- Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - Registration for 2019/2020 Senior Elementary School and Secondary School Transportation opens
- Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - Early Dismissal Volunteer Day for St. Ignatius & St. Patrick. Buses depart at 12:10pm
- Friday, April 19, 2019 - Good Friday Holiday - All Schools Closed
- Monday, April 22, 2019 - Easter Monday Holiday - All Schools Closed
- Tuesday, April 30 - Last day to submit online registration for 2019/2020 Senior Elementary School and Secondary School Transportation
- Friday, May 3, 2019 - PA Day - LDSB Elementary schools
- Monday, May 20, 2019 - Victoria Day Holiday - All Schools Closed
Important Dates to Remember
Transportation During Extreme Cold Weather
For Northern Ontario, an extreme cold warning is issued by Environment Canada when the temperature or wind chill is expected to reach minus 40°C for at least two hours. Wind chill observations and forecasts that you hear are much more representative of what you actually feel and, for this reason, our Extreme Cold Weather Practice now utilizes outside temperature WITH WIND CHILL in determining when to cancel student transportation service for the day.
Student transportation service will be cancelled if the temperature including wind chill is -40 degrees Celsius or below on the Environment Canada Weather website for Thunder Bay Airport at 6:00am. Confirmation of cancellation of service will be sent out no later than 6:30am as per our Inclement Weather procedures.
Students should always be dressed and prepared for current and forecasted weather conditions. Parents are reminded that they are responsible for the safety of their children to, from and while at the bus stop and ultimately make the decision on whether to put their children on the bus when buses are running during inclement weather.
On the Bus - 2018/2019 Winter Edition
Information on how we determine when to cancel transportation and how to be prepared for school bus transportation during the winter months can be found here.
Walk or Wheel Thunder Bay kicks off local Active School Travel project with $86,000 grant
The grant from the Ontario Active School Travel Fund is made possible through a financial contribution from the Government of Ontario, administered through Green Communities Canada.
Walk or Wheel TBay (WOW TBay) is part of the province-wide Ontario Active School Travel project funded by the Ministry of Education. WOW TBay has received $86,000 to deliver active school travel initiatives to elementary-aged students in May 2018-June 2020. The purpose of WOW TBay is to encourage families to choose active transportation for the trip to and from school. Active transportation refers to any form of human-powered (non-motorized) travel such as walking, cycling, using a wheelchair, scooter, or skateboard. Students who are bused can also be encouraged to use active transportation to get to the bus stop. Active transportation increases physical activity, improves physical, mental and emotional health while also benefiting our environment.
What is WOW TBay?
WOW TBay is a committee co-chaired by staff at EcoSuperior Environmental Programs and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. The committee also includes staff from Lakehead Public Schools, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay, the City of Thunder Bay, and Thunder Bay Police. The role of WOW TBay is to connect partners and to work closely with schools to develop and implement active school travel plans. WOW TBay also helps schools access resources that will support their active transportation initiatives.
- Childhood obesity rates are increasing.
- The number of students walking to school has been steadily decreasing over the past 25 years.
- Automobile dependency is contributing to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and negatively impacting the environment across Ontario.
- Heavy traffic around school zones contributes to air quality issues and the increase of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
In working together, school administrators, teachers, parents, other school board staff, public health departments and municipalities can implement an Active School Travel Program focused on promoting active transportation. Schools will be able to leverage resources of all partners (Health Unit, City, Police, school board offices, Student Transportation Services, EcoSuperior), as well as staff resources from Facilitators, to create an effective program.
- Active students are more alert and ready to learn
- Active kids do better in school and in life
- Active school travel is an important source of Daily Physical Activity (DPA)
- Active school travel promotes the principles outlined in Ontario’s Foundations for a Healthy School
- Active School Travel is environmentally friendly and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Schools can earn points towards the Ontario EcoSchools certification
- Community safety is improved by adding “eyes on the street”
- Active school travel reduces vehicular traffic and congestion around schools
- Students learn about the built and natural environment through exploration
It's Fun and Easy!
- Students enjoy social time with friends and the fresh air
The WOW TBay program will work with four Thunder Bay elementary schools to develop and implement active school travel plans. Ecole Gron Morgan and St. Thomas School have been chosen through an application and committee selection process to be the first two schools to benefit from this program. Two additional schools will be selected in 2019 through another application and committee selection process.
At the four selected schools, guardians, students, teachers and administrators will work collaboratively with the WOW TBay committee to develop an effective active school travel plan that meets the needs of each school community. The School Travel Planning Facilitators at EcoSuperior Environmental Programs and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit will be the main points of contact for the school community. Facilitators will create and implement school-specific travel plans based on the school community’s input and will provide the school with resources to increase travel plan effectiveness.
Selected schools will receive in-kind support to deliver initiatives, including an honourarium and materials such as safety vests, bike racks, wayfinding signage, signage on school grounds, and trophies for the classes with the highest participation. Schools will also receive supporting materials for four annual events and a professionally-developed report of program findings.
Selected schools will work with Facilitators to help encourage students to walk or wheel to school by:
- Providing input to Facilitators for the development of school travel plan and assisting in implementing the plan
- Creating a school committee consisting of administrators, teachers and other school staff, guardians, or others from the school community who will meet regularly to guide the development, implementation, and updating of school travel plan
- Participating in Walkabout of school area
- Participating in four events: Walk to School Month (October), Winter Walk Day (February), Spring into Spring (April), and Bike Week (May).
- Tracking participation through school-wide hands-up classroom surveys, conducted daily for a week twice annually.
- Tracking parent involvement by distributing parent surveys
- Hosting annual school assembly and/or media launch
- Helping design best routes to school wayfinding signage incorporating student art
- Distributing infographics and other materials
Schools are selected based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrated support from champions and school community
- Clear commitment from school community
- Demonstrated need OR ability to build on existing initiatives
- Quality of application and thoroughness of responses
- Long-term sustainability of project beyond June 2020 and contribution to environmental sustainability
National School Bus Safety Week
The week of October 22-26, 2018 is National School Bus Safety Week!
Schools and communities around the country will be recognizing the 2018 School Bus Safety Week celebrating the theme: “My Driver - My Safety Hero!” with Wednesday, October 24th being celebrated as School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.
Every school day nearly 13,000 students in Thunder Bay and surrounding townships start and end their day on a yellow school bus. The men and women who drive these buses in all weather, road and traffic conditions play an essential role in safely transporting our students. Most start their day well before dawn, inspecting their bus to ensure all mechanical and safety systems are operational. The MTO requires over 100 items to be checked daily to ensure the bus is fit to safely transport children. Then it is off to pick up the students and take them to school and then back again at the end of the day.
It is not, however, all about driving a 40-foot long, 12-ton vehicle and opening and shutting a door. School Bus drivers love children and understand their responsibility for getting them to and from school safely. It takes a lot of patience, understanding and caring to do this job.
Driving in rain, snow, icy, cold and hot conditions, maneuvering through traffic and at times encountering irate drivers, trying to keep up to 72 children safe in a confined space while staying on schedule, school bus drivers are called Professional drivers for a reason. It is not only because of the specialized training and licensing, but also how they conduct themselves in difficult situations. They understand that children are learning what is right and what is wrong and that they make mistakes. Bus drivers must be good listeners, show compassion and be someone the students can look up to. They are quite often the first and last adult many children see outside of their own homes each school day.
School bus drivers love their jobs and their responsibilities, yet despite all their patience and understanding, what truly angers any school bus driver is when a motorist runs through their stop arm. This puts the children they are responsible for protecting in danger.
According to The Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver's Handbook, “It is illegal to fail to stop for a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing. If you don't stop, you can be fined $400 to $2,000 and get six demerit points for a first offence. If you are convicted a second time within five years, the penalty is a fine of $1,000 to $4,000 and six demerit points. You could also go to jail for up to six months. In Ontario, school-bus drivers and other witnesses can report vehicles that have illegally passed a school bus. If you are the vehicle's registered owner, these same fines, but not demerit points or jail time, may be applied to you.”
National School Bus Safety Week is a way for everyone - parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and other interested parties - to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety.