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 5:30 a.m.
- The bus operators will set up a network of driver contacts to ensure the reporting of all road and weather conditions for all serviced areas. The driver contacts will advise the operators of all dangerous weather and travel conditions.
- The operators will gather information from the M.T.O., Local Roads Boards, rural bus drivers and then contact the Consortium Manager, reporting conditions and their recommendation by 6:00 a.m. or before if possible.
- Based on the data gathered from the bus operators, the Consortium Manager will recommend whether to cancel rural busing and the resulting impact of such cancellations on rural schools and rural routes. Managers from respective School Boards will be then informed by the Consortium Manager.
- Route cancellations will be confirmed with the Consortium Manager after consultation with senior Board officials.
- This will affect the following Lakehead Public Schools rural schools, areas and routes.
- Five Mile
- Gorham and Ware
- Kakabeka Falls
- Nor’wester View
- Whitefish Valley
- Valley Central and
- 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.
- Media notification will be communicated by STSTB staff before 7:00 a.m. where possible. Parents, students and school staff are asked to access local radio stations at 7:00 a.m. and after to receive bus cancellation information.
- The Transportation Managers will be responsible for notifying the 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 availablefrom 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 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 School Boards representatives to recommend the total shutdown of area busing system. The system wide closure of schools will be confirmed to the Consortium Manager after consultation with Senior Board Officials.
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.