The Simcoe County District School Board and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board determine walk distance policies for students. These walk distances are:
• Grades JK – 8: 1.6 km
• Grades 9 – 12: 3.2 km
Parents/guardians of students within the designated walk distances are responsible for the safe arrival of their student to school. Measurements from home to school are calculated from the residential property line closest to the school, to the closest entrance to school property using publicly owned roads and walkways.
If your primary address is within these walk distances, you are not eligible for transportation.
See SCSTC Policy TE01
Yes. Eligible students can request transportation to one (1) alternate address through their school, provided:
• The student’s primary address and requested alternative address are eligible for transportation;
• Both locations are within the school boundary;
• The alternate address is served by an existing school vehicle stop, on an existing route where there is available space; and
• The request is consistent with the policies and practices of the respective Member District School Board.
Parents/guardians must apply for use of an alternate address on an annual basis through their student’s school.
See SCSTC Policy TE10
No. Non-eligible students are not permitted to ride on school vehicles.
It typically takes five(5) business days to organize transportation arrangements once the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC) has received the information from the school and confirmed that the request follows the policies and procedures of the Member District School Board and the SCSTC.
Routes are prepared prior to the start of the school year. Since route arrangements have already been completed, altering these arrangements requires communication between the school, the SCSTC and the School Vehicle Operator, and may impact other students on the vehicle.
Transportation changes will be communicated to parents/guardians through their student’s school.
Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) French Immersion (FI) and Extended French (EFSL) stop locations typically do not follow the same criteria as regular home-to-school stop locations, as per SCDSB policy.
Criteria for FI/EFSL stop locations are as follows:
• Centralized community school vehicle stops in different locations from regular bus stops to avoid student identification confusion and traffic congestion;
• Availability of parking for parents to drop off students and to await students in a safe manner;
• In public spaces or locations where groups of students may safely gather;
• Not on roadsides unless reviewed and approved following a request through the school;
• Not to be at, or adjacent to, a school location to avoid student identification confusion and traffic congestion;
• Stop locations must have winter maintenance.
All pick-up and drop-off locations are reviewed for safety considerations before being implemented. Factors reviewed when locating a school vehicle stop include, but are not limited to:
• Centralized community stop locations
• Volume of traffic
• Posted speed limits
• Signalized intersections or crossings
• Physical barriers
No. Drivers are employees of the school vehicle transportation company and are not authorized to make any changes or accommodate requests. Changes made by a driver may result in termination.
Bus routes are planned by the SCSTC to be safe, equitable, efficient and within policy while meeting the needs of all transportation eligible students.
Route schedules are subject to change – drivers, stop times and run paths on any route may change at any time. The SCSTC reviews bus routes on an on‐going basis as student and school needs are constantly changing. Based on student and school needs identified, changes may be made to school bus routes throughout the school year.
Any changes to a school bus route that would affect students bus stop time or location will be communicated through their school.
The maximum walk distance to a school vehicle stop is 0.8 km.
The walk distance to a school vehicle stop may exceed 0.8 km in situations where the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium determines the roadway unsafe for a school vehicle to manoeuvre.
See SCSTC Policy TE03
Parents/guardians will receive information concerning any changes that occur regarding their student’s school vehicle stop or route from their school.
No. Efforts are made to keep designated school vehicle stops consistent from year to year. However, there may be changes in bus stop locations due to changes in student population, infrastructure and/or for student safety.
For safety and efficiency, school vehicle stops are created centrally to accommodate numerous students. Other than for exceptional conditions, school vehicle stops will be a minimum of 200 metres apart.
The Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium avoids routing school vehicles onto dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs, as they typically cannot accommodate safe turn-around points for the vehicle.
No. Kindergarten students are required to walk to/from designated school vehicle stops.
Weather related school vehicle cancellations are the responsibility of School Vehicle Operators, in consultation with SCSTC.
On days where inclement weather is forecast the School Vehicle Operators in Simcoe County have their local employees review local weather and road conditions throughout the County prior to 5:30 am. A combination of School Vehicle Operator Management, Safety Personnel and Senior Drivers undertake a number of processes to review current local road a weather condition, including but not limited to:
- drive their local areas to determine current road and visibility conditions;
- consult local townships to confirm plows are out clearing roads;
- consult other available local services and resources regarding local road conditions.
Yes. The Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium offers and/or supports the following school bus safety programs for students. Please click on a program listed below to learn more information:
- First Rider Program
- School Bus Evacuation Training
- CAA School Bus Safety Patroller Program – support the co-ordination of training at the request of the school
- In Class School Bus Safety Training (Pilot Program for 2017-18)
Studies have shown that the addition of seat belts to the current configuration of a school vehicle increases the chance of neck and head injuries.
School vehicles protect passengers through "compartmentalization", a design that includes:
• Seats with high backs;
• Seats filled with energy-absorbing material;
• Seats placed close together to form compartments; and
• Strong seat anchorages.
The Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver's Handbook identifies – You must stop whenever you approach a stopped school bus with its upper alternating red lights flashing, regardless of whether you are behind the bus or approaching it from the front.
- When approaching the bus from the front, stop at a safe distance for children to get off the bus and cross the road in front of you.
- If you are approaching from behind the bus, stop at least 20 metres away.
- Do not go until the bus moves or the lights have stopped flashing.
- These rules apply regardless of the posted speed limit and apply to highways, country roads, and city, town and village streets.
Parents/guardians are responsible for their student(s) to and from the school vehicle stop. It is also the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that their JK/SK or French Immersion (Simcoe County District School Board only) student(s) are met at the assigned school vehicle stop for afternoon drop-off by a responsible person.
Parents/guardians are responsible for students until they board the school vehicle, and also from the time they disembark.
Eating and drinking on the school vehicle are prohibited for the following safety reasons:
• Some students have severe allergies to certain foods;
• Leftover food and drink can cause a mess attracting bees and wasps;
• A student may choke on a piece of food.
For safety reasons aisles must be kept clear of obstacles at all times. Skis, ski poles, snowshoes, sleighs, hockey bags, skateboards etc. are strictly prohibited. Only small items that can be easily placed on a student’s lap - or in a school bag - will be permitted. Similarly, musical instruments in cases are acceptable, provided they can fit on students' laps or between their legs resting on the floor.
See SCSTC Policy TG06
No. Temporary changes to transportation cannot be accommodated under Member District School Board and Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium policies and procedures.
Contact your school Principal. The school vehicle is considered an extension of the classroom, and students are held accountable to the school Principal for their actions while on a school vehicle.