STSTB's record for reliable school bus service is excellent. However, during poor weather conditions schedules for school buses cannot be guaranteed. During bad weather, a route can take up to 50 per cent longer or may even have to be cancelled. Throughout the school year, parents or guardians are responsible for making sure they have an alternate plan in place for their children in the event the school bus is late or does not arrive.
The final decision to send your child to the bus stop or school rests with you, the parent or guardian, even though the school buses and schools may be operational.
School bus service may be cancelled from time to time due to inclement weather and/or poor road conditions.
1. Implementation Procedures Due to Inclement Weather
Emergency Process Starts by 5:00 a.m.
5:00 - 6:00 A.M.
- Operators contact the Consortium Manager or designate with weather and road conditions from a network of drivers reporting in from all service areas.
- Additional information is gathered from Environment Canada, MTO and local road boards.
- Based on all information provided, the Consortium Manager will decide whether to make a recommendation for canceling transportation, which may be rural only or system-wide.
6:00 - 6:15 A.M.
- Consortium Manager will inform the designated board transportation contacts of the recommendation and schedule a conference call with the Directors of Education or their designates to discuss.
6:15 - 6:30 A.M.
- Conference call with Directors of Education or their designates to confirm transportation cancellation and any school closures.
- The Consortium Manager will then inform the school bus operators and STSTB staff by 6:30 a.m. or before, if possible.
- Local media notification will be made by STSTB by 6:45 a.m. where possible. Parents, students and school staff are asked to access the STSTB or School Board websites, social media accounts, STSTB Emergency Snow Closure Phone Line and local radio stations starting at 7:00 a.m. to receive bus cancellation information.
- A rural busing cancellation will affect the following Lakehead Public Schools rural schools, areas and routes.
- Crestview – school closed; all transportation cancelled.
- Five Mile – school OPEN; all transportation cancelled.
- Gorham and Ware – school closed; all transportation cancelled.
- Kakabeka Falls – school closed; all transportation cancelled.
- McKenzie – school OPEN; all transportation cancelled.
- Nor’wester View – school OPEN; all transportation cancelled.
- Whitefish Valley – school closed; all transportation cancelled.
- Valley Central – school closed; all transportation cancelled.
- The Lakeshore area of Claude Garton and Rosslyn Road Area of Westmount
- Including all Lakehead Public Schools secondary students from these areas
- A closure of Thunder Bay Catholic District District School Board Rural Routes will affect the routes from the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board and CSDC des Aurores boréales that are designated rural routes by the Boards.
- The Director of Education for each school board, or their designate, will be responsible for notifying their Superintendents of the decision to terminate busing. Superintendents or designates will be responsible for notifying Principals. Notification to Principals should be no later than 7:00.
- Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay Emergency Weather and School evacuation Closure Number is 625-1661. School closure information is also available from Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay at www.ststb.ca , Lakehead Public School’s website at www.lakeheadschools.ca Thunder Bay District Catholic School Board at www.tbcschools.ca and CSDC des Aurores boréales at www.csdcab.ca.
- STSTB staff will cover the transportation office and local radio communications.
- Principals are expected to notify all staff of the decision to suspend busing and to ensure that any students who do arrive at school have safe keeping.
- Routes that service urban schools from a rural area will not run in a rural closure. STSTB will identify these routes to the school by October 31 and the school will be responsible for notifying the parents.
- When encountering minor deviations and impassable areas/routes, drivers are to follow procedures as outlined on the STSTB website (www.ststb.ca) under driver's policies/instructions.
- In the event of a system wide closure, the Consortium Manager or designate will contact the Directors of Education, or their designates, to recommend the total shutdown of area busing system. Any decision for the system wide closure of schools will be made by the Director of Education, or their designate, for each school board and communicated to the Consortium Manager at the time of confirmation for cancelling busing to be included in all weather closure communications.
2. Situations Arising During School Hours
- Should it be necessary to send bused students home during school hours in rural and/or urban areas, principals will be notified no later than 11:00 a.m. where possible. In the event of an emergency school closure, the Principal shall contact the necessary Board Representatives and/or the STSTB office. Appropriate action will be coordinated between Board representatives and STSTB office.
- Upon notification to terminate busing during the school day, Principals are expected to immediately start implementing their school emergency evacuation plan and to ensure that all students have been evacuated safely.