Western School Division transportation statistics:
- Twelve regular routes carrying over 850 students and traveling approximately 275,000 kilometres per year.
- Sixteen buses and twenty-five regular and spare drivers are available for regular routes and school activity field trips.
- Buses are serviced at a facility shared with Garden Valley School Division. Three mechanics and a part-time clerical staff are employed there in a new 600 square metres facility known as Centre-Line Pupil Transportation.
- Division staff continually monitors bus radios.
- Emergency messages can be relayed to bus drivers by telephoning
the Division Office at 822-4448 or the Maintenance Shop at 822-651
WESTERN SCHOOL DIVISION
This booklet is intended to present students and parents with an outline of the responsibilities of the School Division, the bus driver, the students and the parents. Each group has unique duties and obligations that together form a basis for a safe and efficient transportation system. Even though a student does not regularly use the transportation system of Western School Division to get to school, he or she will probably ride the bus often for activities or field trips. It is important to ensure that all students are aware of and follow the rules set down for them. Failure to follow these rules may jeopardize the safe operation of the buses, and may result in disciplinary actions including suspension from bus privileges. Whether you are a student or a parent please carefully read the complete booklet. Western School Division would like to thank you for your continued cooperation that enables us to provide the safest possible school bus system. If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to call:
Mr. Allan Toews
Supervisor of Operations Western School Division
Western School Division Responsibilities
- Principals are legally responsible for children from the time they leave home and to ensure appropriate discipline throughout the school day, including the bus trip. Discipline concerns will be dealt with by the school principals in co-operation with bus drivers.
- Provide clean, safe, and well-maintained vehicles to transport students.
- Hire qualified, trained concerned individuals to drive.
- Constantly monitor the bussing system always with an emphasis on improving safety by providing professional development training for all personnel involved, i.e. drivers, mechanics and administrators.
- Provide bus safety instruction to all students in the division.
- To operate the vehicle in a safe and efficient manner.
- Ensure the orderly conduct of passengers and report unacceptable behaviour to the principal of his or her school.
- Be prepared to handle emergencies.
- Provide maximum safety for students riding on, loading or unloading from the bus.
- Report immediately all items that require maintenance on the bus.
- Be aware that pupils are responsible for their own action and behavior.
- Know what the rules and procedures are and abide by the.
- Display proper respect for the rights and comfort of others.
- Realize that school bus transportation can be denied if they do not conduct themselves properly.
- Be aware that distracting the driver is potentially hazardous to their safety.
- Be familiar with emergency procedures.
- Know the rules and encourage children to abide by them.
- Support safe riding practices.
- Support drivers and/or schools in disciplinary actions.
- Ensure that pupils are on time at bus pick up points.
- Ensure that pupils are properly clothed according to weather conditions.
- Be at the pick up point before the bus arrives.
- Wait away from traffic, at least two metres from the road or street.
- Avoid pushing, shoving or fighting.
- Do not run to the bus. Wait until it has stopped and the door is open.
- Board single file, using the handrail.
- Go directly to your assigned seat.
- Carry-on items shall be limited to those items that can safely be stored under the seat or held on the pupils' knees. Skates shall be carried in equipment bags or provided with skate guards. Skateboards must be in equipment bags or securely fastened to backpacks. Some of the articles that cannot be transported include hockey sticks, live animals, large project boards or large musical instruments. In all cases the driver will determine if any item may be transported on a bus.
- Talk to the driver only when it is absolutely necessary.
- Refrain from loud or boisterous talking, and use electronic devices only with the approval of the driver.
- Obtain driver's permission before opening windows.
- Eating and drinking on the bus may be allowed on field trips only when the bus is not in motion and with the permission of the driver.
- Absolutely no items shall be thrown in or from the bus at any time.
- Assist the driver in keeping the bus clean and neat at all times.
- Remain seated until the bus is stopped and the door is open.
- A "Goodbye" or "Thanks" is a nice courtesy to the driver.
- Exit slowly, using the handrail. Move away from the bus. Be aware of the "Danger Zones" around the bus and never re-approach the bus for any reason.
- If crossing the roadway is necessary use the following procedure:
- WALK away from the bus and about ten feet in front of the bus.
- CHECK with the driver - watch for his signal to cross.
- WALK across the roadway.
- CHECK for traffic in both directions as you reach the edge of the bus.
ALWAYS REMEMBER - NOT ALL VEHICLES OBEY THE STOP SIGNALS ON THE BUS.
- Students shall not board or exit a bus at any point on the route other than designated approved locations except in the case of emergencies.
- Only those students assigned to a bus will be allowed to ride. Any student within the Western School Division may be transported on any Western School Division bus. These arrangements must be made by the parent with the driver, prior to bus use and are subject to space availability.
- 1. The first time the principal receives a report on a student from the bus driver, the principal will discuss the matter with the student on the same day it is reported. The principal will inform the student of the action that will be taken if the misbehaviour occurs again.
- The second time the principal receives a report on the same student, the principal will speak to the student on the day the report is received. The parent will be contacted by phone followed by a letter informing the parent about the misbehaviour.
- If it happens a third time, a two-week suspension from riding on the bus will occur.
- The fourth time the principal receives a report from the driver on the same student, the principal will contact the parent by phone and send them a written notice that they will have to provide transportation to the end of the school year, as the student will not be allowed to ride on the bus.
Western School Division may under extreme conditions cancel bus routes. When all bus routes are cancelled all Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes for that day are also cancelled.
BUS ROUTE CANCELLATION PROCEDURE (a portion of EBCDA-R)
- Buses may be cancelled due to any one or a combination of the following factors, bearing in mind that student safety is of prime concern.
- low temperatures (-35°C) or high wind chill values (at or below - 45°C Wind Chill Index)
- poor visibility
- unsafe road conditions (Manitoba Highways or driver recommendations)
- The Supervisor of Operations or his designate shall be responsible to initiate the route cancellation procedure.
- If unacceptable weather and road conditions develop overnight that makes travel by school buses unsafe a decision is made by 7:30 AM, when possible, to cancel buses and classes. This decision is relayed to 88.9 FM, CFAM 950, CFYI 93.5, CBC 990, and CJOB 680.
- A cancellation may take place at any time if conditions deteriorate suddenly. In the case of late cancellation drivers should attempt to contact parents on their route.
- If unacceptable weather and road conditions develop during the school day where classes are already in progress, classes will continue and evening bus routes will be cancelled and rural students will be billeted in town. Since rural students are already in town no rural bus service will be available the following morning.
- Bus cancellations will be announced on the local radio stations, (88.9FM), CFAM (950AM, CFYI (93.5FM), CBC (990AM) AND CJ0B (680AM).
- An individual bus driver has the authority to cancel all or part of their route at any time if weather or road conditions are such that in their opinion it is not safe to drive. In this case, the driver will notify parents of that route and the Supervisor of Operations. If any bus routes are cancelled and parents choose to transport their children to school, the parents will be responsible for transporting their children home after school.
- All buses are radio equipped and constantly monitored.
- For the complete policy statement, see policy EBCDA, Weather Conditions and Safety.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
All school bus drivers must receive a minimum of 24 hours of instruction prior to operating a school bus carrying passengers and a minimum of eight hours in-service training during each school year. A person who is certified as a School Bus Driver Instructor by the Pupil Transportation Unit of Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth provides this instruction.
Why are there no seat belts on school buses?
School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation in Canada and the United States. All new school buses are required to meet safety standards over and above those applying to all other passenger vehicles. These include requirements for improved emergency exits, roof structure, seating and fuel systems and bus body joint integrity. These requirements help ensure that school buses are extremely safe.
Rather than requiring seat belts, the "National Highway Traffic Safety Administration" decided the best way to provide crash protection to passengers is through a concept called "compartmentalization." This requires that the interior of large buses provide occupant protection so that children are protected without the need to buckle-up. A protective envelope consisting of strong, closely spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs provides occupant crash protection. The effectiveness of compartmentalization has been confirmed in the National Transport Safety Board and other studies.
If my child is not going to be on the bus do I need to contact transportation staff?
When ever possible please notify your driver directly. A phone call or note to the driver works well. If you cannot make these arrangements a message may be forwarded to the driver by calling the School Division offices at 822-4448 or the Division's maintenance shop at 822-6513.
How long will the bus wait for my child at the pick-up location?
Route schedules are planned to minimize route times. It is expected that all students will be at their designated pick-up locations prior to the times designated for that location. Drivers are not able to wait past the scheduled time without affecting the balance of the route. If you are unsure of the time for your location please contact your driver. The in town schedule is available on this site.
Requests for special services due to medical or other reasons shall be made to the Supervisor of Operations at the Division Office phone: 822-4448.