Northlake Elementary receives traffic safety tips from the pros

Officer Justin Halgren of the Newhall California Highway Patrol office explains safety measures to the Northlake Elementary School Student Valet Drop-off program members. Courtesy photo.

Although they’re only in elementary school, California Highway Patrol Officer Justin Hallgren let the students of Northlake Elementary School know how important they are to keeping their schoolmates safe every day.

At Northlake Elementary, every morning a group of approximately 50 fourth- through sixth-grade students help younger kids and parents open and close doors in the school drop-off area, or help escort the younger kids onto the campus.

Halgreen came and visited the school Tuesday in order to help these “student valets” train for the opportunity they would have to serve parents and fellow Northlake Eagles.

“It’s a really nice way for the kids to provide a community service and it certainly benefits everybody by keeping the drop-off in the morning,” said Northlake Principal Vivian Fiss. “Basically we have a long driveway, and our students wear orange vests and help open the car doors in the morning and greet the families with a smile.”

Fiss said the valets not only keep the kids safe while providing a community service, but also helps the traffic moving along for the parents during the daily morning rush.

“It’s really nice too because the parents obviously play a part: They get their kids ready earlier, and they make sure they have breakfast at home so that they can come and do this service at school,” said Fiss. “So, everyone benefits from it.”

Fiss said it is the second year of Northlake Elementary school doing the student valet program, and she had brought it over from her time while working at McGrath Elementary School.

Originally they had worked with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, but this year they partnered with the California Highway Patrol Newhall office.

District officials expressed their support for the program in a press release Thursday, saying that the student valet drop-off programs promote leadership character traits and promote student service (volunteerism) in participating fourth, fifth and sixth graders.

The Sheriff’s Department is scheduled to train the valet team at Castaic Elementary School on Tuesday.

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