News

Important Dates to Remember

  • Christmas/Winter Break: Monday, December 23, 2019 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - All Schools Closed;
  • Monday, January 6,2020: All Schools Resume;
  • Thursday, January 23 - Wednesday, January 29, 2020: Secondary School Exams (Note: Afternoon Bus Times - TBCDSB High Schools @ 11:00am, CSDCAB High School @ 11:15am, LDSB High Schools @ Normal Time);
  • Friday, January 24, 2020: PA Day for all Elementary and Senior Elementary Schools;
  • Thursday, January 30, 2020: PA Day for all High Schools;
  • Friday, January 31, 2020: PA Day for all High Schools;
  • Monday, February 17, 2020: Family Day - All schools closed;
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020: Early Release Volunteer Day for all St. Ignatius and St. Patrick students. Buses depart at 12:10pm;
  • Friday, February 28, 2020: PA Day - All Schools;
  • Monday, March 16 - Friday, March 20, 2020: Spring Break - All Schools;
  • Friday, April 10, 2020: Good Friday - All Schools Closed;
  • Monday, April 13, 2020: Easter Monday - All Schools Closed;
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020: Early Release Volunteer Day for all St. Ignatius and St. Patrick students. Buses depart at 12:10pm;
  • Friday, May 1, 2020: PA Day - LDSB Elementary Schools Only;
  • Monday, May 18, 2020: Victoria Day - All Schools Closed;
  • Friday, June 12, 2020: PA Day for all Elementary and Senior Elementary Schools;
  • Friday, June 19 - Thursday, June 25, 2020: TBCDSB & LDSB Secondary School Exams (Note: Afternoon Bus Times - TBCDSB High Schools @ 11:00am, LDSB High Schools @ Normal Time);
  • Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26, 2020: CSDCAB Secondary School Exams (Note: Afternoon buses depart @ 11:15am);
  • Friday, June 26, 2020: PA Day - TBCDSB & LDSB Secondary Schools Only;
  • Friday, June 26, 2020: Last Day of School.

Impact of Potential OSSTF Walk Out on December 4, 2019

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), which represents LPS high school teachers, TBCDSB Attendance Counsellors as well as Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and Student Support Professionals (SSPs) at both boards, have given notice of a province-wide one day strike on Wednesday, December 4 if an agreement with the province is not achieved before that date.

Both the Lakehead District School Board and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School board have announced that if a settlement isn’t reached between the OSSTF and the province beforehand and a walk-out occurs on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, ALL schools (Elementary, Senior Elementary and High Schools) of these two boards will be closed for the day. As a result, all Transportation for all schools of these two boards will be cancelled that day as well. Parents/guardians should make arrangements for childcare as a contingency plan if this strike takes place.

**** The OSSTF does not represent any employees of Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales and therefore if a one day OSSTF strike does occur on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, it should NOT impact schools of this board and scheduled transportation will still be provided for students of CSDC des Aurores boréales. ****

Addressing Bullying on School Buses

Ontario has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week to help promote safe schools and a positive learning environment.

During Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week – November 17-23, 2019 – Ontario students, school staff, parents and the entire school community are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being.

Bullying is defined as a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person's body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance.

Students may attain or maintain power over others in the school through real or perceived differences. Some areas of difference may be size, strength, age, intelligence, economic status, social status, solidarity of peer group, religion, ethnicity, disability, need for special education, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender and race.

Bullying can take many forms, such as physical, verbal, social and electronic (commonly known as cyberbullying) and can occur wherever children gather and adult supervision is low - and that includes the school bus.

Playgrounds, the internet, cafeterias, restrooms, school change rooms and even school buses provide an environment for bullying to take place. After all, bullies have a small, confined space, a captive audience, a victim who cannot simply walk away and a bus driver whose primary job is to keep their attention on the road and drive without distraction. This often results in children who are bullied on the bus being entirely missed by the only grown-up present.

What Students Can Do

All students should practice safe and responsible bus riding behaviour:

  • Sitting face forward
  • Keeping their hands, feet and belongings to themselves and out of the aisle
  • Talking quietly
  • Being respectful to the driver and other students
  • Students who experience bullying should:

  • Ignore the bully or tell the bully to stop in a firm voice; if the bullying continues,
  • Report the behaviour to an adult such as the bus driver, their parent, a teacher or school principal
  • Students who witness bullying should:

  • Avoid joining or laughing
  • Ignore the bully and support the victim
  • Tell the bully to stop and request other students to do so as well
  • Report continued bullying behaviour to an adult such as the bus driver, their parent, a teacher or school principal
  • What Parents Can Do

    Since kids who are bullied often don’t tell anyone what is happening to them, it is important to look for signs of bullying such as being anxious about getting on the bus or mentioning kids messing with them. It’s always best to dig a little deeper and find out if your child is being bullied.

    If your child is being bullied:

  • Tell the School – Each school board has policies in place to address bullying and every student is responsible for his or her conduct to the principal of the school that the pupil attends while travelling on a school bus that is owned by a board or on a bus or school bus that is under contract to a board (Ontario Education Act Reg 298, Section 23(4)(c))
  • Tell the Driver – remember the driver will most likely not be aware of the situation, as already explained, however once informed, they may be keen on helping by allowing the child to sit within close proximity
  • Switch their seat – Ask the principal or driver to have your child sit near the front of the bus where they will be in closer proximity of the bus driver
  • Sit with Friends – See if your child can sit near friends and neighbours who may both deter the bully and offer support to your child
  • What School Bus Drivers Can Do

  • Introduce yourself – at the beginning of the school year and any time new students are added to your bus; and try to learn the names of students on the bus. If you establish a positive relationship, children are more likely to feel safe when reporting bullying
  • Lead By Example – By modelling respectful behaviour and positive conflict resolution strategies, children are more likely to follow your lead
  • School Bus Code of Conduct - Review at the beginning as well as periodically throughout the year
  • Intervene – It’s an adults job to keep children safe. Once you are aware of a bullying situation, addressing it will often stop bullying episodes
  • Work with the Principal – Always report any observations of school bus bullying to the school principal as soon as possible

  • Article sources:

    Ministry of Education: Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/safeschools/preventio...

    Verywellfamily: How to Make School Buses Bully-Proof https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-make-school-...

    POPSUGAR Family: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now If Your Child Is Being Bullied on the Bus https://www.popsugar.com/family/What-Do-You-Do-You...

    PREVNet: What School Bus Drivers Need To Know https://www.prevnet.ca/bullying/educators/what-sch...

    On the Bus - 2019/2020 Winter Edition

    Information on how we determine when to cancel transportation and how to be prepared for school bus transportation during the winter months can be found here:

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    National School Bus Safety Week - October 21-25, 2019

    Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay is pleased to announce that October 21st - 25th is School Bus Safety Week. The third week of October is an annual opportunity to shine the spotlight on school bus safety and is celebrated province wide.

    The iconic yellow school bus is a critical part of the education system and we appreciate the work undertaken by those who serve our students each day. Throughout Thunder Bay and the surrounding area, 12,000 students are transported to and from school daily. Beyond those who utilize the service to get to and from school, many students use school buses to travel on field trips or participate in athletic events.

    School bus safety week provides an opportunity to talk about the overall importance of safety. Whether you have kids travelling on a school bus or are a motorist in a school zone, everyone benefits from an increased focus on road safety, obeying posted speed limits and carefully observing those engaged in active travel, be it walking or wheeling. Road safety in our communities is vital to overall citizen satisfaction.

    Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay would like to remind everyone how critical it is to come to a complete stop while the red outside overhead signal-lights of a school bus are flashing and stop arm is extended. There is a maximum fine of $2,000 and 6 demerit points under the Highway Traffic Act for vehicle owners who choose to disobey the law and illegally pass a stopped school bus.

    Of equal importance to school bus safety around the bus is the conduct of students on board the vehicles. Please talk to your kids about expected on-board behavior. Simple rules make for a more enjoyable shared-ride experience – backpacks on the lap or under the seat, remain seated for the entire ride and keep voice levels down so the school bus driver can concentrate.

    On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, we will celebrate School Bus Driver Appreciation Day. Parents, guardians and school staff are encouraged to recognize their school bus drivers and monitors with a simple thank you or other small acknowledgement of a job well done, often under complex conditions.

    During School Bus Safety Week, watch for social media posts and use #BusSafety19 to participate in the conversation. Check us our on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for featured safety messages and to join in the conversation.

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    Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay is a student transportation consortium of these 3 school boards:

    Copyright © Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay

    Suite 2001, 715 Hewitson St. Thunder Bay, ON. P7B 6B5 • Phone: (807) 625-1660 • Fax: (807) 622-5818