School Bus Cancellations: Should You Bring Your Kids To School?


In the aftermath of a massive blizzard, the shovels come out. As does the rock salt. But should the kids?

Sadly, a snowstorm doesn’t guarantee the coveted snow day anymore. (Sorry, you can’t summon it. Unless you’re Bart Simpson, praying won’t work either.) Schools are more likely to issue bus cancellations, a practice that has long polarized and confused parents.

Bus cancellations are an indicator of road safety along specific routes. Unless severe weather impacts teaching conditions inside schools, many choose to stay open.

Parents might be tempted to vent at school boards that remain open in spite of extreme weather. But the act is often done to benefit parents who would otherwise be left scrambling for childcare, as the Toronto District School Board’s school closure policy states. And for schools where the majority of students walk or are driven there, a lack of buses wouldn’t have affected their commute, anyway.

On bus cancellation days, the polar vortex issues a polarizing challenge for parents: keep the kids in or take them to class?

If you can handle the drive, why not?

Mother of four and parenting expert Kathy Buckworth has long enforced a fairly unpopular policy among her brood. Where she’s from, extreme cold usually wasn’t a good enough excuse for being absent.

“I grew up in Winnipeg,” she told HuffPost Canada. “So I would drive my kids to school on a bus cancellation day.”

For parents like Simone Reali, an office administrator from Markham, Ont., taking the day off comes down to finances.

“I need to ensure that I save up enough vacation days to use if and when they are sick,” she said.

However, that decision isn’t one all parents can make easily. There are parents who don’t have access to transportation other than the bus system.

Buckworth encourages parents with cars to run through an internal checklist before buckling any seat belts: how safe the weather is, what kind of car they drive, how far they need to go, and how comfortable they feel driving are all factors that take precedence over any class time. Not to mention, how long it will take to get the car out of the driveway.

If a parent can’t drive or can only arrange pick-up or drop-off, she suggests coordinating with neighbours for carpooling.

Personal reasons to institute an independent snow day are just as valid. If childcare isn’t an issue and a parent feels a …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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