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Frequently Asked Questions


  • The dispatch area is staffed from 6 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. every school day. Scheduling, administration, safety, and training departments operate from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

  • Parents are first asked to make sure that the buses are operating and not cancelled due to poor weather or extreme cold. For more information on this, please read the information in the Transportation section of this website. Normally, according to policy, we ask that your child be at the bus stop five minutes before the scheduled arrival time. If the bus has not arrived within 10 minutes, kindly refer to the RETSD website, Facebook page, and Twitter account for an updated list of routes experiencing delays of more than 10 minutes. Additionally, anticipate receiving a call from our school messenger system providing further information about your child's delayed bus.

  • The division is responsible for the safety of students using division-owned vehicles while the students are on the vehicle. It is the parents’/guardians’ responsibility to ensure the safety of students from home to the school bus pickup point, until boarding the school bus, and from disembarkation from the school bus to home. We do, however, track our new kindergarten students and highly recommend you bring them and meet them at the bus stop. Grades 1 through 12 students will be left off at their bus stop even if a parent is not there to meet them. You can make a “Must Be Met" request by contacting the transportation department. This stipulation will be relayed to the driver on the student manifest.

  • Upon reaching the stop, the bus driver will radio the dispatcher and request a call to your residence to notify you that the school bus has arrived at the stop. The driver will be instructed to keep your child on board and continue on with the route. After completion of the route, the principal will be notified and your child will be returned to the school. If you are in the habit of meeting your child but have not requested a “Must be Met” and, for whatever reason, are delayed in getting to the stop, the same will apply. Please remember that school buses are triple-routed, and it could be some time until your child is returned to the school. Also, should you be unable to meet the bus and you send someone the driver has not seen before, you should call the transportation office to notify them of the change.

  • The drivers for your child's morning and afternoon routes might vary, but the routes themselves will remain consistent each day. The only situations in which there might be changes include sick leave, leave of absence, or employee turnover. You can find your child's route number on the bus's side, either displayed using a magnet or painted on.

  • Drivers are not permitted to adjust routes, times or stops. Only certain students, whose needs are addressed through a personal transportation plan, are eligible for door-to-door service. This service is typically restricted to students with certain disabilities. For other students, service is provided in accordance with provincial and divisional guidelines that assure a maximum distance to the stop is not greater than 800 metres. Within these guidelines, every effort is made to improve route efficiency by clustering students to stops and, where possible, providing service on major streets.

  • Because of the large volume of students we transport, we request that only parents of students with special needs call to cancel transportation on a particular day or route. For example, you may call to cancel just the morning pickup or just the afternoon take-home if you are going to pick up your child at the school. This saves time and worry for the drivers, wondering why their children have not come to the bus.

  • There are several ways. First, each driver has a student manifest that provides information such as name, grade, address, pickup or drop-off point, time, school, and any special instructions. Examples of special instructions would be medical requirements, such as allergies, Epi-Pens, or “Must be Met” requests. Also, each kindergarten student is supplied with a badge the first day of school, identifying their name, school, drop-off point and take-home bus number. Teachers will pin the badges on students’ backpacks or, preferably, jackets. Besides these, the driver is in constant radio contact with the dispatcher. The dispatchers have access to all of the same data that the school has on your child.

  • We make every attempt to adhere to the pickup and drop-off times indicated. For the morning pickup, if the change is less than five minutes, the driver will notify your child of the change. If there is a change in stop time greater than five minutes, or a change in stop location or bus number, the transportation department will send written notification to you by mail. One copy of the notice will also be given to your child by the driver and another copy will be sent to your child’s school. The afternoon drop-off time indicated in your letter is an approximate time only. Buses do run late at times and can run early, as well. If your child’s bus arrives earlier than the normal drop-off time, it will likely be because some students who would normally be dropped off before your child are not on the bus, putting it ahead of schedule.

  • Students must ride on their assigned buses only. Parents can request a different existing stop on the same route, but it must be consistent every day. Students are not allowed to go on other buses for reasons such as birthday parties, sleepovers, etc.

  • School bus sizes are stated in terms of passenger capacity for elementary-aged children. It is assumed that students in kindergarten to Grade 6 will ride three to a seat and students in Grade 7 and up will ride two to a seat. If the bus has three younger or two older students per seat, it may seem that the bus is overcrowded, but it will not, in fact, be over-capacity. It is our goal to fully utilize all the space on the buses in our fleet.

  • The transportation department re-evaluates the routing each new school year. Student demographics are affected from year to year due to graduations and people moving in and out of the school division. As a result, the routing can change dramatically. If there are no longer students that qualify for transportation in accordance with divisional policy in the area, buses will not be routed there. Subsequently, there would not be fee-for-service capabilities. As well, should the bus be at capacity, there would not be room for fee-for-service students.

  • A week before the start of school, each kindergarten student who will be using bus transportation will receive a letter containing all the necessary busing information. This letter will include details such as the student's name, school, drop-off point, bus route number, and other relevant information to ensure a smooth bus ride experience. At the beginning of the school year, your child's teacher will attach the tag with the busing information to their backpack.

  • Students with the same home address attending different schools might need to take different buses due to the logistics of school bus routing. Bus routes are typically designed to optimize efficiency, considering factors such as the number of stops, distance, traffic patterns, and the locations of the schools. While students from the same area may share a bus route if attending the same school, those attending different schools may require separate routes to ensure timely and safe transportation for all students involved. This approach helps streamline transportation operations and manage the complexities of accommodating multiple schools' schedules while ensuring a smooth and reliable bus service.

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