August Message from Mayor Derek France
Hello, Flower Mound! Summer has really flown by, and the start of the new school year is right around the corner. Back-to-school season is an exciting time for our youngest residents, and there are several ways we can ensure our children have a safe and productive year.
We’ve all been out of the habit of driving in school zones for the past few months. Please remember to be mindful of school zone speeds, and keep your eyes on the road, instead of on mobile devices or other distractions. Pay attention to the yellow flashing lights that indicate when school zone speed limits are in effect. Areas around our schools may be congested in the mornings and afternoons, particularly during these first few weeks as students and teachers return. Consider an alternate route or allow for extra time if you’re traveling near a school during drop-off or pick-up times.
You’ll also see school buses back on our roads. In accordance with Texas law, drivers must stop when a school bus extends its stop sign or when it turns on its flashing red lights. When this happens, drivers in all lanes and in both directions must come to a complete stop. This applies to a two-way street or a highway with a center turn lane. The rules are different if there's a median. In that instance, only motorists on the side of the road where the bus is located have to stop, while cars on the other side of the road may continue driving.
Crossing guards will also be back on duty, and drivers are required to obey their signals. The crossing guard program is under the supervision of the Flower Mound Police Department, and our crossing guards work incredibly hard to make sure our kids get to school and back home safely. The Town of Flower Mound has 61 crossing guard sites at designated crosswalks throughout town. As we gear up for and begin this school year, we’re looking for individuals to join the crossing guard team. If you enjoy being outside, working with children, and engaging with the community, consider applying online at www.flower-mound.com/jobs. Regular crossing guard positions work two to four hours per day, while substitute crossing guard positions work dependent on their availability to fill openings. Equipment will be provided, and positions follow the LISD school schedule, with holidays and summers off.
And remember – the mission of a crossing guard is to provide safe crossing for children and pedestrians walking or biking to and from school, so please follow their directions and be patient!
Speaking of biking, if your children plan on riding their bicycles to school this year, please make sure you’ve reviewed bicycle safety tips with them before they ride off! Please remember that bicyclists must follow all state and local traffic laws, such as stopping at stop signs and red lights. Your kids may be learning their ABCs in school, but they should also do an ABC Quick Check on their bicycles.
- A = Air. Check the sidewall of the tire and inflate tires to the rated pressure.
- B = Brakes. Check the brakes and cables to make sure they aren’t worn down.
- C = Cranks and Chain. Pull on your cranks to make sure they are not loose. Check that the chain is clean and free of rust and gunk.
- Quick = Make sure your quick release skewers are tight enough to keep your wheels on.
- Check = Take a quick ride and check the bike for broken or loose parts!
Once the safety check is complete, make sure your child knows how to signal their movements to motorists before getting on the road. To make a right-hand turn, extend the left arm with the elbow bent and the hand pointed up. To make a left-hand turn, extend the left arm out horizontally. To let motorists know your intent to slow down or stop, extend the left arm with the elbow bent and the hand pointed down. Lastly, please always make sure your child is wearing a properly-fitted helmet.
In Flower Mound, we’re incredibly lucky to have nine awesome School Resource Officers (SROs) with the Flower Mound Police Department who help keep our kids safe once they get to school. Our SROs love engaging with the students, and we want to make sure you know that their doors are always open. To make sure the students at our elementary, middle, and high schools know who their SRO is, our Police Department has teamed up with our Communications Department to produce short, fun introductory videos that, when possible, will play at the schools and will also be shared through our social media channels. Be sure to keep an eye out for them throughout the fall!
I can’t say enough about the wonderful teachers and staff at our schools, and I extend my deepest gratitude for the hard work they do every year, but particularly after the 2020-21 school year. Thank you for adjusting to so many changes, staying connected to your students, and making the best out of a difficult situation. It wasn’t easy on you or on our students and families, but we certainly couldn’t have gotten through it without you. I wish you all – teachers, staff, students, and families – a safe, healthy, and productive school year.
And if I don’t see you before then, I’ll see you out at the Mound Showdown!