 2 mile radius of schools. The MPO will assist in having the local governments being responsible to ensure that there are safe routes to school for our students by implementing the recently approved House Bill 41 which is summarized as:

Hazardous Walking Conditions: Citing act as "Gabby's Law for Student Safety"; revising criteria that determine a hazardous walking condition for public school students; authorizing a district school superintendent to initiate a formal request for correction of a hazardous walking condition; requiring state or local governmental entities with jurisdiction over a road with a hazardous walking condition to correct the condition within a reasonable period of time; providing that a district school board may implement a safe driver toll-free telephone hotline for specified purposes, etc. Effective Date: July 1, 2015.

In addition, the MPO will also be encouraging the District to incorporate into its curriculum lessons on walking and bicycling to school safely and the benefits from doing so. The BGPAC provides for safe paths also for bicycles and pedestrians and also for the recreational amenities associated with such.

The Planning and Intergovernmental Relations department will also reactivate the safe Routes to School committee. This committee addresses safety concerns from the parents, schools, and communities and together come up with a solution. Representative form the County MPO, Engineering, local governments, safety Council, safe kids, public health department, South Florida Commuter Service and school district departments such as wellness, risk management and school police.

District staff also reaches out to South Florida Commuter service for assistance in implementing the school pool program at schools to decrease traffic at schools. The District was informed that funds for this program has been reduced allowing only for working with staff at the schools to encourage carpooling.

Staff continues to serve on the Countywide Community Redevelopment Team (CCRT). This committee identifies pathway projects and neighborhood improvements such as parks to serve the residents in areas that are undergoing Community revitalization. By building parks in these redeveloping areas allow the children places to have fun and at the same time promotes wellness through exercising and playing.

Promoting safety, health and wellness has been an important function of the staff in Planning and Intergovernmental relations. Staff look forward to continue to partner with other agencies in accomplishing the goal of providing a safe environment for the children and students.