Extreme Weather Policy - First Student
In Saskatoon, buses will be cancelled in cases of extreme weather (e.g. high wind chills) or extreme operating conditions.
Each of our transportation providers has an extreme weather policy.
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and FirstStudent Canada expect school buses to operate as scheduled under most weather and urban travel conditions usually experienced in Saskatchewan. There should be very few occasions when extreme weather and adverse operating conditions affect school bus service. However, when those conditions arise, school bus service may be delayed, altered or cancelled.
Extreme weather and adverse operating conditions include, but are not limited to: high winds, poor visibility, torrential rain, flooding, mud, lightning, fog, freezing rain, sleet, extreme cold temperature, high wind-chill factors, blizzards, snowdrifts, deeply rutted or snowbound roads, or other factors that alone or in combination make conveying children unsafe.
The overriding consideration to delay, alter, or cancel bus service will be the safety of pupils and the safety of drivers.
The Director of Education or their designate, in consultation with the Contract Manager for FirstStudent shall authorize the delay, altering, or cancellation of any or all routes.
Parents must ensure that their bus-riding child is adequately dressed for weather conditions in the event that the bus becomes stranded or encounters mechanical problems.
There are two times of day when extreme weather and/or adverse operating conditions may affect school bus service: the Pick-Up Run (generally the morning run) and the Drop-Off Run (generally the afternoon run).
Delays or cancellations
• A driver considering changing, delaying, or cancelling a run will first consult with FirstStudent, who will provide notification to the school division.
• In the event that a single run is delayed, FirstStudent will attempt to telephone all parents to inform them of the delay, normally one hour. The school will be notified. The driver will operate the full schedule, including addresses that they could not contact about the delay. Upon arrival at school the driver will inform the principal of all pupils who were not on the bus. The principal or their designate will then be responsible for those pupils and contacting the affected parents.
• In the event that rural or wheelchair transportation is cancelled, FirstStudent will attempt to telephone all parents to inform them of the cancellation. The applicable schools will be notified.
• In the event that urban bus service is cancelled entirely, the media will be contacted by GSCS and asked to publicize the cancellation. The cancelation will include both the morning and afternoon runs. The driver will contact each family and GSCS will inform all principals.
• Wheelchair bus service will be cancelled when the temperature with wind chill at 0600 is minus 40 Degrees Celsius or colder. Information will be posted on the bus information line – 343-3300.
• Rural bus service will be cancelled when the temperature with wind chill at 0600 is minus 45 Degrees Celsius or colder. Information will be posted on the bus information line – 343-3300.
• Urban bus service will be cancelled when the temperature with wind chill at 0700 is minus 45 Degrees Celsius or colder. Information will be posted on the bus information line – 343-3300.
Once at school, buses will not normally depart until regular dismissal time.
Advanced or delayed service
• In the event that return service from the school is advanced or delayed (normally one hour) pending a change in conditions, the principal will telephone all parents to inform them. The driver will accept on board the bus only those pupils whose parents were contacted and who accept the advanced or delayed service. The bus will leave the school at the determined time and operate drop-offs according to return routing. Bus riders left at the school will remain responsibility of the principal. In the event that the driver cannot deliver all pupils to their drop-off, he/she will return them to the school where the principal will be responsible for them.
• In the event that the afternoon run is cancelled entirely, the principal will ensure that all parents contacted. Pupils left at the school will remain the responsibility of the principal.