Winter Weather Information for 2019/20
With the winter season fast approaching, it is important to remind you about the school district’s procedures regarding inclement weather. There may be times when bus routes will not be operating as usual, or where schools in the district are closed. This letter outlines how these decisions are made, and identifies where you can find this information in the event of severe winter weather.
The most likely reason for cancellation of bus service will be for severe winter weather conditions, in which case one or more bus routes in the district may be cancelled. I will determine by 5:45 a.m. whether or not to cancel one or more bus routes, after consultation with transportation staff who carefully assess local road conditions after severe weather warnings.
It is very important that you take note of what route(s) your child(ren) ride on.
WHEN BUSES ARE OPERATING DURING INCLEMENT WEATHER
When road conditions are poor, some of the less maintained and more dangerous roads (i.e. winding, steep) may be determined unsafe to drive. We recommend that parents/guardians on these roads make a plan now with the Transportation Supervisor (250-748-1066 ext. 275) for a safer pick-up and drop-off location.
If buses are running more than fifteen minutes late, drivers will radio in to notify the transportation department. The transportation department will send an email to the Principals and Vice-Principals of the affected schools.
You can also sign up to get transportation department updates regarding route cancellations, changes, or delays on Twitter (@TransportSD79).
The closure of schools in the district may occur when we are experiencing severe winter weather conditions, or when it is simply unsafe to ask parents and staff to report to school due to hazardous road conditions. Again, I will determine by 5:45 a.m. whether or not to close schools in the district after assessing the situation with staff.
WHERE TO FIND BUS ROUTE AND SCHOOL CANCELLATION NOTIFICATIONS
Any notice of official closings due to weather will be posted to the @CowichanSchools Facebook and Twitteraccounts.
We will notify local radio and TV media outlets prior to 6 a.m. with information regarding bus or route cancellations and school closures. News announcements usually begin after 6 a.m. They will not be notified about individual route changes due to conditions of specific roads.
The following local radio stations will be contacted about inclement weather notifications:
- The Q! (100.3 FM)
- The Zone (91.3 FM)
- CBC (90.5 FM)
- JUICE-FM (89.7 FM)
- CFAX (1070 AM)
The following TV stations will also be contacted:
- CTV Vancouver Island
- Global BC
- CHEK News
The school district website (www.sd79.bc.ca) will also be updated with a banner informing of any closures.
Finally, you can follow the transportation department on Twitter (@TransportSD79) for updates regarding bus cancellations or route changes.
In all of these cases, the safety of students will be the first priority. Parents are equally encouraged to keep safety in mind when determining whether to take your child(ren) to school in the event the district is open during winter weather conditions. It is your prerogative to keep them home if it is the safest choice.