During the winter, Tri-Board works closely with our school bus companies to determine if it is safe to offer transportation on inclement weather days. We know cancelling school buses is disruptive to families, but we are always putting the safety of our 30,000+ riders first and foremost in our decision making. Below are some tips to make the winter season and “snow days” easier for families to manage.
To Do: Sign Up for Bus Status Alerts
Sign up for bus status alerts by creating an account in the Student Portal. Make sure you are signed up for your student/ bus route as well as general notices. When all transportation is cancelled across Tri-Board, the notification is posted as a general notice. We endeavor to post this alert by 6:00AM.
To Do: Have a Backup Plan
We understand that cancelling transportation is inconvenient for working 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.
Timing and Duration of Cancellations
To avoid students being taken to school by bus and then stranded without transportation home, we cancel transportation for the whole day, even if inclement weather is only expected for part of the day. Sometimes the weather is not as predicted and this can be frustrating, but we would rather be safe than sorry. The decision-making process occurs every morning and we do not normally decide to cancel transportation the night before. This is because conditions change, and we want to make the best decision closest to the time buses are actually on the road in the morning.
The cancellation of school buses does not mean schools are closed. Should the need to close a school arise, that information will flow from your school board. Ask your school about reporting absences on inclement weather days.
Zones and Weather Captains
Tri-Board is responsible for over 600 bus routes in a 16,000+ square KMs service area. Weather patterns and road conditions can vary greatly throughout our region. That is why our service area is divided into “weather zones” with designated “Weather Captains” who work for local bus companies and know the area very well. The Weather Captain checks weather/road conditions and also connects with other local school bus companies in order to gain as much information as possible about the conditions before relaying it to Tri-Board supervisors. This makes it possible to cancel transportation only in zones where it is not safe to operate. Many buses travel through multiple weather zones and may be cancelled due to conditions in one that are not as severe in others.