Do you recognize one of Canada’s top Crossing Guards?This is Elizabeth Savary and she has been with our Maurice Cody Community for over 13 years. It is with great pleasure we announce she has been chosen as a 2019 CANADA’S FAVORITE CROSSING GUARD WINNER! Click here
We had a chance to interview the fabulous Elizabeth and learn more about her:
What do you enjoy most about being a crossing guard for Cody? Or what is a fond or happy memory of your time on the job? Interacting with children, listening to their stories and helping them with projects or questions.
What are one or two things you wish children and their parents and caregivers would remember when making their way to school and across the street? For children: When I’m in the middle of the road with an active crossing and you are running toward the crossing corner to try to make it across before I leave, please make sure I see you before running out. During the late afternoon crossing, drivers can’t always see you when the bright sun is low and directly in their eyes. On a dark, rainy or overcast day, it is difficult for drivers to see pedestrians who are wearing dark clothing. It’s a good idea to wear at least one piece of clothing that is bright, or even a fluorescent arm band. Don’t trust a driver’s turn signal to be an accurate indicator of which direction they are planning to go in.
What is the number one thing you wish drivers in the area kept in mind? Drivers, please remember to comply with the 30KM speed limit and take turns with entities that are equal to you, not with pedestrians. Otherwise their right-of-way is meaningless. You don’t share the road with pedestrians; you yield the road to them. There are no circumstances that legally allow you to take the right-of-way over a pedestrian unless that pedestrian has forfeited their right-of-way and conveyed that to you. If you encounter a pedestrian at any point while driving through the designated pedestrian walking boundaries, you are the entity that did not have the right to proceed. At a four-way stop intersection, pedestrian right-of-way is unconditional. It does not depend on how late you are or how many cars are waiting or how long they have been waiting. It is worth noting also that a crossing guard does not have the right to forfeit a pedestrian’s right-of-way; only the pedestrian can do that for themselves. The only exception is when there is an emergency or a dangerous situation. In that case, a police officer can forfeit a pedestrian’s right-of-way (usually for their own safety.)
Is there something you wish parents and caregivers would let children know about/or remind children about as school starts up again regarding street safety? The bottom line is that we want our children (and all pedestrians) to be safe. Remember that even good drivers can make mistakes – most accidents are not intentional but are a result of human error due to drivers being distracted or making bad judgement calls or having attitude problems or experiencing rage. So, stop at the corner before proceeding across the intersection, point your finger in the direction you intend to go, so drivers know your intention and that you are ready to cross. Once you step out onto the road – walk. Don’t run. Don’t play games or fight with one another or bounce balls while you are crossing the road.
What is something you wish the community knew about what a crossing guard does, which they might not know or appreciate? Well, I don’t know what other crossing guards do, but in the warmer months when we have Freezie Fridays, I like to have a supply of coins available in case the nannies or parents forget their freezie money. It breaks my heart to see someone crying simply because the caregiver forgot the freezie money. I used to keep it in the trunk of my bike and the nannies knew it was there for anyone to use on the honor system. In the cold months, I usually keep a supply of children’s hats, mitts and neck warmers, etc. in case it’s a dangerously cold day and someone loses theirs or the teenagers realize it’s too cold to be more concerned with the fashion statement than their freezing ears and fingers. I have also walked children home who found themselves stranded without their caregivers. Or gave one of the older children lunch when their lunch plans didn’t work out (pizza or a hot lunch from the Holland family at the crossing corner.) If I know the children’s birthdays, I like to give them a small gift such as flying rocket balloons or chocolate covered marshmallows, etc.
Lastly, you are out here in all kinds of weather – rain, snow, hail, and extreme heat! What is your trick for staying so upbeat, professional and friendly? I have an extensive supply of appropriate clothing and footwear to protect from extreme temperatures. I keep hydrated, use the hand and foot pads in the winter, try to get proper rest, and use stress management regularly.
Status of Crossing Guards:
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Cross Safe Program now available in Davisville VillageAs most of you may have noticed, the streets around Maurice Cody have been getting busier and busier, especially during drop off and pick up times. Drivers are often in a rush, distracted and impatient. Many of our kids walk to and from school and we want to keep them as safe as possible.
Concerned Davisville Village Parents have come together to launch a new ‘Cross Safe’ Flag Crossing Program. The goal of this program is to make pedestrians more visible to cars, and drivers to be more aware of people crossing. We are rolling out this program at five busy intersections:
The goal of this program is to make our kids more visible while crossing the street and drivers more aware of pedestrians.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS!At each of the corners of these intersections there will be canisters (attached to poles) containing bright orange flags. When crossing:
These bright, eye-catching flags will make pedestrians more visible to drivers and provide an extra measure of safety at intersections that do not have a crossing guard.
We encourage parents to discuss this new safety program with their kids and help them learn to use the flags properly. An in-school presentation will also take place.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email email@example.com.
CROSSING GUARD UPDATEWe have recently been informed by PC Lau, the School Crossing Guard Coordinator from 53 Division of the following:
On Tuesday, February 19, Neptune Security Service has set this as the target date to have a permanent back fill on these locations:
• Cleveland St. and Millwood Rd.
• Cleveland St. and Davisville Av.
• Cleveland St. and Merton St.
We are updating both our Trustee, Rachel Chernos-Lin and Councillor Jaye Robinson weekly on the status of the crossing guards. They have been very supportive of our efforts by engaging their network. They have suggested that concerned parents also email SchoolCrossingGuard@toronto.ca with cc to Barbara Gray, General Manager of Transportation services Barbara.Gray@toronto.ca to let them know when guards are absent.
Thank you for all your support in trying to make our community safer for everyone!
In October, our children listened to Officer Manny speak about street safety. As parents we need to support this message and model safe practices so that our children can see in action what they learned from Officer Manny.
To help, we’ve put together some Cody Traffic guidelines that we hope every family will try to remember as our children are dropped off and picked up from school each day.
There is great parking just a ½ block away in any direction from the school.
Walking with your children to cross at the intersection is extra quality time together to start the day.
Neighbours aren’t asking to have their driveways blocked every day. Even for a couple of minutes.
Kiss & Ride volunteers are moms and dads just like you who prefer smiles to shouts.
Kiss & Ride is available each school morning from 8:30-8:40am, rain, sleet, snow or sun, for grades 1-5.
There is no drop-off zone on Cleveland, even if it is more convenient for you.
Three point turns are never just 3 points and are never fast.
Children have the super power of being able to dart into streets without looking both ways.
Crossing guards need all pedestrians, young and older, to follow their lead. People stay safe, traffic flows better, horns honk less.
Maurice Cody is now in a Community Safety Zone and fines for endangering pedestrians (currently up to $1000) are doubled in Community Safety Zones.
There is no parking at the southwest end of Cheston (south of Kiss & Ride) at morning drop off.
Let’s work together to create a safe environment for our kids in and around the school.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for safety at Maurice Cody, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To volunteer for Kiss & Ride, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org