INCLEMENT WEATHER INFORMATION
With the winter season fast approaching, it is a good time 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 to cancel one or more bus routes. This is done following consultation with transportation staff who carefully assess local road conditions after severe weather warnings or events.
It is especially 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 challenging
roads (i.e., winding, steep, or are known to flood) may be determined unsafe to drive.
We recommend that parents/guardians on these roads make an advanced plan with Transportation (250-748-1066) 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 advise 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 school-based staff to report to school due to hazardous road conditions. Again, I will make this determination by 5:45 a.m. whether to close schools in the district after assessing the situation with District staff.
WHERE TO FIND BUS ROUTE AND SCHOOL CANCELLATION NOTIFICATIONS
Any notice of official school closings due to weather will be posted to the @CowichanSchools Facebook and Twitter accounts.
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. Media partners will not be notified about individual route changes.
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)
- SUN-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 you of any closures.
Finally, you can follow the transportation department on Twitter (@TransportSD79) for updates regarding bus cancellations or route changes.
In all cases, the safety of students will be the 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 at home if you feel it is the safest choice. When able, students and families should come to the school grounds in suitable winter footwear, use designated walkways, and only park in designated drop off locations.
Let us work together to ensure winter weather days can be safe for everyone.
Cowichan Valley School District
Click here for a pdf version of this information.