Host School Requirements
In order to host our program at your school, there needs to be 1–2 coordinators or “hosts” from the school who work with us to iron out all the details of our visit and be the point person for the instructors during the visit. This person will:
- Establish support for the program from the school principal and fellow teachers. Introduce bicycle staff to principal and school nurse on first day.
- Create a schedule for our visit. This may be your own schedule, or you may work with other teachers/the principal to create a schedule. We seek to work with as many students (grades 2–12) as possible and have our days full, during the school day (minimum of 4 teaching hours). We are not able to go to schools with large schedule gaps. Each class should have the bike program at least 3–4 times during our visit.
- Distribute waivers to students ahead of time so that they can participate in our program (links below).
- Find a secure lockable bicycle storage space at the school for about 30 bikes, preferably on the ground floor and coordinate the arrival and pick up of the bikes.
- Ensure that there is always a teacher with the group of students who are biking. If other teachers are participating, share information about the Bike Program & Expectations for Participating Teachers.
- Ensure that there is an appropriate and available place nearby to ride – either a playground blacktop, paths, closed off parking lot, park, etc.
Need to Know Logistics & Other Important Information
- Schedule:If we do not receive a draft of our schedule 2 weeks before our visit and a final version by 1.5 weeks before our visit, your slot will be filled with another school from the wait list.
- Delivery of the bikes usually happens on either the Friday prior to the start of our visit or on our first day (usually Monday). You will be told when the bikes will be delivered/picked up at least 2 days in advance.
- Waivers: Anyone that participates in our program needs a signed waiver. Teachers should collect and track completed waivers to know who can ride, and browse them for any important medical information. Completed waivers should be given to the instructors by the end of the program. Adult Waiver (18+): English Youth Waiver (under 18): English, Spanish, Chinese;
- Roles: Our staff will serve as the bicycle experts and you are the expert in your students. We will lead the bike activities but need your help and active participation with behavior/group management. You will very likely find yourself riding a bike with your students!
- Emergencies & First Aid: Our staff is not responsible for responding to any emergencies that occur (that’s why a teacher or authorized staff member must always be present with the students on bikes). Teachers should be prepared in the case of a bike crash and know the school protocol to follow, especially in the case of riding away from the school/not in the school yard. The instructors will have first aid kits on their bikes if riding away from a school, but the teacher should be prepared to administer first aid and be in contact with the school or emergency services if needed. For classes that are riding away from the school, we suggest that the teacher carries the waivers (withe parent contact and medical information) for the students. Teachers are responsible for notifying the school nurse, parents, and principal of any accidents or situations that occur.
- Weather: Boston Bikes instructors and the site host work together to make decisions about weather cancellations. For our part, we don’t mind teaching in the rain or drizzle if it is safe and your students don’t mind. Each site should decide based on the conditions at their specific school — such as the wear it will have on the bikes, the students’ age/experience, the riding area, the temperature, the forecast, etc — all with the students’ safety and health in mind. Ideally, this is discussed proactively in advance of expected adverse weather. If our instructors feel the conditions are unsafe for riding, we reserve the right to make the decision not to ride. For the occasional rainy day, we have a menu of indoor activities we can do.
- Misc: The first day we see a group of students we present an interactive classroom-based workshop and ask that it happens in a classroom (as opposed to a gym or outdoors) if at all possible. We can also serve your school’s afterschool program if it helps us reach new students we don’t see during the day. Also, feel free to engage your parent volunteers to help with the program — the more adults to help, the better!
I’m interested, I want to host the program at my school, now what?
The deadline to submit the Fall 2015 Youth Cycling Program Application is Thursday, September 10, 2015. Questions? Contact Jenny.Duquette@boston.gov 617–918-4253.
Can’t host Boston Bikes or want additional enrichment around biking and walking at your K-8 school? Visit Massachusetts Safe Routes to School to learn more. Contact Leeroy Wagner, Statewide Coordinator, Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit to your school.
- Waivers (PDF) — Youth Waiver (under 18): English, Spanish, Chinese; Adult Waiver (18+): English
- Cover Letter/Flyer (.doc) — customize for parents to include with waiver.
- Schedule Skeleton (.xls) - use to create and send in your schedule.
- Urban Cycling Guide & Quiz (link) - brush up on your bike knowledge!
- Program Evaluation (link) - complete after our visit to your school!
- Bike Safety Poster (PDF) — print and post at your school! (courtesy of MassBike)
We really want your students and families to continue riding bikes after our program.
Share these resources with them:
- “I loved biking, Now What?” - biking opportunities for MS/HS students after our program
- “I loved biking, Now What?” - biking opportunities for ES students after our program
- A Parent’s Guide to Bike Safety - resource for parents, available in 9 languages! (courtesy of MassBike)
Or direct your students to the following resources for more opportunities to ride bikes!
- Bikes Not Bombs Youth Programs (Mechanic Nights, Earn-A-Bike, Girls-in-Action)
- Boston Bicycling School (website) Boston Bicycle School Spring14 Flyer (high school cycling club, with homework help and opportunities for bike racing)
- Hub On Wheels & Mayor’s Cup (Boston’s annual cycling celebration that happens in September)
- Camp Harborview (summer camp on Boston Harbor Islands, may include biking)
- Youth Enrichment Services (offer mountain biking programming)
- For parents or students 16+, the Hubway bike share program offers $5 annual memberships for income-qualified residents. Find flyers and more information here.