Student Transportation Information

Student Transportation Information
Posted on 05/26/2021

OSTA continues to work with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to deliver safe transportation for bused students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank you for your ongoing patience as we navigate these uncertain times and will continue to update parents throughout the summer and the beginning of the school year.

Parents can register for email notifications through the OSTA Parent Web Portal or follow OSTA on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates, safety tips, bus delays and cancellations.

Information Accuracy Affects OSTA's Planning

Are you moving or changing daycare providers? Considering Extended Day Program part-time or 5 days a week? Your decisions, and school data, affect OSTA's accuracy when we plan routes. During these complex times, it is critical that parents give their school the most accurate information AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid extended waiting for a transportation change in the fall. OSTA is anticipating increased operational pressures which will delay changes. Get your information in soon to be sure your eligible child has a spot reserved on a bus.

Joint Custody and Transportation to Two Homes

RENEWAL Joint Custody Transportation Forms need to be submitted every year. Only one parent needs to complete the renewal form, providing there are no changes to the existing schedule, including access days and stop locations.

Renewal Joint Custody Forms must be submitted NO LATER THAN June 30th

NEW Joint Custody Transportation Forms, and any joint custody transportation changes, must be submitted by June 1st, and then, only if the request can be safely accommodated and there is room on the required vehicle.

The Application form and transportation schedule calendar can be found on OSTA's website. Samples of how to fill out these documents are also included.

 

Empty Seats/Courtesy Seating – Possible Suspension

Physical distancing on yellow buses may continue to be enforced for the 2021/2022 school year. This impact would continue to significantly reduce available seating capacity and would mean a continued suspension of the Empty Seat program until such time as physical distancing on school buses is no longer required. We encourage parents to plan ahead and practice walking their children to school over the summer. Please check OSTA's website for information on Pedestrian Safety, Walking Routes and Walk-A-Block. OSTA will resume the empty seat program as soon as it is feasible to do so.

Choosing to Drive? Let OSTA Know

Some parents and guardians may choose to walk or drive their children to school in the fall, rather than letting them take the bus. OSTA has an online request form for parents to opt out of transportation during COVID-19 to give those who really need transportation space on the bus. Opting Out of Transportation is only temporary. Parents and guardians of eligible students may request transportation be re-instituted by completing a Transportation Issues form at any time. All services are expected to resume to normal standards once the COVID emergency protocols have been removed.

Driver Appreciation Day – Thank You Cards

June 11 is OSTA’s Virtual Driver Appreciation Day, a day in which we recognize and thank our many dedicated drivers and walking school bus (WSB) leaders for getting students to and from school every day. Help us recognize all drivers and WSB leaders this year, by sharing your thanks with us so your yellow bus, wheelchair bus, van driver or walking school bus (WSB) leader gets the recognition they deserve! For more information visit OSTA’s website.

OSTA Poster and Writing Competition!

Last year’s poster and writing competition was a huge success and that’s why we are running it again this year! OSTA wants to know how you stay safe on your way to school! Share your story, poem or artwork and you could win a prize!! Full contest rules and guidelines are found on our website. The deadline for submissions is June 25, 2021.

School Zone Safety and Walk-A-Block

As parents and guardians decide how to get their children to school, we anticipate there will be an increase in car traffic around the school. We encourage students to walk to school as much as possible, but if walking isn't an option, we urge parents who drive their children to school to add Walk-A-Block to their routine. Try parking away from the school and walk the last block or two. This summer, take some time to plan your route by finding the five-minute walk radius around your school using google maps or check OSTA's website for your school's Walk-A-Block Map. By planning ahead, you'll get a jump start on your back-to-school planning!

Pedestrian Safety – Walk to Your School Initiative

This summer, families in the walk zone are encouraged to safely spend time outside while familiarizing themselves with their route to school and learn more about the benefits of active transportation. Walking to school is an excellent way for children to get their daily quota of physical exercise. It also helps improve student behaviour, and students come to school prepared to learn. Visit OSTA's Walk and Roll Zone to find information on Walking Routes and Pedestrian Safety. Learn and practice pedestrian safety skills and discover routes to school before classes are back in session! #getyourwalkon #ottwalk2school.

Virtual School Bus and Pedestrian Safety Day

OSTA's Annual School Bus and Pedestrian Safety Day will be a virtual experience this year.  New materials are being prepared and will be shared throughout the summer to prepare new riders and remind experienced riders of how to stay safe on the bus. OSTA will also be producing materials relating to physical distancing on the bus, as well as hygiene and germ safety while travelling. Stay tuned for more information to come.

 

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