How do we make school closure and bus cancellation decisions?
The decision to cancel buses, or close schools due to inclement weather is both complex and difficult, and not at all taken lightly. We fully appreciate the impact for students and parents when buses are cancelled, or schools are closed. Students are missing a day of school and many parents are required to find alternate arrangements for the care of their children.
Our three main criteria for our decision are always:
- Student safety
- Ability of buses to follow routes within a reasonable time
- Current and forecasted weather and road conditions
The following steps are taken in this decision making process:
- When an inclement weather forecast is indicated, Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) requires bus companies to dispatch staff between 4:00-5:00 am to drive bus routes throughout Halton areas (urban and rural).
- A report is given to the Manager of HSTS by 5:30 am, based on informed road conditions.
- The HSTS General Manager contacts local counterparts, and a recommendation to make any bus cancellations or school closures is discussed with the Director of Education. The Director of Education and the HSTS General Manager consider the forecast, current weather and road conditions.
- By 6:15-6:30 am the General Manager of HSTS makes a decision/ recommendation to cancel buses.
- Following consultation with HSTS and surrounding boards, the Director of Education for the Halton District School Board determines whether all schools should be closed in addition to cancelling bus transportation.
As always, parents may choose to keep their children home from school if they believe the weather conditions create unsafe travel.
If transportation is cancelled in the morning, it is not provided in the afternoon.
To learn more, read a message on how decisions are made to cancel buses and close schools due to inclement weather, and how the pandemic has added an extra layer of complexity to these decisions. Read here: http://bit.ly/2O207OD