Springfield School District needs more crossing guards
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -
We know the rule, face masks, and hand sanitizer are essentials needed, especially inside of school. However, before students can even make it into the building they have to get there safely. Springfield Public School District (SPS) is working to keep students safe beyond the walls of the schools, through CrossSafe.
CrossSafe is the City of Springfield school crossing guard service provider and is in need of ten more guards to cover SPS crossings. Mandy Buttgen- Quinn, Traffic Safety Specialist with the city said the role is vital to help kids cross complicated or high volume intersections.
Stephen Hall, Chief Communications Officer with Springfield Public Schools, added that crossing guards are also critical components of operating a school district daily. They not only keep students safe, and help teach and develop safe crossing practices but leave lasting impressions.
“For many students, they’re the first person they encounter heading into class and last person they encounter before heading home,” said Hall.
Buttgen-Quinn explained the hours are pleasant and flexible. It’s a couple of hours in the morning and about 30 minutes in the afternoon, she said the times usually range between 7 a.m. - 9 a.m during the morning shifts and between 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. for the afternoon shifts.
While the hours are pleasant, She explained how each guard is assigned to a thoroughly examined crossing deemed necessary to ensure students' safety.
“We do an engineering study and then bring the results to the school’s cross and protection committee, which is a group of PTA, counties, Springfield schools, and the police department,” explained Buttgen-Quinn. "Then we do a determination if a guard is wanted. "
Buttgen-Quinn said they typically see retirees who want to stay involved within the community apply. She said this year has been a little different. While turnover is expected, there are usually substitutes ready to fill in. Yet, they have not been able to fill those positions or the ten vacancies amid the pandemic.
Hall said although there’s a shortage in crossing guards, crosswalks are still being monitored, and their student’s safety is not being compromised.
“We have support staff that fill-in in those important roles, so whether that be our school police officers, or teachers, or others, we do what we need to do to make sure that we have coverage there,” explained Hall.
He stressed that the more interest in the crossing guard job opportunity, the less strain it puts on their system, and allows the district to do and service more students within the community.
Those interested can call CrossSafe at 704-237-0381 or visit cross-safe.com to learn more and apply.
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