Bus Cancellation and School Closures

During severe weather conditions, we may need to cancel buses or 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).

Severe Weather

Questions about severe weather

What time do we make cancellation decisions?

We try to make any cancellation decisions before 6 a.m.

We know that many people need to start travelling early, so we do our best to make the decision and get information out about cancellations and closures by 6 a.m.

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 the Director of Educations.

If buses are cancelled, are schools also closed?

No. Bus cancellations does not automatically mean schools are closed. Schools may still be open to students who can safely arrive to school.

Where can I find out about cancellations?

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

  • KFUN FM  99.5
  • KOOL 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 – Southwestern Ontario

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 found out more about severe weather policies?
Do you notify people when there are not 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 and not everyone agrees on what days we should announce that we are open as normal. If you don’t 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?

We make it clear if schools are closed, or not. Although we may cancel buses, schools may still be open. If it is safe for students to come to school, they should.

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 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.

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 athletics 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.

You should check with your coach to find out if your game or event will change.

What happens if exam are scheduled for days when buses are cancelled?

If any buses are cancelled in any area of Waterloo region, we will postpone exams scheduled in all secondary schools. You should talk to your teacher if your exam is rescheduled to find out when the exam will happen.

What happens to rentals if schools close?

If we make the decision to close schools, we will cancel all scheduled rentals.

Read more about community use of schools.

Does the Education Centre close if schools close?

No. The Education Centre is an adult place of work and we do not automatically close if schools are closed. We judge the need to close the Education Centre on the safety of the adults who travel there for work or meetings.

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.