For South Peace News
Going forward, High Prairie School Division (HPSD) buses will not run if the temperature is -35C or colder, before windchill.
Previously, buses did not run at -40C.
HPSD board of trustees made the decision at its Jan. 17 board meeting.
“The new buses are not as reliable in the colder weather,” said Supt. Laura Poloz.
At -35C, the doors of the bus may freeze open, the fuel can gel, the bus may stop running part way through a route, it might not start, or it might break down and need repairs.
It is also dangerous for mechanics to work on the vehicles outdoors in such cold temperatures.
Based on 2021-22 temperatures, the change to -35C from -40C would mean two to six more days of bus cancellations depending on where students lived in HPSD.
HPSD director of communications Kyle Nichols reported a survey of school divisions in 2020 indicated 62 per cent of divisions closed at -40C, 11 per cent at -35C, and 21 per cent undetermined.
High Prairie trustee Adrian Wong asked if the change was prompted by complaints.
Poloz replied complaints would be received no matter what temperature HPSD chose.
Bus drivers have the option to cancel if they deem the route is unsafe.
In addition, parents always have the choice whether to send their children to school on a bus.