The Portola Valley School District has entered into an agreement with the Woodside Patrol security service to provide crossing guards at its two elementary schools as well as the private Woodside Priory school during the 2019-2020 school year.
The school district is party to the contract with a separate memorandum of understanding with Woodside Priory.
The guards will be posted from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. at the crosswalk in front of Woodside Priory at the corner of Brookside Drive on school days.
The Woodside Patrol will also cover the crosswalk at Alpine Road and Corte Madera Road from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. on Wednesdays, according to the contract signed by the district and the Woodside Patrol.
In addition, Woodside Patrol will be on duty at the Alpine/Corte Madera crosswalk from noon to 12:30 p.m. on minimum days scheduled for Nov. 5 to Nov. 8, Dec. 20 and June 11, 2020.
The agreement follows a period of uncertainty about the ability of the Portola Valley district to find people interested in being crossing guards going back about four years, according to Superintendent Roberta Zarea.
"We had a crossing guard who worked for us for years, but he was elderly and we were getting a lot of complaints about his ability to cross kids safely," Zarea said.
The district has teachers and custodians on duty at the crosswalk at the intersection of Alpine Road and Indian Crossing, in front of Corte Madera School, during the mornings and afternoons, she said.
"I do think it is worth understanding how many kids actually use the crosswalk by the Priory and at Alpine and Corte Madera, and see if it's something we want to continue," Zarea said. "We will study the usage and travel patterns this year."
The district is paying Woodside Patrol $30 for each 45-minute posting, or $60 per day for the services, according to the contract.
The district will pay 65% of the cost of the contract and Woodside Priory 35%.
The school district joined with the town of Portola Valley and Woodside Priory to hire Woodside Patrol in a pilot program during the last few months of the 2018-19 school year, Zarea said.
Woodside Patrol is a private security agency that was formed in 1930 to supplement the services of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, according to its website.