School Index
You are on: HomeBusing › Cancellation/ Delay Procedures | St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Schools Alberta RCSRD #38

Cancellation/ Delay Procedures

Our procedures for each community may vary depending on the busing arrangements and contracts.

If your children are bused by a public school division under our cooperative busing agreement, please contact their office for their procedures and announcements.

When STAR Catholic buses are delayed or cancelled the following guidelines are used to notify parents.

Cancellation decisions are made with as much lead time as possible including the night prior to the cancellation or early in the morning by 6:30 AM. These decisions are made on the recommendation of the Transportation Officer and under the authority of the Secretary-Treasurer.

When the decision to cancel or the need to announce a bus delay is made, then the following steps are taken.

  1. Bus Running Status on the starcatholic.ab.ca division website and the school website are updated with a “Cancelled or Delayed” status together with a message. Parents can check these websites or use their STAR Catholic Bus APP to check the status.
  2. An automated dial-out/email system is used to send a message out to the parents for the affected bus routes.
  3. If required the local radio station is contacted to broadcast the busing message. This is usually only done for bus cancellations.
  4. School and Division administration is informed of the cancellation.

STAR Catholic School Division normally keeps its schools open even when all buses are cancelled. Parents will still have the right to bring their children to school, when buses are cancelled.

Additional Information by Community

Beaumont

  • Above procedures
  • Local radio station

Drayton Valley

  • Wild Rose Public & Parkland bus riders – Check appropriate websites.
  • Bus Route 40 – Bus Contractor (Sam Hill) will directly contact parents
  • Also above procedures
  • Local radio station

Lacombe

  • Wolf Creek – Check appropriate websites.
  • STAR Bus Route 50 See above procedures
  • Local radio station

 Leduc

  • Black Gold bus riders – Check appropriate websites.
  • See above procedures
  • Local radio station

Wetaskiwin

  • Wetaskiwin Regional Public District bus riders – Check appropriate websites.
  • See above procedures
  • Local radio station

What’s a reasonable amount of time to wait for our bus?

Depending on weather, construction, and traffic-related delays conditions, your bus may arrive at your stop either before or after the scheduled time on any given day. The majority of the time, your bus should have arrived at your stop no later than nine minutes after the scheduled time.

If the bus is delayed by more than nine minutes, we will be sending out a message through our Synrevoice system to notify parents. The Bus Running Status will be updated on the website. Parents can download STAR Catholic Bus APP onto their phone to access this information.

If your bus has not arrived within the nine minute wait time and you have not been contacted, please contact the Division Transportation Officer (Cell: 780.690.6318), or if your child uses another school division’s bus service, contact their transportation department.

Should I have a back-up plan in case the bus doesn’t arrive to pick up my child? What kind of back-up plan should I have in place?

Parents should always have a back-up plan.

If your bus has not arrived at your stop within nine minutes of the scheduled time, you should make other arrangements to get your child to school. This could include having a parent or guardian take your child to school, having a friend or neighbor take them, etc.

Your child should also be able to return home from their stop and get back into the house in case of bad weather.

How are we notified of cancellations or delays?

The Bus Running Status will be updated on the website. Parents can download STAR Catholic Bus APP onto their phone to access this information.

Depending on what information you provided to your school when you requested bus service, you will receive an email or phone call to notify you of delays or changes to your route, and we will endeavor to provide as much notice as possible if this occurs.

Why is our bus late?

School buses are subject to the same weather, construction, or traffic-related delays as other vehicles, so depending on road and traffic conditions on a given day, bus arrival times may vary slightly.

How will I know if our bus has been cancelled because of the weather?

If your child is bused to one of our schools by another school division, please contact them directly for their bus cancellation procedures and media update information.

Parents will be notified of bus cancellations by Synrevoice. Our Division website (www.starcatholic.ab.ca) a Bus Status Icon on the division homepage and our Bus Status page use a colour coded system to indicate the status of buses. (Green is on time, Yellow indicates a delay and Red indicates a cancellation). If there is a sudden change to a bus schedule. We also work with our local media and sister school boards to get this information out to media.

Under what circumstances are buses cancelled?

Please note, other school divisions may cancel buses or close schools under different circumstances than we do. Parents of children who are bused by other school divisions should be aware of the specific conditions that may affect their bus service.

Any of the following factors, or combination of factors, are guidelines for considering cancellation and/or school closures:

Temperatures of -40 degrees or lower (not including windchill), reported by the weather office for the area in question.

Reduced roadway visibility of less than 30 metres.

Roads closed by RCMP, municipal or other local transportation officials.

By what time is the decision made to cancel a bus?

Our Division staff will make this decision by 6:30 a.m. Parents of children who are bused by other school divisions should be aware of the cancellation time for their service.

If the weather gets bad during the day, could a bus be cancelled, and how will I know if this has happened?

Normally, buses will not pick children up early from school if bad weather conditions develop during the school day. Students will stay at school until the end of the day, unless they are picked up by their parents.

Parents will be notified of bus cancellations by Synrevoice. Our Division website (www.starcatholic.ab.ca) a Bus Status Icon on the division homepage and our Bus Status page use a colour coded system to indicate the status of buses. (Green is on time, Yellow indicates a delay and Red indicates a cancellation). If there is a sudden change to a bus schedule. We also work with our local media and sister school boards to get this information out to media.

Can I keep my child home if the weather or road conditions seem dangerous?

Yes. Parents are not required to send their children to school if, in their judgment, weather conditions put the safety or well-being of their children at risk.

If you decide to keep your child home from school, please call their school office to let them know.

Will my child be marked late at school if their bus arrives late?

Yes, children will be marked as a late bus arrival.

What happens to the students if the bus is late arriving at the school for afternoon pick-up?

School staff will be notified if a specific bus will be late for afternoon pick-up.

Students should wait for the bus at the school, even if it is late arriving, as it will still follow the regular route schedule once students are picked up from the school.

What happens if my child is late arriving at their stop in the morning, or coming out of the school at the end of the day and they miss their bus?

Buses follow specific routes and schedules and cannot wait for students who are late arriving at their stop in the morning, or leaving school at the end of the day.

If your child misses their bus, they should return home in the morning, or go back into the school at the end of the day and call a parent or guardian to be picked up.

My child has to transfer between buses on the way to and from school. What happens when my child’s transfer bus is not running according to the calendar?

Some of our routes involve connecting with buses operated by other school divisions. Particularly on early dismissal days, when bus schedules do not align, you will need to make alternate travel arrangements for your child at the end of the day.