Cancellations - we are always learning!

Cancellations - we are always learning!

Thanks to parents, students, and staff we are always learning!

After two days of frigid windchill and having to cancel student transportation, on January 10th and 11th, 2017,  we would like to thank all parents, students, school families, and of course, school staff for working through this inconvenience and interruption to our daily routines.

We’ve heard from a number of parents, students, staff and partners about what we have done right, and what we could do better. We appreciate and welcome all your comments, observations and suggestions!

A number of things that we could have communicated better:

  • When Regina Public Schools cancels transportation, (at -45C windchill as determined by Environment Canada at 6:00 a.m.) that includes all transportation – busses, vans, taxis and other vehicles used to get students to and from school.
  • This means that all field trips, excursions, band, swimming, curling, Outdoor Education trips and transportation, as well as transportation for Campus Regina Public is cancelled.
  • When it is -40C windchill, transportation for students who require specialized transport with wheelchair lifts or Paratransit may be cancelled.
  • In both cases, parents will be notified by telephone as soon as possible about the cancellations. Remember, there are almost 6,000 calls to be made. It is critical that all parents check with their school to make sure that their contact information is accurate and up to date.
  • Regina Public Schools relies on the support of local radio, television and newspaper media to help get the message out. When a cancellation notice is made, all local media is contacted. Additionally messages are also placed on the Regina Public Schools website (www.rbe.sk.ca) under the Announcement column and/or the What’s New column. We also tweet and retweet messages about any cancelations between 6:10 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. from our Twitter account:  @regpublicschool.
  • Regina Public Schools does not provide student transportation for high schools students. There is parent-organized service that goes to several high schools. This is run by the City of Regina on City buses. Regina Public Schools does not have control when, or if these buses are cancelled, nor does it communicate their status with the families that use them.
  • It is always the family’s choice whether or not to send their children to school in extreme weather. While we would prefer kids go to school because attendance is tied to achievement, we still understand that there could be many reasons why a parent choses to have the student stay home, or if they cannot find transportation for that student.
  • School is very rarely cancelled. If the student will be absent, please do contact the school and let them know, as you would normally do following any absence. The best way to ensure kids are safe is to know for sure where they are!
  • If you do plan to arrange other transportation for your child/ren for the morning, or you drive them yourself, please ensure that you also make plans for a pick-up after school. When student transportation is cancelled, it is cancelled for the whole day. Please inform the school immediately, if you will be delayed, or pick-up plans change.

We also heard this from you:

  • Parents suggested that alternate means of communication should be considered, such as texting or email. We are looking at this and we will inform parents if this option becomes available. This will again require that all parents check with their school to make sure that their contact information is accurate and up to date.
  • We also heard that many families, including new Canadians, may not get the cancellation message and may be waiting for a bus that never comes. This is an unacceptable and dangerous situation! We are working on a plan to communicate prior to extreme weather events in a way that does not require the parent to own a telephone, or listen to or watch or read news media or social media updates.
  • This and all pages can be translated into a variety of languages with this link. Note: translations are automated and not exact.
  • A few parents also noted that they may leave for work before the notification call comes in, which is usually by 6:30 a.m. As with the above situation, we hope to work on this by prior or advance notification, when the possibility of cancellation exists.

Regina Public Schools can’t predict or control the weather. But we can work with parents to make these unexpected cancellations easier on students, families and staff – many of whom also have children who must get to school when transportation is cancelled.

Although we hope for very few, if any future transportation cancellations, we look forward to your continued cooperation and feedback.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to email info@rbe.sk.ca