Summer vacation is quickly coming to an end, and families are gearing up for the start of a new school year. While this may mean less kids in the pool, it means more kids on the sidewalks and waiting at bus stops. There are plenty of ways that the HOA can support a more successful back to school season and help keep kids safer.

Pay Extra Attention to Landscaping

Now is the time to do a walk-through of bus stops and sidewalks to check for overgrown trees and shrubs that may be blocking the way or creating poor visibility. Look for burned out bulbs in streetlights and ensure that routes are well-lit to deter crime. Repair any damage to sidewalks that may be a fall hazard and clean drains of any debris from past storms to reduce risk of flooding.

Encourage homeowners to inspect their own property, especially if they live on a corner, and to keep their lawn and trees well maintained. Put lights on a solar cell so that they go on and off automatically depending on the amount of sunlight.

Host a Back-to-School Night

The summer is a busy time for residents moving in and out and people being away on vacation. Hold a fun event such as a pool party, ice cream social, or barbecue to bring everyone together and give kids (and their families) a chance to get to know one another. Starting at a new school can be intimidating, but if kids find neighbors who are in their class or grade, it can make things a little easier. Parents can also ask questions, get advice from one another, and organize carpools.

It can also be a good opportunity to hold a school supply drive to collect materials students need most such as notebooks, pencils, crayons, erasers, and glue sticks. Don’t forget about tissues and disinfectant wipes as well! Donate these goods to local schools to support both teachers and students.

Remind Homeowners to Slow Down

Back to school means the return of buses to the neighborhood, or students walking to school. In either case, children are out and about in the early morning hours as well as during rush hour. Send out a reminder outlining laws when it comes to encountering a school bus on the road. There are too many instances of drivers ignoring the flashing red lights and stop arms and simply passing by, putting children in danger. Slow down and be alert for children crossing the street as well.

Ask parents to talk to their children about safety too, such as staying on the sidewalk, walking in groups, looking both ways before crossing the street, and reporting any suspicious activity immediately.

Work together with members to keep everyone safe and make the transition back to school a success. Need help organizing communications or partnering with vendors to maintain common areas? Contact Kuester today and find out how we can help. We offer a wide range of community management services to meet your HOA’s needs.

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