Inclement Weather Information

Where can I find out  about school closures? 

There may be times during the school year where inclement weather or other situations could cause bus cancellations or school closures.

Information about transportation changes and school closures will be available on the websites, radio and television stations listed below as soon as it is available before 6:00 a.m. on the day of the cancellation. Please do not phone the school for transportation or school closure information.

Websites:
DSBN Facebook Page
DSBN Twitter Page
Niagara Student Transporation Services Website 

Television:
Cogeco Cable 10
CHCH Television
City TV 

Radio:
CKTB 610 am
CHML 900 am
EZ Rock 105.7 fm
Htz 97.7 fm
KLite 102.9 fm
2DayFM - 105.1 fm & 101.1 fm
Wave - 94.7 fm
Y-108 - 107.9 fm

Click here for printable information 

A Message Regarding Inclement Weather  

Covering 1,863 square kilometers, the Niagara peninsula is one of the most beautiful and southern-most points in Ontario. Despite this, residents occasionally find themselves dealing with particularly adverse weather conditions. These intermittent bouts of severe weather have the potential to impact our operations as well as the surrounding community.

Whenever possible, we feel it is important for students to be in class continuing their education. However, the District School Board of Niagara serves more than 36,000 students in its 106 schools, and student and staff safety is a top priority. Should weather conditions pose a significant risk to the health and safety of our students and staff, then it will become necessary to cancel transportation services and close schools for the day.

These are extremely difficult decisions that are only made after careful consideration and consultation with staff, local agencies and our coterminous board.

Cancelling Student Transportation

When adverse weather conditions are forecasted, Niagara Student Transportation Services gathers information on road and weather conditions. From late the night before and beginning very early in the morning (4:00 a.m.), they gather data from a wide variety of sources, including the bus companies, various municipal and regional agencies, and from NSTS staff performing checks on selected routes to experience the road conditions first hand. NSTS considers the actual weather conditions, the forecasted weather, and the road conditions very carefully.

Once all available information has been collected and reviewed, the decision to cancel buses is made by NSTS, in consultation with the bus companies, if it is determined that students cannot be safely transported to schools, as well as transported home at the end of the day.

Closing Schools

The decision to close schools is separate from the decision to cancel transportation services; however, student safety remains our number one concern. The decision to close schools is made by the Director of Education.

Bearing in mind that schools offer a vital service to our parent communities, after careful consideration, the decision of whether it is necessary to close schools is made. We consider issues such as:  

  • Can some students safely walk to school?
  • Can some staff safely get to schools to welcome students who arrive?
  • Are main roads clear?
  • Are there any other circumstances that would necessitate a school closure, such as a power outage, water main burst or loss of heat inside the school
  • What are the conditions across the region? We look at whether the inclement weather affects the entire region, or if it is localized to one community
  • What is the impact of closing schools?

There are times when weather conditions will deteriorate throughout the morning, making it necessary to close schools mid-day. This is not a decision that is made lightly as we recognize the impact on students, parents and staff. In these circumstances, we consider the impact on all stakeholders and how to ensure at all times that the safety of our students and staff is paramount.

The decision whether or not to cancel transportation and/or close schools is made at approximately 6:00 a.m., and that information is immediately conveyed to local media outlets and posted on the appropriate websites.

Despite these measures, the final decision whether or not to send your child to school during inclement weather rests with the parent or guardian. 

Information about Cold Weather Alerts at DSBN

Although we feel it is important for students to spend some time outside each day exercising and socializing with their peers, there are times when bitterly cold temperatures and other inclement weather conditions require that we keep children inside. 

Because Niagara is such a large geographical area, and weather conditions may vary from one municipality to the next, the decision whether or not to hold recess outdoors is made by the individual school principal. When making this decision, principals will often consult with neighbouring schools, talk with parents as they arrive in the morning, and if the decision to send children outside is made, will equip yard duty staff with walkie-talkies so that they can communicate with the office to sound the bells to bring students in earlier.

The health and well-being of our students is a top priority at the District School Board of Niagara, and if it is determined that the weather conditions pose a risk to their safety, students will be kept indoors. Extreme cold weather alerts issued by the Niagara Region (www.niagararegion.ca) are often good indicators that students will stay inside.

Even when temperatures are not low enough to necessitate an indoor recess, it still may be quite cold outside. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your child stays warm during the cold winter months.  

  • Send children to school with plenty of layers, such as long underwear, sweatshirts, sweaters and pullovers. Layering their clothing will allow them to add or remove items depending on the weather.
  • Students should have a warm winter coat that repels the snow, sleet and rain, while blocking the wind. 
  • Warm socks and boots are a must to keep their feet warm and dry in the snow.
  • Hats are one of the most important parts of dressing warmly in the winter. A thick winter hat will keep students from losing too much of that essential body heat.
  • Put on a good pair of gloves or mittens that are water-resistant as well. Gloves will keep kids’ hands toasty warm and protect their skin from becoming damaged by the wind and chill.
District School Board of Niagara
191 Carlton Street, St. Catharines
Ontario L2R 7P4
P: 905-641-1550