BUSSING FROM OSTA UPDATE

BUSSING UPDATE FROM OSTA
Posted on 06/15/2021
End of Year Transportation Updates
End of year transportation updates June 2021 (1).docx

Transportation Communication
OSTA’s priority is creating a transportation environment where students can feel safe and limit the transmission of the virus to the extent possible. OSTA, in consultation with
the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH), is reviewing the safe plan for bused students for the 2021/22 school year.

We will continue to update parents and guardians 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? Or 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 contemplating restricting changes this summer due to new processes that
protect student health and we are also anticipating increased operational pressures
which will delay changes. So, get your information in to be sure your eligible child has a
spot reserved on a bus.
 
Joint Custody and Transportation to Two Homes –
Renewals
Don’t forget that the renewal process must be done every year! The renewal form for
existing variable transportation arrangements (Joint Custody) is available online. Only
one parent needs to complete the renewal form, providing no changes to the existing
schedule are required, including access days and stop locations. If there are any
changes to your child(ren)’s information, then both TRA-T22A and TRA-T22B forms will
have to be submitted with the new changes and signed by both parents.
Renewal Joint Custody Forms must be submitted NO LATER THAN June 30 th
 

Empty Seats/Courtesy Seating – Possible
Suspension
If physical distancing continues to be a requirement on yellow buses, the impact would
significantly reduce the available seating capacity. If this is the case, OSTA will likely
suspend the Empty Seat program until physical distancing on school buses is no
longer required. OSTA would then resume the empty seat program as soon as it is
feasible to do so. This decision will be made at the end of August.
We encourage parents to plan ahead and practice walking their children to school over
the summer. Please check our active transportation section for information on
Pedestrian Safety, Walking Routes and Walk-A-Block.
 
OSTA Parent Web Portal Closed
OSTA’s Parent Web Portal (Bus Stop Finder) will be closed from the end of June until
mid-August. Please check our website and social media pages regularly for important
transportation announcements, deadlines and other vital information. The portal will
reopen mid-August with next year’s transportation information.
 
Choosing to Drive? Let OSTA Know
Some parents may choose to drive their children to school in the fall, rather than letting
them take the bus, or may not be sending their children to school at all. Please opt out
of student transportation by completing the online form. You will be helping give
those who really need transportation space on the bus. All services are expected to
resume to normal standards once the COVID emergency protocols have been removed.
 
School Zone Safety and Walk-A-Block
As parents decide how to get their children to school, we anticipate 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 and add Walk-A-Block to their routine. Try parking away from the school and
walking 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 download 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. We will be sharing safety materials throughout the summer to prepare new riders
and remind experienced riders how to stay safe on the bus. OSTA will also be sharing
materials relating to physical distancing on the bus, and hygiene and germ safety while
travelling.

Walking School Bus Registration and Volunteers

Schools with Walking School Bus routes will be registering participants throughout
June. Walking School Bus Registration and Hybrid Walking School Bus Registration
Teachers, parents, high school students and community members are welcome to apply
to be a Volunteer Walking School Bus Leader to help kids learn pedestrian safety and
engage in active transportation for the following schools: St Rita CS and Georges
Vanier. Free training and flexible schedules. Volunteer WSB Leader Registration
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