And with less busing being provided by the Oakdale Joint Unified District this school year, officials expect the amount of students walking to school to increase.
According to Lt. Vernon Gladney of the Oakdale Police Department, two of the five crossing guard positions were cut and the school district was unable to foot the bill for the remaining three, thus ending employment for the long-term crossing guards. Some of them had been on the job for almost 10 years.
Police are asking the community to lend a hand during these tough times so that the crosswalks at critical junctions on F Street (Lee Avenue, Johnson Avenue and Mann Avenue) are not left without adult supervision.
The police department will provide all training, safety vests and raincoats for qualified applicants.
The hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on minimum days.
Barbara Shook, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum for the Oakdale Joint Unified School District, said some parents have called in to the district office and are talking about forming “neighborhood walks.”
“We’ve talked to parents, please consider going in a little earlier … talk with students about crossing safely, going in groups …” Shook said.
The district sent a letter to parents earlier this month advising them of the upcoming bus route changes. The letter is also posted on the district’s website at www.oakdale.k12.ca.us.
“We hope with some planning that this will be a positive move,” Shook said.
All applicants must submit to a limited background check, be fingerprinted, and must not be on parole or probation for a criminal offense in the last 10 years. Also, applicants must not be a convicted felon nor convicted of a family offense.
Lt. Lester Jenkins added, “The applicant should also be someone who deals well with the public.”
The police department hopes to have the positions filled by the time school starts so applications should be in before Monday, Aug. 3.
For more information on how to apply, call the Oakdale Police Department at 847-2231.