Important Notice: Transportation Students

Dear Parents / Guardians of transported students,

Student Transportation Services Waterloo Region (STSWR) is busy preparing for the upcoming school year and is asking families who qualify for transportation to let us know if their children will not be using the school bus/school vehicle.

 

As you may know, the Ministry of Education has announced that all elementary schools will open for conventional in-class instruction, 5 days a week. Secondary schools will open in an adapted model with at least 50% of in-class instructional days.

 

As elementary students return to full classes, school buses will be filled to capacity with up to three students per seat. Siblings will be seated together.
Secondary students on school buses will be loaded at one student per seat, the exception being siblings, who will share a seat.

 

Bus schedules will be available in the last week of August.

 

All students will be assigned a specific seat. The assigned seat must be used without exception. Since physical distancing can be challenging on buses, it is expected that non-medical grade face masks be worn by students in Grades 4 to 12. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged but not required to wear masks while on buses. Masks will be distributed in late August. We encourage all parents to teach their children how to use a face mask safely.

 

As in past years, all students qualifying for transportation are automatically assigned to the bus based on the students’ addresses provided to the school. Parents/guardians can find out if their children are eligible for transportation using the “Transportation Eligibility” portal on our website at www.stswr.ca.

 

If your child qualifies for transportation but requires partial or no busing, please fill out the Do Not Ride Form below. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and the format of the school year evolves, these forms will assist STSWR with accurate headcounts as we plan for September. For younger students, it is especially important to ensure your child is not assigned to a bus in error and inadvertently put on a bus at the end of the day if you are expecting them to walk or be picked up.

 

You may opt-out of busing altogether, or for either morning or afternoon busing only. This form lets your school, your bus driver, and STSWR know that your child will not be taking the bus in one, or both, directions. If you are choosing to opt-out of busing, please submit your decision no later than Friday, Aug 14. If your child qualifies for busing you can opt-in again at any time throughout the school year by using the same form.

 

When STSWR receives the “Do Not Ride” forms from you, your child will be removed from the bus list accordingly for the morning, the afternoon, or both.
WCDSB schools support active travel as a preferred method of transportation to school and to that end, offer a variety of supports and programs to help parents in their planning.

 

A strategy to minimize traffic on school sites is the “Drive to 5” program, which encourages those who must drive to park a safe distance away from schools. For more information, visit the STSWR website at www.stswr.ca/walkzone/programs/drive-to-five/.

 

If you have any questions about your child’s school transportation, please contact Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region at 519-744-7575 ext. 221.
Benoit Bourgault, General Manager, STSWR