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Student Transportation

October 19-23 is School Bus Safety Week

This week is national School Bus Safety Week! Click here for school bus safety tips that you can review with your child.

Safety and our COVID-19 response

Safety is always a priority for HRCE Transportation and our service providers; however, this year, busing will look a little different with additional measures.

Riding the bus is the first point of contact with schools for students in the morning and the last in the afternoon. Before coming to the bus stop, please screen your child as per the Daily Screening checklist.

When riding the school bus:

  • All children, students, monitors and drivers will be required to wear non-medical masks.
  • Buses will be cleaned twice daily, and high touch surfaces will be cleaned before and after each run.

As per the provincial announcement of the Back to School plan, student transportation will be provided for all eligible children from Pre-Primary to Grade 12. The health and safety of children, students, and staff is a priority. The HRCE is working collaboratively with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD), and Public Health and we wanted to inform you of the following:

  • Because physical distancing will not always be possible on school buses, all children, students, monitors and drivers will be required to wear non-medical masks on school buses, with the exception of a valid medical reason.
    • Parents are encouraged to help their children become comfortable with wearing a mask.
    • A small number of students with sensory or health issues may not be able to tolerate wearing a mask. Parents of these students are asked to consult with their school to develop a plan for their children.
    • More details on the provincial announcement about mandatory masks on public transportation, including school buses, can be found here.
       
  • Information about wearing a non-medical mask can also be found here.
  • Buses will be cleaned twice daily.
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned before and after each run.

New for Pre-Primary & Primary to Grade 2 Students

  • A parent/guardian or designate must accompany Pre-Primary children to Grade 2 students to/from the bus stop and remain with the child until they are safely boarded/unboarded.
  • If a parent/guardian or designate is not at the stop to meet the child at the end of the day, they will be contacted, and the child will be returned to the school after the run for pick-up.
  • A parent/guardian or designate must buckle/unbuckle their child every day when required (if child is less than 40 pounds and 57" height) and only if a seat belt is available. Bus drivers cannot leave their seats. If a parent/guardian or designate boards the school bus, they must also wear a mask.
  • For more information on Pre-Primary FAQ, click here.

Student Transportation

Busing is provided to students living within a school’s catchment area and registered with that school, if eligible. In September, over 380 school buses will safely transport more than 25,000 HRCE students to and from school. Safety on a school bus is essential and everyone including drivers, students and families, has a role in ensuring school bus safety.

Click School Catchment to determine what school your child(ren) would attend based on your primary residence address. You can enter your street address and be shown what schools are in your catchment. If you are new to the area or looking at a home in HRM, this map is a great resource for your planning.

Please ensure your transportation information is updated.

Bus eligibility and routing are based on a student’s transportation address information in PowerSchool. HRCE Transportation depends on accurate information to plan your child’s bus routing.

If you are moving or changing daycares/ after-school programs, please contact your school to update your address or alternate address, otherwise your eligibility or routing may be delayed.

Our Student Transportation Parent Portal (Parent Portal) will automatically reflect any address changes and will update routing if your child is eligible for busing.

Please note: If a student attends school as an out-of-catchment area student, they are not eligible for transportation and parents/ guardians must make arrangements to transport their children to school.

Eligibility – New Distance Criteria for September

On June 15, 2020, the province announced a School Transportation policy that will be effective as of September 1st, 2020. You can read more about this announcement here. One of the highlights of the new policy includes lowered distance criteria for bus eligibility. This means that more students are eligible for busing in September.

Eligibility for busing is determined on the shortest walking route from the student’s residence road-front property line to the assigned school property line.

We recognize that this is sometimes different from the distance that Google Maps (or other online tools) may provide. The new School Transportation policy provides this definition for eligibility.

Students are assigned to routes based on their residence or alternate residence information in PowerSchool, if eligible. All transportation addresses must be in catchment of the student’s assigned school.

  • Transportation is provided to children attending pre-primary programs and elementary students who live more than 1.6 km from their school in their designated catchment area.
  • Transportation is provided to middle/junior high and secondary students who live more than 2.4 km from their school in their designated catchment area.

Visit hrcetransportation.mybusplanner.ca and click “Am I Eligible for Student Transportation?

Not eligible for student transportation?

Parents/guardians are responsible for providing transportation to and from school for their child if they are not eligible for student transportation. We encourage families to plan ahead if your child is not eligible for a bus.

We are here to support families. You can contact the HRCE Transportation Team via email transportation@hrce.ca or call 902-431-4723. 

Transportation Review Committee for Policy Review
As part of the new provincial School Transportation policy, families are now able to request a review of any non-behaviour related transportation decision. Click here to learn more.

Submissions Open for Unassigned Seats

Who will be busing my child to school in September?

  • Families can identify their school and school bus service provider for the 2020-21 school year at hrce.ca/transportation/2020.
  • Please do NOT contact any of our bus service providers as all questions about busing related concerns, requests or routing should be sent to the HRCE Transportation Team.

For more information on Pre-Primary Busing, visit our frequently asked questions.

 

Letters to Families

Other References

Contact Us

During any time of the year, HRCE Transportation Team can answer your questions about school bus routes, stops and schedules. We can also available to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s student transportation. For frequently asked questions, please click here

Please contact the HRCE Transportation Team via email transportation@hrce.ca or call us at 902-431-4723.