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Our FAQs

Please select from the list of questions below to view the answer:

  1. I am unhappy with my stop location and want it changed.  I feel it may be unsafe for my child to walk to the stop.  How do I change the stop location?
  2. If I have infants at home, can I change my bus stop to my door, so I do not have to bundle up my children?
  3. Who is responsible for child injury walking to a bus stop or to school?
  4. I am not eligible for transportation, what are other options?
  5. Why can you not give out transportation information over the phone or email?
  6. I can see the bus picking up kids on the other side of the street, why can’t my child just cross?
  7. I want to move, who should I contact?
  8. I have just moved to the area, who should I contact?
  9. What are the boards’ walk to school distance criteria?
  10. How early should I have my child out waiting for the bus?
  11. Can my child attend an out of boundary school?
  12. Due to custody issues, my child resides at 2 homes, can he/she have transit for both locations?
  13. What happens if my child misses the bus?
  14. Why are school buses not equipped with seat belts?
  15. Why should caregivers accompany their children to and from the bus stop?
  16. What happens if I am not at the bus stop to meet my JK/SK student?
  17. Why can’t I get a bus stop directly in front of my house?
  18. What is the First Ride program?
  19. Is school bus travel safe?
  20. What makes school vehicles safe?
  21. What is Ontario's School Bus Stopping Law?
  22. How can school vehicle safety be improved?
  23. What are the factors in determining bus stops?
  24. Why do buses stop at railway crossings?
  25. I feel it is not safe for the busses to be operating today. Do I have to put my children on the bus?
Answers

1. I am unhappy with my stop location and want it changed.  I feel it may be unsafe for my child to walk to the stop.  How do I change the stop location?
We are governed by eligibility policies of your board.  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to get the student to and from the stop, both in the morning and the afternoon.   You may fill out a stop change request form at the school if your assigned stop has you cross railroad tracks, a four lane highway or farther than 1.0km.   In urban residential areas, bus stops are to be community collection points placed at street corners as much as possible.  This reduces bus ride times dramatically, and increases student safety by reducing other motorist frustrations.

2. If I have infants at home, can I change my bus stop to my door, so I do not have to bundle up my children?
Your children’s transportation is governed by the same policies as other families who do not have infants at home.  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to get the students to and from the stop, both in the morning and afternoon.

3. Who is responsible for child injury walking to a bus stop or to school?
The responsibility lies with the parent/guardian

4. I am not eligible for transportation, what are other options?
It is parental responsibility to get your child to and from school.  The following link offers many different ideas that deals with this issue:  http://www.wewalktoschool.ca/tool_kit.html#_Toc237331695

5. Why can you not give out transportation information over the phone or email?
We do not give out anyone’s transportation information over the phone or email for security reasons.  Quite simply, we do not know who it is on the other end of the phone or email.  With the rise of custody issues, we will not be running the risk of giving out information to a non custodial parent or a person who is not authorized to have it.  The best place to get this is at the school where they know who it is the information is supposed to go to.

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6. I can see the bus picking up kids on the other side of the street, why can’t my child just cross?
Loading and unloading are critical procedures where students are at greater risk. This is especially true when children must cross the street to board, or leave, their school bus. Routes should be designed to minimize the number of crossings which children must make to board or leave the bus.

7. I want to move, who should I contact?
Formal registration must be done at the school in your district.
Before moving, submit the following information to the school your children are attending.
  • Students name
  • Grade
  • Previous Address
  • New Transportation Address
  • City
  • New School
  • Moving Date

8. I have just moved to the area, who should I contact?
Formal registration must be done at one of the schools in your district.
To learn what schools are in your district please check the school boundaries page.
The same information that was described in question two is to be sent to the school your child will be attending.

9. What are the boards’ walk to school distance criteria?
The boards policy for walk to school distances is as follows for the Windsor/Essex County Region.
Policy

  • 1.0 km Jr. Elementary (SK/JK)
  • 1.6 km Elementary (grades 1-8)
  • 3.2 km Secondary

10. How early should I have my child out waiting for the bus?
Depending on the distance of your child’s bus stop you should have them leave with enough time to be at their bus stop 10 minutes before the bus arrives.

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11. Can my child attend an out of boundary school?
Approval must be obtained before a student may attend an out of boundary school.
Transportation to that school would be the responsibility of the parent/guardian

12. Due to custody issues, my child resides at 2 homes, can he/she have transit for both locations?
Refer to Joint Custody policy

13. What happens if my child misses the bus?
Regrettably, you will have to make your own arrangements to get your child to school.

14. Why are school buses not equipped with seat belts?
Transport Canada sets safety standards for school vehicles at time of manufacture. These standards include high seat backs with energy absorbing padding, seats that are placed close together, and strong seat anchorages. In 1984, Transport Canada conducted research on the use of seat belts on school buses in frontal collisions using the current configuration. It was found that adding seat belts to this system did not increase safety but did increase the potential for more severe head and neck injuries. Transport Canada also tested several other seating configurations, but found no significant safety improvements that did not also involve other safety trade-offs. Given the extremely low number of fatalities involving school bus passengers inside the bus, the addition of seat belts does not constitute a safety advantage.

Research:
Transport Canada
http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp/tp13330/bussch_e.htm

Ministry of Transportation Ontario
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/schoolbus/schoolbus.htm#enforcement

Children are at a greater risk of being injured before and after they get on the bus. There are “danger zones” or blind spots that the driver cannot see. Also not every car stops when the bus does and many children are killed while attempting to cross the street. The most important thing we can do to increase school bus safety is to communicate with the public how important it is to stop when the school bus does.

15. Why should caregivers accompany their children to and from the bus stop?

  • Accidents are most likely to occur before boarding and after leaving the bus rather than while actually on the bus.
  • At such young ages supervision at a bus stop is critical to ensure they;
  • Stay off the road and stand back from the curb.
  • Do not play or run around at the bus stop.
  • Respect private property
  • Line up and wait until the bus comes to a full and complete stop.
  • JK/SK Students MUST be accompanied.

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16. What happens if I am not at the bus stop to meet my JK/SK student?
The bus driver is not permitted to drop off a junior or senior kindergarten student unless there is a caregiver at the bus stop to meet them. If there is not an adult or designated caregiver present the driver has no choice but to return the child to the school and the parents will have to pick them up.

Please note, if this becomes an ongoing problem transportation privileges will be suspended.

If someone new is going to meet your child, make sure it is verified through the school. The bus driver will then be informed through the school of the new arrangements.

17. Why can’t I get a bus stop directly in front of my house?
In order to ensure that all buses arrive on time for school there needs to be an optimal amount of bus stops that are equally accessible for all of the children in the area. For every unexpected stop that the bus driver has to make it will change the pre-determined schedule for those students who have not been picked up yet and will cause the bus to arrive at school late.

18. What is the First Ride program?
The First Ride program is an education and awareness program. It is designed to promote school bus safety to young children and their parents. It familiarizes young children who are beginning school with school buses and helps them overcome any fears they may have about riding on the "big yellow bus". It also provides information to children and their parents on school bus safety procedures, including how to get on and off the bus safely. The program is planned as a fun learning experience for the participants.

19. Is school bus travel safe?
Research conducted by Transport Canada shows that school bus travel is one of the safest methods of transportation -- and is 16 times safter than travelling in the family car, based on the number of passengers and kilometres travelled. Although school buses have an excellent safety record, mishaps can happen, and injuries can result. These can include both children riding on the bus and children who suffer injuries as a result of being hit by their own school bus or by other vehicle.

20. What makes school vehicles safe?

  • All buses built since 1980 meet safety standards developed by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA - D-250) and set by Transport Canada.
  • the size and bright yellow colour make school buses very visible.
  • the school bus is designed to protect passengers from impact. The floor is raised, the window glass is shatter-proof, and there are strengthened reinforcements along the sides of the bus.
  • the flashing lights and stop arm that warn motorists that they must stop for a stopped school bus.
  • the high penalty (six demerit points and a substantial fine) for motorists who fail to stop for a school bus.
  • school bus drivers receive special training and licensing, rigorous examinations and must maintain a good driving record.

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21. What is Ontario's School Bus Stopping Law?
Motorists in both directions meeting a stopped school bus with its overhead red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended must stop. This law applies everywhere, regardless of the posted speed limit - on highways, country roads, city, town or village streets. Only on highways separated by a median strip is oncoming traffic not required to stop.

22. How can school vehicle safety be improved?
Most injuries to school vehicle passengers occur outside the school bus, as students are entering or leaving the bus, or crossing the street. Many of these mishaps can be prevented through education. School vehicle safety can be improved by teaching children the correct procedures and proper behaviour around school buses. Children should learn:

  • to be at the school bus stop on time
  • to wait in a safe place well back from the side of the road
  • to know the danger zones around the bus where the driver cannot see them
  • to enter the bus in single file, holding onto the handrail
  • to find a seat right away, and stay seated, facing forward at all times
  • to make sure that there is nothing in the aisle
  • to do what the bus driver says
  • it is unsafe to distract the driver
  • throwing things, rowdy behaviour and eating and/or drinking are not allowed
  • to keep hands and arms inside the bus

23. What are the factors in determining bus stops?

  • Passengers should not be loaded or unloaded on a steep grade or on a curve. There should be a clear view of the road in each direction for at least 150m (500ft)
  • If the driver needs to stop near an interesection with traffic signal lights and use the red flashing lights and stop arm, the stop should be made at least 60m from the intersection.
  • If this is not possible, and if children must board or leave the bus at traffic signal lights, the driver must not activate the upper alternating red flashing lights and stop arm on the school bus. The stop should be made as close as possible to the intersection, close to the curb or the edge of the roadway. The passengers must be cautioned to obey the traffic signal lights. This is not advisable in route planning.
  • The school bus must stop on the travelled portion of the roadway and not the shoulder to load and unload passengers.

24. Why do buses stop at railway crossings?
The Highway Traffic Act has been amended to require that school buses stop at all railway crossings, whether the crossing is protected by gates or railway signal lights. The driver must stop the vehicle not less than 5 metres from the nearest rail of the railway; look in both directions along the track; open a door of the vehicle and listen to determine if a train is approaching; and, when it is safe to do so, cross the railway track in a gear that will not need to be changed while crossing the track. The driver must not change gears when the bus is actually crossing the tracks. The flashing lights and stop arm must not be activated.

25. I feel it is not safe for the busses to be operating today. Do I have to put my children on the bus?
It is parental choice whether to put their child(ren) on the bus on days when transportation has been deemed operational.

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