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Student Transportation

The information on this page is meant to provide student transportation services in Simcoe Muskoka with information and resources to help keep yourself and the students you serve, safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also intended to assist students and families in understanding the options available for student transportation and related public health guidance.

This information is based on the direction of both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, and will be continually updated to reflect changes in provincial direction and our local context. We encourage you to visit this page often to keep yourself informed.

We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

Bus drivers and those responsible for student transportation must:

If you do not pass daily screening, or new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 develop during the school day, you must isolate (stay home) and inform your employer of your absence due to illness.

More information:

When riding in a school bus or vehicle, physical distancing between students may not be possible. Additional health and safety measures are recommended to protect students and drivers:

  • Students (grades 1-12) must wear a mask. Those in JK/SK are strongly encouraged but not required to wear a mask. Please follow your school board/school direction related to this. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is recommending that school boards and private schools mandate students in kindergarten (JK and SK) to wear masks while attending school in-person during the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Students must sit in assigned seats. Seating arrangements will be used for follow-up if someone who rides the bus becomes sick or tests positive for COVID-19. 
  • Bus drivers are required to wear medical masks and may need to wear other personal protective equipment (such as eye protection) as appropriate. 
  • Buses must be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily. 
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available on the bus. 
  • Accommodations will also be made for vulnerable (i.e. immunocompromised) students.

Note: if a child becomes sick while at school, parents/guardians will be called and asked to pick them up from school. This will help to prevent students from riding the bus while they have symptoms.

The Ontario Active School Travel Council recommends active transportation and active school travel (walking and wheeling) for all students not travelling by school bus or public transit.
We recommend walking and wheeling to school, whenever possible. When walking or wheeling to school: 

  • Stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others who are not part of your immediate family (e.g. students, other parents/caregivers, crossing guards, patrollers and school staff) at all times.
  • Stay single file as much as possible. 
  • Walk bikes where more pedestrians are present on sidewalks/paths near schools. 
  • Allow children to walk/wheel independently all or part of the way to school, if they are able to do so.
  • Sometimes it is not possible to walk or wheel to and from school. If you are driving your child to school, consider parking the car one or more blocks from the school site and walking the rest of the way. This helps to reduce traffic and crowds around the school.

Page last updated: September 3, 2021

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