Safety is WCPS top concern

We know winter in Alberta sometimes means our schools will be dealing with lots of snow and very cold temperatures.

As the Wolf Creek Public School Division (WCPS) Board of Trustees, we want to ensure all those WCPS school families and all those who ride a WCPS bus to school that safety of students is our primary concern, especially on winter days with severe weather. WCPS uses Administrative Procedure (AP) 132: Closure of Schools Due to Inclement Weather to guide decisions about school closures and bus cancellations due to extreme weather, and we know school closure can pose an inconvenience for some families.

Let me share some information on how these decisions are made.

If conditions are dangerous to the degree WCPS won’t run its buses, we also believe that conditions are not safe for students to travel to school. Those conditions are determined through a few ways, and are outlined in AP 132: Closure of Schools Due to Inclement Weather. But most notably, buses are cancelled when the ambient air temperature is -40°C, or with dangerous road conditions and/or poor visibility. When all buses are cancelled, schools are closed.

Closure and cancellations are considered when the air temperature is between -30°C and -40°C with wind chills over -40°C. Our transportation manager and superintendent evaluate many factors, which includes the official Environment Canada conditions and forecast, along with a network of contacts across the Division. This evaluation begins as early as 4 a.m. on days when inclement weather is forecast.

In cases such as fog, or freezing rain, where conditions are expected to improve, buses may be cancelled in the morning, but schools remain open. Buses would then take students home at the end of the school day.

As mentioned, from time-to-time concerns are raised from families over cancelling of school, and we understand those concerns. WCPS plans for more hours than the required instructional hours (950 in Grades 1 to 9, and 1,000 in Grades 10 to 12) in order to buffer in the event of school closures. The Division has used AP 132 for decades and is consistent in administering it. WCPS schools have only been closed an average of 2.5 days per year over the last eight years due to inclement weather.

There are many ways to learn more about this procedure, and stay updated through the winter months. First the Division sends direct communication to parents in the event of inclement weather. The information is also posted on the Division website — wolfcreek.ab.ca — and on the Wolf Creek Public School Facebook and Twitter pages (which I encourage parents to follow). The full AP 132 and specific information on its use is also available on our Division website. It can be found in the menu under School Division, and under the Transportation subhead.

We value your input and would invite any feedback throughout the school year, as we work as partners for the safety of students and a successful school year.

– Submitted by Wolf Creek Public Schools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Mat program not quite ready to open its doors

Committee hopes to bring people out from the cold with overnight shelter program

Ponoka County writes off quarter of a million in taxes

Bankrupt energy companies hitting county financially

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read