If it gets too cold, school buses can be cancelled in the Peace region. This week’s forecast includes temperatures dipping as low as minus 30 degrees but it isn’t until 40 below that buses will not pick children up. Peace Wapiti School Division, the Grande Prairie Public School District, and Grande Prairie and District Catholic School all have the same policy when it comes to bus cancellations caused by temperature. If it is minus 40 without the windchill, all buses are cancelled by their coordinating Superintendent.
GP Catholic bus drivers monitor weather and have an update on their service by 6:15 am. The drivers are responsible for contacting families. When there are cancellations at GPPSD, notices are emailed and posted online.
On top of the same temperature policy, the Peace Wapiti School Division has additional tactics for making the call on their bus cancellations. The Division’s Director of Transportation Ted Gobin and another employee track the local weather reports and 511 Alberta between 4:00 am to 4:30 am every morning. Between 4:30 am and 6:30 am when weather is questionable, the two drive on primary and secondary highways that their attendance boundaries are part of. They will test brakes on the roads while travelling the 150 to 200 kilometres that they each drive. By 6:00 am, Gobin will make a decision on whether buses run. There was one division-wide cancellation this school year on October 14th, 2016 due to weather conditions. In the case of district-wide cancellations, the drivers will contact parents.
If the buses have not been cancelled, all school divisions recommend dressing for the weather when waiting to be picked up.
2day FM reports on all late or cancelled buses for PWSD, GPDCS, and GPPSD on the air.