Safe Student Transportation with Related Communication Strategies

Resolution Number: 

2015-03
Resolution

WHEREAS students, parents and guardians need a guarantee of safe and timely transportation to the school as many families are in situations where parents must leave for their work prior to the bus picking up their children, and

WHEREAS bus drivers have to be confident that roads are prepared for travel prior to departing for their runs, and

WHEREAS there must be sufficient spare drivers to support the regular bus drivers in time of need, and

WHEREAS notification of any delays or cancellations of individual runs needs to be communicated in a timely manner to students, parents, guardians and the school as per ELSB policy, and

WHEREAS current communications are not adequate;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation requests the English Language School Board to ensure effective communication regarding day-to-day transportation of students is reported directly to parents, guardians, students and the school.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the PEI Home and School Federation requests the English Language School Board establish regional support for each family of schools to meet the needs of safe and timely transportation for students.

Consideration

Status: 

Passed
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Destination: 

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
English Language School Board
Responses Received

Responses: 

English Language School Board:   The English Language School Board has approximately 260 drivers and school buses on the road each school day.  The school board is committed to ensuring that its transportation system provides a high quality service to the students it serves and provides students and parents with timely notification of deviations from the normal schedule.

The school board works in coordination with the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy to ensure buses are mechanically ready to do their routes on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, sometimes mechanical issues arise on short notice and necessitate repairs.  Late buses are announced on local radio stations as soon the information is known.

The English Language School Board has been working proactively to recruit additional spare drivers to assist in ensuring late buses are minimized as much as possible.  Some endeavors in this area include: the development of a new Minister’s Directive on bus driver training that will make it more efficient and less costly for people possessing prior skills to attain their bus driver qualifications; the board’s hosting of open houses to promote the opportunities within the board for bus drivers; the board working cooperatively with communities that had special training funding from the Province to train new bus drivers; and promoting bus driving opportunities through the web and other on-line sites as well as through traditional print media.  The board is making new efforts to ensure an appropriate substitute driver pool exists to minimize bus delays.  Delays are announced on local radio stations as soon as they are known and delays are announced the day before, if they are known with certainty.

The English Language School Board endeavors to announce any family of school delay/closure or system-wide delay/closure by 6:30 a.m. on local radio stations, the ELSB website, and on Twitter.  There are very few instances when this is not able to be achieved.  The exceptions would be due to changes in weather or road conditions that would warrant a delay or closure which would result in a later than usual announcement.  The school board recently began announcing closures the night before when it was known with certainty that schools would not be able to open due to road conditions.

The English Language School Board is very committed to ensuring the transportation system operates in an effective manner and that any deviations from the regular schedule are communicated in as timely a manner as possible.  (October 15, 2015)

 

Education, Early Learning and Culture:   As this resolution relates to the operations fo the school board, I will defer this to the English Language School Board for their response.  (October 20, 2015)