The Tri-Board Student Transportation Consortium was created to serve the busing needs of Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and Limestone District School Board. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have been attentive to, and collaborated with Ontario’s Provincial Government, the Ministry of Education, our two local Public Health Units, and our three School Boards as they worked toward a plan to return to school. On a parallel path we have worked with the other 33 or so Transportation Consortia in Ontario, and particularly with Eastern Ontario Consortia, along with school bus operators. Many options were explored as we moved through recent months.
Opt-Out of Transportation
We understand every family has a different comfort level when it comes to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Due to the necessity to create seating plans for contact-tracing purposes, please fill out this form if you do not intend to use the school bus. If you require transportation in the future, you will have to reapply.
Transportation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Recently when the Government of Ontario decided that school would resume five days a week and local Boards were “Non-Designated” (All Students every day), Tri-Board began to plan accordingly. The Province’s Ministry of Education along with the Medical Officer of Health set out guidelines for Boards and Tri-Board to follow to provide busing for those families wishing to use it.
At its core, these guidelines include the following:
- Masks for drivers and students**masks are mandatory for all students in LDSB and ALCDSB. Masks are mandatory for HPEDSB grades 4-12 and strongly recommended for JK-3.
- A twice daily anti-viral treatment for touch surfaces in the bus
- Assigned seating for contact tracing
- Bus windows will be open for ventilation, where possible during the bus ride
Based on surveys of families, we expect no more than 75% of students or families will use the bus, and we anticipate more students will walk, ride, or arrive at school by automobile.
What can bus riding students expect?
- The bus route will not change due to the pandemic
- They will not get to choose their seat – it will be assigned
- The driver will be masked, unless exempt for health reasons
- Students must be masked properly (Grade 4-12)
- Fewer students than in prior years will be on the bus
- Rules around staying seated, masks and behaviour will be closely managed.
- Families must not put students on the bus if they are ill.
- Loading and unloading will take more time
- Students must physically distance at the bus stop.
- Windows will be open, when possible
What can families expect?
- Prior to the pandemic drivers were in short supply. Depending on the rate of community spread, there may be times this year when a bus does not run on time or doesn’t run at all until a driver is replaced.
- Drivers will self-screen for illness before operating the bus
- The bus Patroller Program will not operate this year to limit contact and movement on the bus.
We realize that each family and individual will hold a different comfort level as it relates to riding the bus and we fully respect this. Our commitment is to be transparent with families regarding our service, and to adhere to the guidelines required by the Government of Ontario. The pandemic environment, pandemic science and our operating environment remain subject to change and we encourage you to check our TriBoard.ca/COVID19 page and follow our social media channels for updates. Similarly, your School Board will offer important communications as we approach the 2020-2021 school year.
Public Health’s School Screening tool
We recommend families review the Transportation section of Ontario’s Guide to Reopening Schools.
Click below to see the latest message from your school board about COVID-19: