Crossing guards train for back to school

As kids head back to school, getting there is an important part. Uniformed with bright vests and stop signs, crossing guards keep the streets clear and safe as kids walk to school.

A group of new crossing guards in Madison spent the day training, before school starts next week.

"Nice to have you guys back. I hope you had a great summer," said Patti Knoche an MMSD Crossing Guard Supervisor, pretending to speak to kids at the crosswalk.

She's showing the guards in training how to act, what to do, and most importantly, how to do it safely.

"Parents know they can count on that crossing guard to cross those kids. That's very important trust that we deal," said Bob Olson an MMSD Crossing Guard Supervisor.

Shari Olson is a crossing guard in training, and has learned quite a few things.

"Make sure cars see me, get large and in charge as I go out!" said Shari Olson, as she explains how she walks out into the street.

She's taking every precaution to keep the kids safe.

"the big thing is that cars don't always stop," said Shari Olson. "We've gotten so busy in our lives that we don't necesarily think as much as we should while we're on the road. I've walked out in the middle of the street and people just keep going."

A word of advice for drivers, once the crossing guard has stepped onto the sidewalk and put down their sign, that's the indication cars can drive through.

"That's like a light changing from red to green. You can go. It's that lowering of the stop sign," said Bob Olson.

Drivers have a big responsibility when heading through the school zone.

"It's set up so that you're not going to be speeding into an intersection at a high rate of speed putting the crossing guard and the children at risk," said Bob Olson.

The guards are ready to juggle the responsibility of stopping cars, and waving kids through.

"'It takes a village to raise a child' is so true -- especially today. So it's up to all of us to help the kids get to school safely," said Shari Olson.

The guards go through extensive background checks to make sure your kids are in safe hands.

The role parents can play in keeping their kids safe is getting them out of the house on time, and letting them know they can trust the guard, and listen to what they say.

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