Service de transport de Wellington-Dufferin Student Transportation Services continues to work with our member school boards, Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health, school bus companies and the Ministry of Education to mitigate health risks associated with COVID-19. STWDSTS follows advice and guidelines from Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public health, as well as the Ministry of Education as they pertain to school bus transportation.
Opt-Out of Transportation
We understand every family has a different comfort level when it comes to the COVID-19 Pandemic. All students currently riding the bus are required to have an assigned seat as per Public Health in the event that contact tracing is necessary. Seating plans are created by your child’s school. Bus drivers have copies of the seating plans to assist students to their designated seat.
STWDSTS has created an OPT-OUT form to assist parents and schools keep accurate records of students using the bus service. If you do not intend to have your child use the school bus, please fill out this form. If you require transportation in the future, you can simply reapply by contacting us.
Transportation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Are masks mandatory on the bus?
A. Parents must supply their child with a face covering that meets local health unit recommendations. A small supply of single-use masks will be available on each bus if for any reason a student may not have one.
Should I screen my student for COVID-19 before sending them to the bus stop?
A. Students who have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or think they have been exposed to COVID-19 are recommended to stay home and self-isolate.
Parents must screen their child for any symptoms prior to sending them to the bus stop. They should visit Ontario’s COVID-19 website to determine if they need a test and where to find an assessment centre. If a child is displaying symptoms such as coughing, fever or other obvious signs of an illness, they are recommended to stay home and self-isolate.
Parents and students should wear a face covering at the stop if 2m distancing can not be maintained.
If a child gets sick or exhibits symptoms at school, they will not be transported on the bus after school. Parents/guardians will be contacted to pick the student up at school.
How are the buses sanitized?
A. School vehicles should follow an enhanced cleaning protocol of disinfecting high-touch surfaces (for example, handrails, seatbacks) at least twice daily.
All waste container liners are to be removed from the vehicle after each school route. The type of disinfectant used will be in accordance with recommendations from Public Health.
How are seating plans arranged on the bus?
A. Seat assignments for students will be mandatory and must be followed by the driver and enforced by the School Administration.
Seat movement of students will not be permitted. This is required for contact tracing any if a student riding the bus is exposed to COVID-19.
My student is a remote learner, but they are eligible for busing. Will they be assigned to transportation?
A. No. Since the student is not attending school in person, they will not be assigned a bus seat. Since capacity on the vehicles is reduced, every seat will be assigned on a seating plan by the school to someone who requires transportation to attend school.
My school shares the bus with another school. Are we getting our own buses?
A. During the planning phase, STWDSTS was able to reduce the number of student transfers during routes. While sharing between schools within a specific board continues, the amount of sharing between school boards has been reduced where viable. With reduced ridership due to remote learning, spacing between students on the bus has improved. In cases where there are multiple schools on board at the same time, the schools work together to develop a plan to keep school cohorts together on board.
We realize that each family and individual will hold a different comfort level as it relates to riding the bus and we fully respect this. Our commitment is to be transparent with families regarding our service, and to adhere to the guidelines required by Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health and the Government of Ontario. The pandemic environment, pandemic science and our operating environment remain subject to change and we encourage you to follow our social media channels for updates. Similarly, your School Board will offer important ongoing communications.
We recommend families review the Transportation section of Ontario’s Guide to Reopening Schools.
Click below to see the latest message from your school board about COVID-19: