With Rocky View School students back in school and with extreme temperatures predicted for the latter part of the week, some parents may be wondering if the extreme cold will impact bussing.

According to Rocky View Schools (RVS) inclement weather policy, 'school buses do not typically run on mornings when the temperature is at or lower than -40 degrees Celsius without wind chill.'

"When weather is severe or road conditions are hazardous, certain bus routes may be cancelled. However, this does not necessarily mean schools are closed. Once student transportation has begun, a school will not close until regular dismissal time," RVS added.

While forecasts are indicating daytime highs between -22 degrees and -32 degrees Celsius during the latter part of this week, there are no indications s of yet whether windchill during the day will impact school transportation at this time.

The only day in which Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) had indicated that daytime windchill may make the day colder is Wednesday, with a daytime windchill forecast at near -33.

RVS has also reminded parents that several factors are considered for closing schools due to extreme weather. According to board policy, the decision to close one or more schools will be made by 5:30 a.m. by the Superintendent or designate after consultation with designated Principals and Trustees.

"[Factors] include current and forecasted temperature and wind chill, road conditions, the amount of snow and ice, school building constructions and school location. This decision is made early in the morning before school starts or buses are running. Ultimately, the final decision to send a child to the bus stop or school rests with parents," RVS said on its website.

Parents and guardians are advised to monitor various social media platforms, the media, as well as Rocky View Transportation’s Late Bus App for updates. 

"If you have not heard from us and you do not see a school closure announcement, schools are open!"

RVS also underlined that the cancellation of school bus transportation does not necessarily mean that schools are closed.

RVS's counterparts in the Calgary Catholic School District have sent out a notification to parents and guardians, assuring them that all 118 Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) schools, including schools Airdrie, Chestermere and Cochrane will remain open this week. 

"However, families should still anticipate and prepare for potential delays in service for the rest of the week. Calgary Transit school routes will continue to run but may also be delayed," CSSD stated on its website.

CSSD listed a number of safety tips for both parents and students including that all students should be well prepared for conditions caused by low temperatures and high wind chills and should not be left unattended at bus stops or spend any extended period of time outdoors under any circumstance.

"Parents should also form an emergency plan with their children, so they have clear instructions about what to do if their bus does not arrive. Children should be dressed appropriately for the cold weather. Unexpected mechanical problems causing buses to cool off very quickly may occur more frequently at this time of year."

CSSD also said that as per protocol, when conditions reach -20 degrees Celsius or colder, including the wind-chill factor, it is recommended that students be kept inside for recess or lunch breaks.

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