BUSING : REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Westmount Charter School’s bus transportation system was established to provide parents with an alternative for transporting their child to and from the school.  As schools of choice, charter schools are not obliged to provide transportation under the School Act.  This notwithstanding, Westmount recognizes that busing is an essential service for our families and is committed to the operation of a cost-effective, efficient and safe bus service for its students.   As such, parents have a choice as to using this optional service for their children.

The general terms under which transportation is provided are as follows:

TRANSPORTATION SAFETY

The responsibility for the safe, efficient, effective transportation of school students is shared by Westmount Charter School, our carrier Southland Transportation Ltd., the bus drivers and our parents.

STREET SAFETY

School zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. while school is in session.  The school bus loading zone at Van Horne is directly in front of the school on Uxbridge Drive. The school bus loading zone at Parkdale Elementary is along 5th Avenue along the side of the school. Both of the school bus loading zones are clearly marked with bus signs in the morning and afternoon. Parents dropping their children off at either school location should refrain from parking in either of these school bus loading zones.

All parents should review with their children the many elements of road safety, which include, but are not limited to, their education about the use of crosswalks and hand signals, the need for attentiveness and care when in traffic, and the dangers of jay-walking and running in traffic.

Children using the bus should review proper crossing procedures when disembarking at the end of the day. 

They should:

BUS SAFETY

Both Westmount and Southland Transportation want to ensure your children are safe and that their experience on the bus is a positive one.  The start of each school year is a hectic time.  Southland operates hundreds of routes through the city.  With stops that are shared by different schools and the many new students and drivers each year, please ensure your child gets on the correct bus by looking for the Westmount Charter window sign and/or by asking the driver.  Until the children and drivers are familiar with each other and their route, and throughout the year, please help your route run smoothly for both your child and your driver by:

Southland Transportation also has two evacuation drills in a school year.  Parents will be advised when this is scheduled to occur if we are notified in advance by Southland.

WINTER SAFETY

Students and parents are reminded that extra caution should be taken during the winter months.  Please take a moment and review this important information with your children.

BUS RULES AND REGULATIONS

In accordance with the Charter Board’s policies, the following are the expectations for Westmount students while on the school bus or while waiting at the bus stop.  These rules have been established to ensure that a safe, clean and comfortable environment is maintained for all riders.

PARENT/GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Completing the Transportation agreement on the school's secure website and ensuring that an accurate and current address, phone number, and email address are provided.
  2. Ensuring children are punctual and arrive at the designated pick-up location five minutes prior to the scheduled stop time.
  3. Ensuring children are respectful of property owners, and do not use private property as a gathering point at their pick up/drop off location.
  4. Ensuring children are properly dressed for inclement weather.
  5. Paying for any willful damage caused by their child while riding to and from school.
  6. Ensuring their child knows how to recognize their bus stop and find their way home safely.
  7. Ensuring that Kindergarten and first-time riders have their name, address and telephone numbers attached to their clothing, especially for the first few weeks of school.
  8. Escorting and meeting their young child at the bus stop and ensuring their child’s safety while traveling to and from their bus.
  9. Ensuring children have appropriate medication, if required, and understand what to do if they need to use the medication.
  10. Establishing emergency procedures for students, so that they know what to do if:
    • The bus is late or does not arrive
    • No one is home, or
    • There is an emergency school closure.

The safety of our riders and the efficiency of Westmount’s busing service is greatly enhanced by the knowledge and respect of the policies and procedures of this Handbook.  Please become familiar with its contents.  In addition to the adherence to our transportation policies and procedures, we ask our parents to:

COMMUNICATION

Email is the primary way in which Transportation Services communicates with its bus riding families (i.e. individual requests and questions, changed route sheets, specific route updates and wider audience news on items such as updated policy or procedures).  If you are not receiving emails on busing and your student is registered for the bus, please send an email to schoolbus@westmountcharter.com or telephone Transportation Services to ensure that we have a valid email address on file.   We ask that families provide email addresses other than hotmail accounts.  Hotmail accounts are unreliable and we are not notified of their transmission errors.

Route changes that impact only a rider’s status (new rider, cancelled rider, change to full time from part time, move to different stop, etc.) will be communicated only to the driver and the family concerned.  Updated passenger lists are sent to all families as needed.

Route changes that impact stop locations or times will be communicated to all affected riders a minimum of 48 business hours before the effective start date.  Drivers and SLT will be provided with a revised copy.

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