Effective August 30, 2021, PRSD changed our storm cancellation practices where in the event that bus service is cancelled but school facilities, bus garages, and the administration office remain open, employees are expected to be at work and students can attend the school site at the discretion of the parent/guardian or student. When schools, garages, and the administration office are deemed closed, students and staff are to remain home.
Winter Weather Conditions
We are faced with another winter season with day-to-day variable weather conditions. We understand that our decision to close schools or cancel bus service, because of severe weather conditions, will have an effect on families. We are often faced with questions from parents, guardians and staff about how we make our decisions to close schools or cancel bus service.
While we believe that our students are best served by being in the classroom, our top priority is the safety of our students and staff. Please remember that while a good portion of our students do ride our school buses, many students walk to school or ride with their parents. We have a wide range of student transportation and weather issues to consider in making our decision to close schools or cancel bus service.
Who Makes the Final Decision?
The Superintendent/CEO of the School Division makes the final decision based on a number of factors and recommendations from transportation staff.
The Transportation Supervisor will assess weather and travel conditions no later than 5:30 A.M. on days where adverse weather has occurred or is expected and will make a final recommendation to the Superintendent/CEO by 6:15 AM. Staff in various locations throughout the school division are contacted between 6:00 and 6:15 a.m. to discuss road and weather conditions. As you may know, our school division runs from St. Laurent in the north to Miami in the south. While conditions in one are of the division may look clear, conditions elsewhere in the division may be dangerous.
How Do We Make Our Decision to Close Schools or Cancel Bus Service?
We consider a number of factors in our decision to close schools including severe snow storms, ice storms, damaging winds, tornadoes, extreme cold, wind chill factor, extreme heat, fog causing poor visibility. When schools are closed, students and staff remain home.
Cancelling Bus Service
Bus Service may be cancelled and schools will remain open in cases of extreme cold weather and/or based on road conditions. When Bus Service is cancelled, school sites remain open and students can attend school at the discretion of the parent/guardian or student.
In cases of extreme cold weather, temperatures –35° Celsius or colder or wind chills -40° Celsius, or colder shall be considered hazardous. The decision to cancel bus service will be based on weather and wind chill data from the Environment Canada and the Weather Network website. In all instances, the coldest readings will be used.
There can be local weather or road conditions that affect as few as one bus route. In circumstances such as this, the driver has the responsibility to communicate these conditions to the Transportation Supervisor not later than 6:15 A.M., and to jointly decide whether the bus trip will be cancelled. The principal(s) involved will be advised of the cancellation as soon as possible. Parents and students involved will be advised of the cancellation through the school division’s communication system and by bus driver phone calls.
What Other School Division Are Doing
We share information with other local school divisions and check to see if they are closing schools or cancelling bus service.
When and How Is the Public Notified?
We try to make our decision by 6:30 a.m. or earlier so we can post the decision on our website and send notification to parents/guardians, staff, community partners, and media outlets through our communication platform, SchoolMessenger.
SchoolMessenger allows us to send mass email, text, and phone notifications to the PRSD community. Please contact your school if you are a parent/guardian or staff member and are not receiving SchoolMessenger notifications. Tune to the following media outlets to hear up-to-date announcements about school closures or bus service cancellation.
Please do not call the school or division office unless it is an emergency.
Media Sites Announcing Class and School Bus Cancellations
CBC 990 AM
CANAM 105.1 FM
CKSB – CBC French
CLEAR 102.3 FM
CFRY 920 AM
BOB 99.9 FM
CJOB 680 AM
HOT 103 FM
CFAM 950 AM
CITI – TV Winnipeg
Eagle 93.5 FM
Will Bus Service Be Cancelled if Weather Conditions Worsen During the School Day?
If a weather pattern develops or persists during the day that prevents buses from running at their regular afternoon dismissal time, the Transportation Supervisor, in consultation with the Superintendent/CEO, will initiate an early dismissal which may include the billeting or the pick up of students. This decision will be made not later than 1:00 P.M. on the affected day.
If a decision is made for an early dismissal, the school division and respective schools will be responsible to initiate the storm tree procedure to contact and advise parents of the decision.
Will the School Division Close All Schools or Cancel All Bus Service in the Division?
Prairie Rose School Division has three regions (see PRSD Region Map), they are as follows:
Region A – Miami, Roland, Carman and Elm Creek
Region B – Elie, St. Eustache, St. Francois Xavier
Region C – St. Laurent
The Superintendent/CEO may make a decision to close schools or cancel bus service in all regions or just in specific regions that require it.
We hope that this information is useful and will help everyone understand the factors that contribute to our making the decisions for students, parents, guardians and staff in our division.