…. The current practice in Saskatchewan of closing schools due to inclement weather is very rare. The reasoning to have schools stay open is to ensure that should a child arrive at a school on a dangerously cold day or in adverse weather conditions, the school will be open and safe for them. Thus schools remain open.
While our schools remain open, buses may cancel. Our SECPSD Administrative Procedure 132: Bus Service Cancellation – Inclement Weather outlines that there are several factors that impact the decision to cancel bus service which include:
- Severe cold (-40˚C ambient temperature or -45˚C or greater wind chill)
- Consideration of the weather forecast for the day
- Severely limited visibility, blizzard or "white out conditions"
- Unsafe or extremely adverse road conditions
No single factor automatically requires the cancellation of routes. It is parental choice as to whether or not they provide their own transportation to the school on such days. Please see Administrative Procedure 132.
In terms of teaching staff and staff employed at schools, there are a variety of leaves that one can access if required. This again, is a personal decision. The leaves have been developed for this purpose. It is not the responsibility of the system or an administrator to advise an employee as to when they should access leaves. That is a choice best left to the discretion of the employee. Article 5 (d) Special Leave has a provision for extreme acts of nature that include flood, fire and inclement weather.
First and foremost, our concern is with safety. Parents make a decision based on safety. Bus drivers make a decision based on safety. And staff make a decision based on safety. The procedures are in place to support each of these decisions.
Photo from National Archieves and Records Administration