Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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AP 1 - 13: Inclement Weather

Related Policies: 
Related Procedures: 
Exhibits: 
Initial Approval: 2014 February 12
Last Amended: 2020 November 16
Last Reviewed: 2020 November 16
Last Reviewed: 2021 September 21


PURPOSE

To ensure that school and Division operations are conducted in a safe manner during inclement weather.

SCOPE

This procedure applies to all parents, students and staff.


DEFINITIONS

A closed school - is defined as a school that is not operational.  Students are not to attend when a school is closed.  If students arrive when a school is closed, designated staff will contact parents and arrange to have the student picked up.  Staff are not expected to go to the school or to Division Office on days when school is closed.  Buses do not run on days when school is closed. However, learning will continue remotely.

Temperature - for the purpose of this administrative procedure includes both actual and forecast temperatures.

Ambient Temperature - is the same as the current air temperature. Another way to say this is the ambient temperature is the air temperature without wind chill.


PROCEDURES

  1. The Superintendent or designate may close a school, a community of schools, including Division office, or all the schools in the division if the Superintendent deems the weather conditions warrant the closure. The weather conditions can include extreme cold temperatures. The weather forecast from The Weather Network (Environment Canada may also be referenced) at 5:30 a.m. will be used by the superintendent or designate to make a decision.
  2. (Red Day) - The Superintendent or designate may choose to close a school or a community of schools, including Division office if at 5:30 a.m. The Weather Network (Environment Canada may also be referenced) forecasts the ambient temperature, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., to be lower than minus forty (-40) degrees Celsius or the temperature with wind chill to be lower than minus forty-five (-45) degrees Celsius.
  3. (Yellow Day) - The Director of Transportation may
    A. Suspend operations of a bus or buses for the entire school day under the following conditions.
    When the ambient temperatures in the affected area is close to or lower than minus thirty-five (-35) degrees Celsius.
    When the temperature with wind chill in the affected area is close to or lower than minus forty (-40) degrees  Celsius.
    When temperatures have had or have the potential to cause mechanical issues to a significant number of Division buses.
    When the affected area has a reduced visibility that may make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers and the reduced visibility is forecast to remain unchanged throughout the day.
    When the affected area has road or climatic conditions that are forecast to be of a nature that may make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers.

    B. Suspend operations of buses transporting students to Horizon School for the entire school day under the following conditions.
    When the ambient temperatures in the affected area is close to or lower than minus thirty (-30) degrees Celsius.
    If any (1) one bus for Horizon School is cancelled due to inclement weather, poor road conditions in a particular area, fog in a particular area or because of mechanical issues, the other buses may run.

    C. Suspend operations of a bus or buses for the morning bus run under the following conditions.
    When the affected area has a reduced visibility that may make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers and the visibility is forecast to improve later in the day.
    When a weather event that jeopardizes travel in the affected area is forecast to improve later in the day.

    D. Suspend operations of a bus or buses chartered for field trips under the following conditions.
    When the affected area has road or climatic conditions which are of a nature that would make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers.

    E. Require school buses transport students home before the end of the school day
    When the affected area has road or climatic conditions forecast to be of a nature that would make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers.
    When the Superintendent or designate has approved the decision.

  4. A bus driver shall not operate the school bus if, in his/her opinion, road or climatic conditions are of a nature that would make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers.

  5. At the start of the school year, the school principal
    A. Will inform the parents
    That schools may be closed due to inclement weather.
    That they will be asked to pick up their children, if the children arrive at school on a date that the school is closed.
    Of how they will be informed of a school closure.
    That in the case of school closure, learning will continue remotely.

    B. Will inform all staff
    That schools may be closed due to inclement weather.
    That staff are not expected to go to the school when the school is closed.
    That staff are expected to work from home.
    Of how they will be informed of a school closure.
    That in the case of school closure, a learning plan must be in place for student learning to continue remotely.

    C. Will inform teachers
    That they should have a learning plan in place for days when school is open but buses are not running.
    That on days where school is open and buses are not running, teachers will develop a plan to ensure that students who were absent have an opportunity to catch up.

    D. Will develop a plan to ensure there are sufficient staff at the school in the event of a school closure.

    E. Will inform the staff who are designated to be at the school when it is closed
    Of the process to deal with students who arrive a school.
    Of what to do in the event that they are unable to make it to the school.

    F. Will develop a plan to meet Alberta Education’s requirements if school is closed on a day when Alberta Education diploma and achievement tests are scheduled. That plan should include
    How parents and students will be contacted and informed that the school will be opened for exams
    How exams will be accessed.

  6. At the start of the school year, the Director of Transportation
    A. Will develop a plan to inform school administration, parents and bus drivers
    When schools are closed and buses are not running.
    When a bus, or buses are not running due to inclement weather.
    When a bus driver determines that it is unsafe to continue driving a route that has been started.

    B. Will inform school administration of how they will be informed that buses coming to their school will not be operating.

    C. Will inform the parents
    That schools may be closed in times of inclement weather and remind parents that, students should not attend when a school is closed. If students arrive when a school is closed, designated staff will contact parents and arrange to have the student picked up.  Staff will not be at school on days when the school is closed.   Buses do not run on days when school is closed.
    That in some instances schools will be open, but buses may not run due to inclement weather.
    Of how they will be informed of a school closure.
    That students are required to be properly dressed for the weather conditions in the event that buses are not able to complete their run.

    D. Will inform the bus drivers
    That schools may be closed due to inclement weather.
    Of the procedure they must follow if they determine that road or climatic conditions are of a nature that would make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers.
    Of the procedure they must follow if, during the course of the route, road or climatic conditions make it unsafe to continue on the route.
    Of how they will be informed of a school closure.

  7. If the Superintendent declares a school, the schools within a community, or all the schools in the Division closed
    A. The Superintendent or designate is responsible to
    Inform parents and staff that the school is closed.

    B. The Principal of the school is responsible to
    Ensure there are sufficient staff at the school.
    Ensure that the staff are able to execute the plan to deal with students who are in attendance.
    Ensure students have access to write diploma exams if schools are closed on a day when diploma exams are scheduled.

    C. The Principal of Horizon School, in addition to the duties listed above, is also responsible to
    Contact parents of each student, informing them that the school is closed.

    D. The Director of Transportation or designate is responsible to
    Inform parents and bus drivers that the buses are not running.
    Inform local media of which buses are not running and which schools are closed.

  8. If the Director of Transportation or designate suspend operations of a bus or buses, the Director of Transportation or designate shall, as early as possible inform
    A. The Superintendent or designate
    B. The bus drivers
    C. The affected school administration
    D. Affected parents that buses are not running and that schools are open
    E. Inform local media of which buses are not running and that schools are open.

  9. If a bus driver determines road or climatic conditions are of a nature that would make the operation of the bus hazardous to the safety and well-being of the school bus passengers, the bus driver will
    A. Inform the Director of Transportation or designate of his, her or their decision
    B. Inform the parents of the affected students as required by the Director of Transportation or designate.

  10. If a bus driver determines, during the course of the route that road or climatic conditions make it unsafe to continue on the route. The Bus driver shall
    A. Inform the Director of Transportation or designate of his or her decision
    B. Inform the parents of the affected students as required by the Director of Transportation or designate.

REFERENCE AND LINKS

Education Act

HISTORY

2014 Feb 12 Approved
2017 Sept 25 Approved
2018 Jan 23   Approved
2018 March 26 Reviewed
2019 March 05 Updated
2019 Nov 25 Reviewed
2020 Jan 27  Revised
2020 March 24 Revised
2020 Nov 16 Revised
2021 Sept 21 Revised