As winter approaches, it’s time to recap how we make decisions about whether or not school buses will run when the weather is bad. Keep in mind that our schools will be open whether or not buses are cancelled.
Who decides if the school buses will or won’t run when the weather is bad?
Our drivers are directed to not operate their bus when the temperature is minus 40 degrees Celsius (-40°C) or colder at the start of a route. This temperature does not take into account windchill. Our drivers also follow specific rules about stopping or crossing lanes in reduced visibility.
Our school buses travel approximately 11,000 kilometers each day. Because weather and road conditions vary from region to region, decisions about whether or not to cancel school buses are made as close to the local community as possible.
On a route-by-route basis
Your bus driver will decide whether or not the school bus will run. Our drivers are the most familiar with the weather and road conditions on their routes. When a bus driver decides to cancel because it’s too cold or it’s not safe to drive, the driver will notify:
- parents on the route
- the school principal(s) affected
- the transportation office
On a division-wide basis
If a big storm is brewing, our Transportation department will monitor conditions and make a decision before 6 a.m. if school buses will run or not. We also monitor the Weather Network, Environment Canada reports and gather reports from school bus drivers who live across the division. For safety reasons, schools will be open even when buses are cancelled.
When school buses are cancelled across the division – or in parts of the division – we communicate this information as follows:
- bus drivers will contact parents on their route
- via the bus status report on the division and school websites
- by posting notices on the division website www.pembinahills.ca and Facebook page
What can parents do?
Make sure your child is dressed for the weather — and be prepared for unexpected severe weather conditions. Students should carry with them appropriate winter footwear, outerwear, including headgear, gloves or mitts. Students inadequately prepared for winter conditions may be reported to the parents and the school principal by the bus driver.
If you are concerned about sending your child to the bus stop or school because of bad weather or roads – even if our buses are running – you can always keep your child home.
For more information contact the transportation office at 780-674-8510 or refer to the infographic below.