Suspension of Bus Service Due to Inclement Weather Bulletin
Policy EBCD - Inclement Weather forms the basis to suspend busing services as necessary when weather and/or road conditions constitute a potential hazard for students. Schools will remain open to students should school bus service be suspended for the day;
Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) is effectively divided into four regions, each having a distinct location within the region to determine temperature and wind chill factor;
The current Environment Canada method of determining the wind chill factor has been adopted; and should school bus services be suspended in the morning, bus service will not be provided in the afternoon.
When considering bus suspension due to inclement weather or region-specific, adverse conditions, EIPS defines regions in the jurisdiction as:
- Region 1, Strathcona Region
- Region 2, Urban Region - Hamlet of Sherwood Park and the City of Fort Saskatchewan
- Region 3, Lamont Region
- Region 4, Minburn Region
Weather and Road Conditions
School bus service, including all Payride bus services, shall be suspended when:
Region 1 -- A temperature of -40° C or a wind chill factor of -50° C is measured at the Edmonton International Airport at 5:00 a.m., or
Region 2 -- at the Edmonton Weather Office at 5:00 a.m., or
Region 3 -- at Lamont Elementary School at 5:00 a.m., or
Region 4 -- at the Vegreville Environment Centre at 5:00 a.m.
EIPS believes that it is a parent's right and responsibility to make choices for their children based on their beliefs and perceptions of safety during inclement weather conditions - even when buses are running and schools are open.
In the event that conditions are extreme, bus service may be suspended in any or all regions of EIPS when weather or road conditions warrant. In this instance:
- suspension of bus service information will be released to the public by local area radio and television stations commencing at 6:00 a.m.;
- a message will be placed on EIPS' central switchboard (464-3477); and
- Student Transportation will contact families on affected routes.
If unsafe road conditions occur, individual bus operators, in consultation with EIPS' Director, Student Transportation, have the discretionary power to not operate, or abandon completion of the morning route by returning students to their home, thus resulting in an individual bus route(s) being suspended. In this instance:
- all EIPS' schools will remain open;
- no information will be broadcast;
- bus operators and/or schools will contact parents directly.
The principal, staff, Student Transportation, and school bus operators have a shared responsibility and must take steps to see that students arrive home safely when the decision is made to dismiss students earlier than the regular dismissal times.
If weather or road conditions deteriorate during the day in a particular region/area, the principal, in consultation with the Superintendent/designate, may close the school to students and staff, and the Director, Student Transportation may authorize individual or all buses to leave schools prior to regular dismissal times. In this instance:
- principals, staff, parents, Student Transportation, and drivers are responsible for ensuring an adult is available to receive students at home or alternate shelter prior to transport;
- the information may be broadcast on all local area and television stations;
- the principal, staff, Student Transportation, and drivers must take all reasonable steps to see that the students arrive home safely.
A single school may be closed for a specific emergent situation. In this instance:
- the principal, in consultation with the Superintendent, will make arrangements for early dismissal;
- principals, staff, parents, Student Transportation, and drivers are responsible for determining whether an adult is available to receive students at home or alternate shelter prior to transport;
- if sufficient time allows, information may be broadcast on local radio and television stations.
Parents must use their discretion when sending their children to school during inclement weather conditions, even when buses are running and schools are open. For the safety of the students, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children are suitably dressed for coping with weather conditions and arrangements have been made for alternate shelter for their child if no one is home.
Further information on the Inclement Weather policy can be found on the EIPS' Web site at http://www.eips.ca/index.php in the Board of Trustees, POLICY HANDBOOK section, or at your local school.