As the end of another school year rapidly approaches, please note of the following information regarding transportation services for the 2016-2017 school year. We encourage you to include any of this information in newsletters or correspondence to your school community. Feel free to share OSTA’s website address: www.ottawaschoolbus.ca.
2016-17 Student Transportation Information:
Route information will be available to parents as of August 19, 2016 via the online Parent Portal. Schools may have access to some routes prior to this date, through the school web portal www.ostabusplanner.ottawaschoolbus.ca or via OSTA’s website link to the Parent Portal Log In.
Student Transportation Information can also be found using the “Stop Finder” located on the main page of our website, which will link to the “BusPlanner - Parent Portal”. The parent must enter the student’s last name, birthdate, school and grade in order to access route and stop information.
The “Stop Finder” feature returns bus stop and route information for eligible students who are assigned to regular yellow school bus or small school purpose vehicle service.
Small School Purpose Vehicles
The driver responsible for the route will contact each family directly prior to the first day of school.
Students with Special Needs – Requests for Accessible Transportation
Each student requiring special accommodation for transportation, based on a physical, cognitive or emotional disability, should have a “Request for Accessible Transportation” form completed by their parents, signed by the Principal and forwarded to the Spec Ed department. The Spec Ed department will then send the form to OSTA with any appropriate comments that would help us meet the student’s individual needs.
Any requests for short- or long-term accommodation for medical conditions also require the Request for Accessible Transportation Form” signed by the parents and the principal, and then forwarded to the Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services for approval. A medical note or certificate indicating what needs are being accommodated is required. Please note that accommodation of needs for transportation should also be reflected at the school.
Kindergarten Staggered Entry and ID
School bus routes are planned according to the number of registered students in the data system from May to July 2016. We continue to make changes in transportation throughout school start up. Routes are driven as planned as of the first day of school September 2016 and drivers will stop at each stop, regardless of whether KG students are beginning that day or whether they are beginning later on in the week.
pParents of new and returning KG students that they MUST meet the students at their stop in the afternoon. Failure to do so could result in termination of transportation services and/or their child being dropped off at the nearest police station.
OSTA will be providing bright yellow plastic tags that should be attached to any KG student’s back pack (preferably on the lower left side). These will assist the drivers in making sure a responsible person designated by the parent, or the parent, is at the stop to collect the student at their drop off point, per policy. We kindly request that teachers remove the plastic tags from any students NOT in kindergarten.
School Bus Safety Awareness Day (First Time Rider Program)
This year’s School Bus Safety Awareness Day is scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2016 and will run at six sites across the city in 45 minute sessions from 09:00am to 1:00pm. This important safety program is geared primarily for parents and children new to school bus transportation and for all elementary school- aged children who ride a school bus. Families and students can register to attend at one of the following sites:
** French presentation sites
Parents/Guardians can find more information on School Bus Safety Awareness Day on our website at www.ottawaschoolbus.ca/resources/sad. A flyer is attached for your convenience.
Applications for Seat Availability – NEW
Students who had been approved to access service under the Seat Availability provision for 2015/16 will need to re-apply for service for the next school year. The NEW “Application for Access to Empty Seats on School Bus Vehicles” form is available on the OSTA website at http://www.ottawaschoolbus.ca/policies/empty-seat-provision.
OSTA is centralizing the application, approval and assignment process to our head office. OCSB school staff and Principals will no longer be responsible for managing empty seats.
Transportation Information During the Summer Months
Please note that the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority will be open during the summer months from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Parents should be advised to call the school board’s Summer Registration Centre 613-224-3171 for changes to home and/or caregiver address.
Transportation Information During the Fall
Parents should be advising schools directly of any changes to student home or caregiver address. Please remind parents that OSTA will require a minimum of three business days to implement a change to transportation services, longer for transportation to two homes in a joint custody situation. During the month of September, we ask for your assistance in advising parents of new transportation information, due to the volume of changes processed through OSTA at the busy start-up period. You may also direct them to the online Parent Portal www.ostabusplanner.ottawaschoolbus.ca.
Students with Life-Threatening Medical Conditions
Please be reminded that three copies of the “Life-threatening Medical Condition Emergency Transportation” forms must be submitted to OSTA by September 30 of each year for all students who may require the emergency administration of epinephrine auto-injectors or other emergency medical attention during transportation to or from school. These forms will be processed and sent to the school bus operators. Forms are not to be given directly to the driver or transportation provider by parents and/or guardians or school staff. It is crucial these forms are sent in at a timely manner so that drivers can respond to emergencies effectively.