During severe weather conditions, we may need to cancel buses and close schools for the safety of our students and staff. Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) monitors the road and weather conditions early in the morning. We try to make any cancellation decisions by 6 a.m. in consultation with STSWR and Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB).

Questions about severe weather

What time do we make cancellation decisions?

We try to make any cancellation decisions before 6 a.m. We know many people need to start traveling early, so we do our best to make the decision and get information out about cancellations and closures by 6 a.m. If nothing is posted on our website or social media channels by 6 a.m., it is a regular school day.

How do we make cancellation decisions?

We make decisions about bus cancellations and school closures in consultation with Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB).

STSWR bus operators start monitoring road conditions early in the morning. A recommendation to make any bus cancellations or school closures is discussed with both the Director of Educations at the WRDSB and WCDSB.

If buses are cancelled, are schools also closed?

No. Bus cancellations does not automatically result in schools being closed. Schools may still be open to students who can safely arrive at school.

Where can I find out about cancellations?

We will post cancellation information on www.wrdsb.ca and through our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. You can also find out about bus cancellations or school closures through the following media outlets:

  • BOUNCE RADIO FM  99.5
  • VIRGIN RADIO FM 105.3
  • CKGL AM 570
  • CHYM FM 96.7
  • DAVE FM 107.5
  • CJOY “Magic” FM 106.1
  • CKWR FM 98.5
  • COUNTRY 106.7
  • CKBT “The Beat” FM 91.5
  • FAITH FM 94.3
  • CTV Kitchener

Please visit STSWR’s website for up-to-date information on bus delays and cancellations.

How do frigid temperatures affect closures?

Frigid temperatures are temperatures at -35 degrees Celsius with wind chill or colder. If frigid temperatures are forecasted for 7 a.m., buses will not operate.

Please be advised that Crossing Guards may not be available as a result of frigid temperatures.

Where can I find out more about severe weather policies?
Do you notify people when there are no cancellations or closures and it’s snowy?

We try our best to make it clear that schools are open on days that are snowy, icy or super cold. But this can be tricky as not everyone agrees on what days we should be open or closed. If you do not see a cancellation or closure message by 6 a.m., then schools and buses are operating normally.

If buses are cancelled, do secondary students need to come to school?

Although we may cancel school buses, schools may still be open. If it is safe for students to come to school and buildings are open, they should make every effort to be there.

However, if a parent/guardian feels that it is unsafe to send their child to school, the parent/guardian should call the school attendance line and let the school know that you are keeping your child home. There is no penalty for making this decision.

If I keep my child home because I don’t think it is safe, what should I do?

If you make the decision that it is unsafe to come to school, you should call the school attendance line and let the school know that you are keeping your child home. There is no penalty for making this decision.

What happens to extended day programs if buses are cancelled, or schools are closed?

Extended day programs operate normally on days when buses are cancelled. If your child is registered to attend the extended day program, you can drop them off as normal, if you think it is safe to get them to school.

Sometimes we may need to close extended day programs early if the weather gets bad or we may need to close programs on non-instructional days like PD Days. If we need to close these programs, we will announce our decision in the same way as a regular school day. If students are expected to be in an After Care Program, staff will do their best to contact families to come pick their child(ren) up.

Read more about our extended day programs.

What happens to athletics or sports events on days when buses are cancelled?

If buses are cancelled and schools remain open, some athletic events may still happen, including transportation to these events. The decision to cancel sporting events on these days will depend on the road conditions at the end of the day, the availability of players and more. Students are asked to check with their coach to find out if their game or event will still happen or be rescheduled.

What happens to rentals if schools close?

If schools are closed, all scheduled rentals are cancelled. If schools are open during the school day, but the weather is forecasted to get worse into the evening, we may make the decision to cancel rentals later in the day. Read more about community use of schools.

Can I subscribe for email and SMS updates on bus cancellations?

Student Transportation Services Waterloo Region provides a service that allows you to get notifications by email and SMS when your bus has been cancelled or is delayed or schools are closed.

You can sign up for alerts on specific bus routes, or general announcements about delays and cancellations.