Bus Safety & Parent Information
School Bus Routes
As set out in the Transportation Community Consultation Action Plan (TCCAP), Transportation Services has developed the “School Bus Route” area of the website to ensure stakeholders have an opportunity to review upcoming school bus route changes and provide feedback before school commences in September each year. The Route Review process for the upcoming school year begins in March thus stakeholders should contact Transportation Services with their concerns to ensure they are given full consideration during the review process.
- School bus routes are posted on the website by area and updated on an ongoing basis.
- Adjustments to school bus routes during the summer months are not finalized until October of each year as new students move in or out of the Division.
- School bus routes’ pick up times are approximate and parents should contact their school bus driver for accurate times at their child’s bus stop.
- School bus drivers will receive school bus route information by August 28th each year.
- Prior to the first day of school, all school bus drivers will:
- Complete a dry run to confirm times and identify any safety concerns along the route
- Contact all parents on their route with pick up and drop off times and provide contact information for the bus driver.
All students riding the school bus must be registered on the school bus. Parents can register their child for the school bus by contacting Transportation Services or completing the online form on our bus registration page.
Route Changes & Weather Guidelines
There are many reasons why a school bus route may be delayed or canceled. When there are route delays or cancellations, parents, schools, students and interested stakeholders all must stay informed to ensure they receive instant notification when there is a change in the status of a bus route.
Our first priority is always the safety and well-being of students. Due to the varied reasons for school bus delays or cancellations, school bus drivers may not able to personally call affected families on the changed status of their child’s school bus route.
All school bus route cancellations and delays in excess of 10 minutes are posted at www.gypsd.ca and announced on the following local radio stations: XM105 Whitecourt, the Rig in Whitecourt, and Real Country West in Edson and Hinton.
Parents, students, caregivers, and schools can stay up to date by:
- Listening to one of the local radio stations
- Check the GYPSD website for school bus updates
- Or contact GYPSD’s Transportation Services Departments at 780-723-4471 or 1-800-723-2564 between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm
- Transportation Services will begin to check weather, road conditions, and temperature in Grande Cache, Hinton, Lobstick, and Edson areas at 5 am.
- If the temperature reaches – 36 C or colder, inclement weather conditions are in effect, or a driver deems it unsafe for driving conditions,Transportation Services may suspend bus service in areas affected.
- Transportation Services will source temperature, road, and weather information by radio, TV, and websites from various sources including Environment Canada and The Weather Network.
- Drivers in each area assigned to the driver fan out will contact Transportation Services with local area temperatures and road reports when inclement weather conditions are in effect.
Canceled or Delayed Bus Routes
- Drivers shall report route cancellations and delays in excess of 10 minutes to the Transportation Department.
- Transportation Services will post school bus delays and cancellations on the BUS LINK at www.gypsd.ca which will be updated on a regular basis.
- Local Radio stations will broadcast bus status reports as posted on the website.
- School bus cancellations will be for the entire day. Please note that parents who transport their children to school on a day when bus service has been suspended because of inclement weather or hazardous road conditions shall be responsible for the transport of their children at the end of the school day.
Field Trip Considerations during Inclement Weather
- Field trips scheduled where inclement weather conditions are in effect or when school bus cancellations have been posted due to inclement weather are subject to the school administrators’ decision.
- School administrators or their designate shall confirm weather and road conditions before permitting a field trip to depart from the school.
Parents must remember that transportation is a shared responsibility. Sudden changes can happen on a daily basis. GYPSD takes pride in being prepared for the unexpected including inclement weather, traffic delays, and mechanical issues. We ask for everyone to work together, including students, schools, parents, school bus drivers and the department to ensure that all students have a safe ride to and from school
Grande Yellowhead Public School Division has a variety of ways for parents to stay informed of route or driver changes, and how to communicate their concerns, or to provide valuable feedback to our attention. We expect our school bus drivers to operate at all times in a safe and caring manner, and expect our drivers, parents, students, and co-workers to be treated in a fair and courteous way.
We encourage all parents, schools and all stakeholders to contact the Transportation Services office with any safety concerns, or questions regarding school bus transportation during regular business hours.
- Sign up for email alerts through our Bus Link, and stay advised of when your child’s bus route is delayed or canceled.
- Accompany your child to their bus stop and ensure they know a safe route to and from the stop before the first day of school.
- Respect the bus driver at all times.
- Discuss what to do and plan for when the school bus is late or canceled.
- Ensure that your child(ren) is at their bus stop at the designated time. School bus drivers cannot wait for tardy students as this will result in late times for the remainder of students on the route.
- Discuss and review the school bus rider rules with your child(ren) and be aware of expected student conduct while riding on the bus (see below).
- Practice proper traffic safety rules with your child(ren) to remind them to be aware around traffic and school buses.
- Remember that students are required to load or unload the school bus at their designated stop, and require parent permission to load or unload at an alternate stop.
- Permission may be provided by note or telephone call to the driver, the student’s school or the Transportation office during business hours.
- Notify your school bus driver if your child(ren) will not be riding the school bus.
- Provide written or verbal permission for all guest riders to the bus driver, from the parent or caregiver. Parents should always check with their school bus driver as some routes are operating at full capacity and there may not be room for guest riders.
- Notify your bus driver or Transportation Services when school bus service is no longer required.
- Remember that when a student causes damage to a school bus, the division may seek reimbursement of the repair cost from the student’s parents/ guardians.
- Familiarize yourself with our weather guidelines.
Your cooperation in supporting our efforts to safely transport all students is sincerely appreciated. Please find below further important information regarding transportation:
Student Conduct & Rider Rules
Bus drivers are responsible for the conduct of students while they are being transported on the bus. Most behavioral problems can be handled effectively by employing low profile techniques that positively influence the rules of conduct on the bus. The following guidelines are meant to serve as the process for dealing with student behavioral problems:
- Drivers should attempt to solve the problem by dealing directly with the student(s) involved in the incident.
- Should verbal warnings fail, the driver may wish to try an alternate mode of discipline such as moving the student(s) to the front seat of the bus for a specific period of time. The driver must document all actions that have been taken beyond that of informal discussions.
- Should the problem(s) persist the driver must contact the parent(s) to inform them of ongoing concerns on the bus.
- If student behavior does not improve after contacting the parent, the driver must report further behavior problems to the school principal using the misconduct report.
- School buses are an extension of the classroom and all policies and regulations regarding student conduct in the classroom apply to buses.
- Only the Principal of the student’s school has the authority to suspend bus riding privileges.
- The role of the school bus driver carries much responsibility as these are the individuals transporting your children to and from school each day. The primary role of any driver is to remain focused on safe operation of the school bus while maintaining distractions to a minimum.
- Students should be at the bus stop 3–5 minutes before scheduled pickup time and be appropriately dressed for weather conditions.
- Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting out of your seat or on/off of the bus. Students must not leave their seat while the bus is in motion.
- Cross the road three meters in front of the bus. Do not cross the road until the bus driver signals you to do so.
- Do not put arms, hands or head out the window. Place all garbage in the trash container. DO NOT throw garbage/objects out the window or on the floor.
- Loud or noisy behavior is prohibited as this is distracting to the driver.
- Articles NOT permitted on the bus: skis, snowboards, skateboards, animals, firearms, explosives, combustible materials or anything of a dangerous nature that might endanger the lives or safety of others. Check with the bus driver before taking sports equipment or band equipment on the bus.
- The aisle of the bus must be kept clear at all times. No article may block or extend into the aisle or emergency exits.
- Permission from a caregiver/school is required before a passenger may be dropped off at another stop. Please inform the bus driver when you will not be on the bus.
- Guest riders require written permission from a caregiver or the school. Arrangements should be made with the bus driver, prior to the guest riding.
- The school bus driver is responsible for passenger safety. Follow the direction of the bus driver at all times.
- Respect the bus driver. Respect earns respect.
- Profanity, abusive language/behavior or possession/use of drugs, tobacco or alcohol, on the school bus, will not be permitted. Incidents will be reported to the principal immediately.
- Any violation of the rules or damage to the bus will be reported to the principal. The passenger or their guardian may be charged with the cost of repair for any damages.