Weather Related and Other Emergencies
It is the intent of the St. James-Assiniboia School Division to provide educational services to children In the Division on every regularly authorized school day if possible. In the event of emergencies or extreme circumstances, the Chief Superintendent may decide to close all or specific schools and/or discontinue bus service in whole or in part due to severe weather or snowstorms, adverse road conditions and/or other emergencies, if it is in the best interest of the children that such action be taken.
A. School Closure
In the event of extremely adverse circumstances, including severe storm days, the Chief Superintendent may decide to close all or specific schools. The Chief Superintendent shall arrange for publication of the information as early as possible in accordance with the Metro Superintendents Snowstorm protocol as outlined in the division's Emergency Procedures Handbook. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Board will be asked to notify fellow trustees of the decision to close schools and the Chief Superintendent shall arrange for immediate notification of the Transportation Supervisor and principals of schools. Principals shall, in turn, endeavour to notify their staff members accordingly. Division Administration shall follow procedures in the division's Emergency Procedures Handbook for informing other division staff members. The Transportation Supervisor will be responsible for informing Division bus drivers of the decision as well as managers of contracted services. In the event of closure of schools, in accordance with Manitoba Education requirements, a letter shall be prepared for signature by the Chair of the Board and forwarded to the Minister of Education, advising of the emergency and requesting authorization of the days closed for grant purposes.
B. School Bus Cancellation
The following is an outline of procedures for discontinuing bus service during adverse weather conditions including extremely cold weather, or other emergencies when buses are unable to be operated. The safety of students will be the primary consideration in cancelling bus transportation.
1. Criteria for Consideration
The Chief Superintendent will consider the following criteria when considering School Bus Cancellation:
Extremely Cold Weather
An ambient temperature of -35 C or -45 C wind chill or greater will dictate cancellation of school buses within the division.
Hazardous Weather/Road Conditions
Ice-covered roads and/or snow-blocked roads. Any other weather condition that may put students at risk.
Should any other emergency arise, the Chief Superintendent will determine if bus transportation should be cancelled.
2. Individual Route Cancellations
The bus driver has the authority to cancel bussing on a particular route due to unsafe road conditions or any condition that puts the safety of the students at risk. The bus driver will inform the Transportation Supervisor immediately of any such cancellation.
3. Procedures for Bus Cancellation
a. Weather Related Cancellations:
i) The Transportation Supervisor consults Environment Canada for a report on weather conditions.
ii) The Transportation Supervisor contacts the Chief Superintendent and a decision will be made based upon relevant information. An attempt will be made to make a decision to cancel bussing before 0630 hours.
iii) The Superintendent will contact designated radio stations and inform them of the cancellation of bus transportation for the division. All parents, students and staff should be notified in this manner before 0700 hours.
b. Other Emergencies:
The Transportation Supervisor will follow the notification procedures as outlined for weather related cancellations.
c. Individual Route Cancellations
The bus driver will advise the Transportation Supervisor of the situation. In the event the route is cancelled, the Transportation Supervisor will ensure tha all parents/guardians on the route are notified of the cancellation. The Transportation Supervisor will notify the affected schools.
d. Reporting and Follow Up
The Transportation Supervisor will submit a report to the Chief Superintendent when bus transportation is cancelled.