'Snow Day' Season Prep

Limestone Learning Foundation
'Snow Day' Season Prep
Posted on 11/08/2023
Image of snow covered school busesAs we near the middle of November and the potential for winter weather to impact schools is present, we want to remind families how inclement weather days are handled in the Limestone District School Board.

During the winter, LDSB works closely with Tri-Board Student Transportation Services to determine if it is safe to offer student transportation on inclement weather days.

When school bus transportation is cancelled due to poor weather or road conditions, Limestone schools remain open. When buses are cancelled in the morning, they are cancelled for the entire day. 

We understand that cancelling transportation is inconvenient for families. We recommend creating backup plans for alternative travel or childcare when busing is not available. If a student is taken to school when buses are not running, it is the family’s responsibility to arrange their travel home at the end of the day.

Student walkers may proceed to school as usual if their parent/caregiver has deemed it safe to do so. In the City of Kingston, students may choose to use Kingston Transit. Families who choose to drop off their student(s) at the beginning of the school day must ensure they pick them up at the end of the regular school day. Students cannot be dropped off at school earlier than 15 minutes before classes are to begin, and they must be picked up immediately following afternoon dismissal.

Upon arrival, students should proceed directly to their first period/home classroom or take the direction of staff.  

Sometimes smaller student attendance numbers and staff absences results in the consolidation of classes to continue learning while maximizing student supervision.

Students who must remain home due to a lack of transportation to school may participate in asynchronous learning from home where possible. Classroom teachers will provide students with direction and assignment of asynchronous work, likely through the class’s online learning management system.

If your student is staying home due to a bus cancellation, or due to inclement weather conditions, please use the Board's SafeArrival absence reporting tool to report their absence. There are two options to choose from regarding transportation:
•  Inclement Weather (all transportation types and walkers) for any inclement weather days when your student will not be attending school.
•  Transportation (not weather-related) for any non-weather-related transportation reason when your student will not be attending school (e.g., when a bus is cancelled due to a driver shortage).

As a reminder, the decision to cancel buses rests with Tri-Board Student Transportation. Tri-Board bus drivers, operators and municipal roads officials assess weather and road conditions between 4-6 a.m. on school days using a variety of data including accredited weather forecasters such as Environment Canada. 

Tri-Board and the school board report decisions to cancel buses around 5:30/6 a.m. Decisions sometimes happen quickly and can be different across the district based on different circumstances or conditions. This may include a decision after 5:30/6 a.m. based on changing or worsening weather and/or road conditions. Tri-Board and the school boards makes their decisions with the best information available at the time. The guiding principle in making these decisions is always the safety of students, staff and volunteers working at our schools and centres.

You are encouraged to sign up to receive direct notifications, either by email, or Tri-Board’s app. 

•           Subscribe by email to specific bus routes
•           Instructions on how to download the BusPlanner Delays App 

Visit Tri-Board Snow Days & Inclement Weather to learn more on how and why school buses are cancelled.

While the decision to cancel buses occurs occasionally throughout the school year based on weather and road conditions, the closure of schools is an infrequent and extraordinary measure. A decision to close schools is not taken lightly but is made when student safety and staff safety is at potential risk.

In the event of early dismissal and/or school closures, it is imperative that schools have updated emergency contact information for all students. It is essential that any changes to this information are provided to the school as soon as possible.  This includes change to address, telephone (home, work and cell phones), and those appointed by parents/guardians as alternate emergency contacts.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.