Posted in School Information

Letter from Director Re: Extreme Weather Events

Dear Families,

As we go into the winter months, it is important that families are aware that there may be rare occasions when emergency weather events occur and we need to close all schools and Board locations.

Emergency winter weather
Emergency closures will be considered when facilities may not be safe for students and staff members to attend school for the full day. This may include events that significantly limit school operations or access to the school site, or causes widespread, prolonged power failures or downed power lines. In keeping with our current practice, we will continue to keep our schools open as much as possible. However, it is important that families have alternate childcare arrangements planned for the rare occasions when schools may be closed. Before and after care programs will also not operate if schools are closed. Please take the time to make plans in the event of an emergency school closure.

School Transportation Cancellations

School transportation (buses and taxis) may be cancelled due to extreme cold or inclement weather. If transportation is cancelled in the morning, it will also be cancelled for the afternoon. On these days, schools will remain open unless otherwise stated.
Families can use their best judgment to decide whether to send their children to school on inclement weather days. Students will not be penalized for missing school. For safety reasons, you are required to let the school know if your child will not be attending school that day.

Communication to Families

Decisions about school transportation and school closures will be made as early as possible and no later than 6:00 a.m. We are introducing a new communications system that will send text messages to parents/guardians for emergency purposes only. This includes the rare event of a school closure. Parents/guardians will have the ability to opt-out of receiving text messages should they choose.

The Board will be testing this communications system on Tuesday, November 19. If the
school has your cell phone number (documented as your cell and not your home phone
number), you will receive a test text message. This message will also include the option to optout of this system. If you do not receive a text and wish to participate in the program, please ensure that your school has your cell phone number. We will do our best to notify families in advance when we may be considering closing school and Board offices. Our priority continues to be the safety of our students, staff members
and families. If you have any questions, please speak with your school principal.
Transportation cancellations or school closures will also continue to be communicated through:
• Student Transportation Services website:
• Student Transportation Hotline: 1-877-330-3001
• Board website and school websites
• @YRDSB Twitter account
• Radio and TV media outlets
For more information on severe weather days, please visit our website
Louise Sirisko
Director of Education