Back to school: supporting families and students in Strathcona County

August 22, 2019

Back to school: supporting families and students in Strathcona County

Strathcona County is joining parents, caregivers, teachers, and school staff across the County to help support students returning to school on September 3, 2019.

Back to school can be a busy time for parents, caregivers and students. Families looking for extra support or ideas on how to best prepare for back to school transitions, shifting family relationships or other life stressors can reach out to Strathcona County Family and Community Services. Residents can access educational workshops, walk-in counselling, and support groups; with many of these services offered free of charge. Visit or call 780-464-4044 for a full listing of offerings.

School zones are crowded places with parents and school buses transporting students to school at the closest drop-off point. Drivers are reminded to remain vigilant of parking signs. Several schools have signs prohibiting stopping in high traffic areas, for the protection of the students. Drivers are encouraged to take a drive, walk or cycle to the school ahead of time to see the parking limitations and signage. As part of the shared approach to student safety, Enforcement Services and RCMP officers will be out on the first day of school to ensure safe driving.

Motorists are reminded about school zone hours, in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days. School zones exist where the yellow school sign is accompanied by a 30 km/hour sign.  Additionally, all day school zones are in operation on early dismissal days and for rural schools with earlier start and dismissal times.

As a reminder, speeding fines in school and playground zones start at $78.00 plus 2 demerits for one kilometre over the speed limit, and increase with every kilometre over the speed limit. Passing or attempting to pass another vehicle in a school or playground zone, when the lower speed limit is in effect, results in a fine of $233 and three demerits. When approaching a bus with red lights flashing, motorists must stop. The fine for passing a school bus with red lights flashing is $543 and six demerit points.

Transit is also gearing up for its fall service which begins September 3, 2019. Additional customer service representatives are available to help riders plan their back to school travel. Locally, transit service is available for students attending Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School. Check with the school to obtain passes. Other students are also encouraged to take advantage of the local transit routes. 

New this year – Strathcona County Transit is partnering with the Elk Island Catholic School Board by providing a transfer point at Bethel Transit Terminal for students using the school board’s yellow bus service. Expect a significant increase in traffic on the south side of the transit terminal between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. weekday mornings and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the afternoon. Customers who already use Bethel Transit Terminal are encouraged to use the Kiss ‘N’ Ride lane on the north side of the terminal for drop offs to help keep students safe while transferring to and from the yellow buses.

For students heading into Edmonton, Strathcona County Transit provides direct routes from Bethel Transit Terminal to the University of Alberta, NAIT and MacEwan University’s downtown campus. Call 780-464-RIDE (7433) for schedule information, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Strathcona County Transit passes and tickets are available for purchase at Bethel Transit Terminal, Ordze Transit Centre (during specified hours), most 7-Eleven outlets in Sherwood Park, and Shoppers Drug Mart at 5-1020 Sherwood Drive.

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of hydrocarbon processing in Western Canada. Strathcona County is a leader in environmental conservation, and 55 per cent of its land is within the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595