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

Just Posted

REFLECTIONS: Ponoka was booming after the war years

By Mike Rainone for the News At the end of the long… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Ponoka Festival of Trees opening night gala and auction

Generous donors and bidders will help reach $100,000 goal

Fundraiser a test of endurance and fitness

Ponoka gym setting up to participate in worldwide fitness event

Alberta Justice Minister advocates UCP rural crime plan

Expanded property rights, more power to peace officers, demonetizing scrap mental part of UCP plan

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Protesters say Alberta bill would make it harder to access some medical services

The bill would mean a health-care provider could not be sanctioned for refusing to provide a service due to morals

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Rebels ride 3-goal first period to 4-3 win over Brandon

Goaltender Byron Fancy with key saves in third period to save game

Supreme Court of Canada dismisses murder appeals in 2013 Calgary swarming death

Assmar Shlah and Franz Cabrera were convicted in 2016 of second-degree murder

One year on, most oil-and-gas bailout money has moved, federal government says

Sweden’s central bank says it has sold its Alberta-government issued bonds

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Most Read