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Most lunchtime crossing guards could be eliminated: Stouffville

Zero to five students crossing at most locations
June 15, 2015
By Sandra Bolan

The majority of lunchtime crossing guards may not return to their posts at the start of the new school year this September.

Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville staff is recommending council remove nine of 12 lunchtime crossing guards.

Morning and dismissal crossing guards are not affected.

A staff study found an average of zero to five students utilized the crossing guards and most locations had “very minimal vehicular traffic” during that time. The majority of students crossed with an adult, according to the staff report. Five of these locations also have traffic signals.

Crossing guards are provided by the town near all elementary schools within Stouffville to assist students from junior kindergarten to Grade 8 with crossing the street.

The number of students utilizing crossing guards at lunch has been decreasing over the years, according to the report.

One reason may be attributable to the York Region District Catholic School Board, which does not allow students to leave its premises during lunch, unless written permission from a parent/guardian has been provided to the school, according to the report.

York Region District School Board students are allowed to leave the property, according to the report.

Crossing guards earn $16.96 per hour and a typical shift ranges from 1.5 to 2. 75 hours, according to the report.

Discontinuing the lunch-hour crossing guards at nine of the 12 locations will save the town $41,721.60 per school year, according to the report.

In recent months, issues have arisen whereby no crossing guards have been available during the lunch hour at certain locations. The affected schools were notified and no issues were reported as a result, according to the staff report.

The proposed sites to have lunchtime crossing guards eliminated are: Ninth Line at Elm Road and Millard Street; Glad Park Avenue at Elm Road and Millard Street; Millard Street at St. Brigid Catholic School; Hoover Park Drive at Weldon Road, Reeves Way Boulevard and Ninth Line as well as Reeves Way Boulevard at Harry Sanders Avenue.

Greenwood Road at Harry Bowes Public School, as well as Main and Stouffer streets each have an average of more than 20 students utilizing the crossing guard daily at lunch and will not have the service removed, according to the report.

The council meeting begins tomorrow at 3 p.m. It is open to the public. The town hall is located at 111 Sandiford Dr.