Bus Cancellations and School Closures

All information about bus delays and cancellations is provided on www.mybigyellowbus.ca.

Schools remain open if buses are cancelled

Occasionally, a school-based or system-wide shutdown occurs due to inclement weather, particularly during winter. (See below for information about how the decision is made.) It's easy to find out if your school is closed by checking our website, Twitter account or Facebook page, as well as local media in your area.

Sometimes, inclement weather causes the cancellation of bus transportation. But that doesn't mean your school will be closed. It's important to remember that, in most cases, schools remain open for students to attend when school buses are cancelled. Parents/guardians may drop off/pick up their children unless there has been a notification of a school or system-wide shutdown. It is not an expectation that parents transport their children on such days. It will not negatively affect students' attendance record if they do not attend on inclement weather days.

The safety of our students, parents/guardians and community members remains our most important priority. Please monitor road and weather conditions carefully before deciding to travel during periods of inclement weather.

Here are some common questions about school transportation.

How does the school board decide to close schools due to inclement weather?

The decision to close a school as a result of poor travelling conditions is one that is not taken lightly. Weather can be variable within the large geographic area served by the Thames Valley District School Board, and therefore, decisions may be specific to some or all regions of the Board.

School closure decisions are made by a team of senior staff from all departments of the Board. Multiple factors come into play, some of which are described below.

Bus operators employed by Student Transportation Services (STS) determine which, if any, buses are cancelled as a result of poor travelling conditions. STS strives to communicate this information to the Board team between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Information about weather, visibility, road conditions and travel safety (roads, sidewalks) is provided by police and other municipal staff.

Staff from the London District Catholic School Board and other area school boards, are in contact with the Board team to share information and discuss options.

We recognize the urgency of communicating the decisions regarding bus cancellations and school closures in a timely manner. Every effort is made to distribute news releases through various communication channels as early as possible to inform our community (TVDSB website, First Class mail, Facebook, Twitter, media outlets).

We want to assure you that student and staff safety remain our priority at all times and in the decisions we make regarding school closures.

Who decides if the buses are delayed or cancelled?

The local school bus companies make the decision and then input the results of their decision into the weather portal, which feeds the www.mybigyellowbus.ca site. Note that effective September 2018, www.mybigyellowbus.ca updated their Inclement Weather Policy: In the event of bus cancellations due to FOG, buses will be cancelled in the morning but will operate in the afternoon as scheduled unless otherwise posted. (effective September 2018) http://www.mybigyellowbus.ca/uploads/inclementweather.pdf

How do I know if school buses are delayed or cancelled?

Bus delays and/or cancellations are posted at www.mybigyellowbus.ca in the morning of the inclement weather event between 6 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Refresh your browser frequently. You can also sign up to receive free email or text alerts in the Parent Portal. Note that effective September 2018, www.mybigyellowbus.ca updated their Inclement Weather Policy: In the event of bus cancellations due to FOG, buses will be cancelled in the morning but will operate in the afternoon as scheduled unless otherwise posted. (effective September 2018) http://www.mybigyellowbus.ca/uploads/inclementweather.pdf

How do I sign up for email or text alerts?

First, log in to your Parent Portal. Then, click on the "My Weather Notification" tab and enter the required information.  Don't forget to sign up your students, too!

I heard conflicting information on the radio or on social media. What should I do?

Go to the www.mybigyellowbus.ca site. The website is the official source of bus delay or cancellation information.

Where can I find my bus run number?

It is listed in the Parent Portal and in the window on the side of the bus. It is also available by contacting STS or the school.

I see my school name in the bus delay/cancellation list.  Does that mean all buses to the school affected?

Not necessarily. Check your bus run number. Routes come from differing geographical areas. Do not assume that every bus to the school is impacted.

My school name is in the bus delay/cancellation list. Is my school open?

Routes come from differing geographical areas and therefore not every bus to the school may be impacted. School closures are posted on our website, school websites and social media. This information will also be broadcast by local media. 

Are delays or cancellations county-wide?

Not always. Sometimes the weather conditions are the same throughout the county and the entire county is delayed or cancelled. Other times, there are only portions of the county which need to be delayed or cancelled. Know your bus run number to check the school bus delay/cancellation list on the www.mybigyellowbus.ca site. Refresh your browser frequently.

The bus run was delayed this morning. Now what?

When school buses are delayed due to inclement weather, the delay lasts for two hours. If the bus run is cancelled, another notice will be issued advising of the cancellation. If you do not receive another notice, be at the bus stop 2 hours after the regular time. 

Can buses be delayed in some areas and cancelled in others on the same day?

Yes. The weather conditions may vary greatly throughout the region. You must know your bus run number to check the status of your bus.

Buses were cancelled in the morning.  Will they operate in the afternoon?

No. Buses are cancelled for the entire day.

Buses are running but I don't think it's safe.

You are ultimately responsible for the safety of your student to and from the bus stop and deciding if your student rides the bus.

What time will I receive my email or text alert?

As soon as the bus run is delayed or cancelled in the weather portal, the system automatically begins sending out the email and text message alerts. We cannot guarantee what time you will receive it. It may vary based on number of emails or texts sent, controls and settings on your device and those of your service provider.

I did not receive my text or email and I am signed up.  Why did I not get one?

You only receive a text or email if your student's bus is delayed or cancelled. Check the information you entered in the Parent Portal (correct email, cell #, cell provider). Add weathernotifications@mybigyellowbus.ca to your safe senders list, check your spam filter and other phone delivery settings. Make sure your phone is turned on. Check with your IT department regarding their firewall restrictions. Still having problems? Contact your cell provider or stop by their kiosk.

Will I always receive a text or email if I signed up?

Technology is not perfect. There may be settings on your end or your service provider's end that STS does not control that may impede delivery of the message. The www.mybigyellowbus.ca website will always be the official source. We recommend that you continue to use the website, too.

 I am a student l and want to receive and email or a text alert if my bus is delayed or cancelled.  How do I sign up?

Have your parent/guardian log in to the Parent Portal. Click on the "My Weather Notification" tab and enter the required information. Hint: If your parent does not know how to log in to the Parent Portal, have them email info@mybigyellowbus.ca for assistance.

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