CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Way to Go, a division of Denver Regional Council of Governments, offers a program that makes it easy for parents to set up car pools within their school community. It’s called School Pool.
“For schools, we’re reducing traffic around their schools, so it improves safety. And it really builds a sense of community for the parents,” said Mia Bemelen, an Outreach Specialist for Way to Go.
The schools are the ones who sign up for the program. Each school gets it’s own login, which keeps the program secure. Parents can get the login from the school, then they sign up, and the program finds families interested in carpooling within a 7-mile radius.
“In the tool, when you get a match, it will have the parent’s name, their e-mail address, and phone number. It could also list the kiddos name and grade level. And there’s also a comment field, so the parent might be looking for a carpool, or maybe they’re close to the school and want to bike or walk with other kids,” Bemelen explained.
Parents are then free to reach out to their matches. School Pool serves about 200 schools. Bemelen said that it’s most successful at non-traditional schools, where students don’t have access to traditional yellow school bus service.
“When parents and students are looking at coming to a charter school, and they see that they have to take care of the transportation themselves, they immediately think, ‘oh, I can’t do that.’ And then they miss out on an opportunity,” said Suzanne Acheson, School Director at Colorado SKIES Academy.
Colorado SKIES Academy is a brand new charter school in the Cherry Creek School District. It includes grades 6th – 8th, and is located in Centennial, right next to the Centennial Airport.
“Students engage in project based lessons that are all centered around aviation and aerospace,” Acheson told CBS4.
The Academy draws students from all over the Metro Area, and does not have a bus system. For parents like Dwayne and Sarah Phillips, School Pool provides a variety of options.
“I was counting over 20 families that could benefit from us being able to use the carpooling system,” Sarah Phillips explained.
Her daughter, Marlo, has a love for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. She’s thrilled to get to go to a school that focuses on aviation and aerospace.
“It was a technology-based school, centric on the aerospace industry, and I work in the aerospace industry, and I know the importance of it, as well as the excitement of it,” Dwayne Phillips said.
For information about other commuter options go to the Smart Commute section of CBSDenver.com.