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Crossing guards

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There are now 25 permanent locations where 30 adult school crossing guards help students go to and from school.

Adult crossing guards: Good news and bad

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the problems Guelph has been having with its adult school crossing guard program.
The good news is that the city has been able to fill all of its vacancies for permanent and spare guard positions. The city even has 14 people on a waiting list who are interested in becoming either a regular crossing guard or a backup, says a new city staff report.
The bad news is that the city and the local school boards haven’t been able to agree on what should be done to prevent problems with the crossing guard system from recurring in the future.
City hall is proposing two changes in policy aimed at making sure that city staff don’t have to fill in for missing crossing guards, as they’ve had to in the past on a frequent basis. One proposed change is a communications plan for advising parents and others when there’s a vacant crossing guard position. The other proposed change is prioritizing  crossing guard locations when “reduction in service is considered.”
The city has been talking about the changes with the public and Catholic school boards and Wellington-Dufferin Student Transportation Services. These groups remain concerned about losing crossing guards from designated locations.
“Vacancy of a warranted crossing guard position, however temporary, may have significant implications to student safety,” says a letter sent to the city this spring by the public board.
Staff suggests more consultations before any changes to the crossing guard program are recommended to council.
“Staff will continue to work with the school boards and Transportation Services to develop mutually supported, clear and comprehensive protocols to aid in the sustainability of the program going forward,” the report says.
There are now 25 permanent locations where 30 adult school crossing guards help students go to and from school, it says.
The city, not the school boards, is responsible for adult crossing guard programs. Schools and local police cooperate on a separate program that sees some older students in many elementary schools act as student patrols to help with street crossings – without the power that adult crossing guards have to step into the street to stop traffic.

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