Palliser Regional Schools has addressed student and staff safety in an updated Inclement Weather procedure, with further changes aimed at reducing any confusion about school closures.
With input from staff and parents, the changes allow the superintendent to close schools on an individual basis, or for the entire division south of Calgary, due to weather and road conditions.
A communications plan is in place to notify school principals of any ‘snow day’ closures, and they in turn will alert staff and parents as early as possible. A notice will also be posted on specific school websites as to any closures. Affected schools will ensure minimal staffing to let in any children who inadvertently arrive, but will contact parents to pick them up or make alternate arrangements for their care.
The previous procedure allowed only for the cancellation of buses – on either a route-by-route basis, or for the entire division – due to weather conditions. Schools remained open with staff expected to report to work. Concerns were raised about staff being asked to travel roads deemed unsafe for school buses.
Procedures now address specific issues regarding the closure of colony schools as well. Palliser does not provide busing for students attending its Calgary schools, which will continue to follow the lead of the Calgary Board of Education to determine whether their buses will run and schools will be open.
The superintendent can still suspend bus service on a route-by-route basis with the school to remain open to the rest of the students. In those cases, the bus drivers will contact affected parents as they have in the past.
Bus drivers retain the discretionary power to cancel their route if they feel road conditions are unsafe. Parents hold the final decision on whether they send their child to school, if they feel weather or road conditions pose a safety risk.
For more information including the Administrative Procedure click here.