- Written by Janet Sutherland, CCSD
The winter season is upon us, which brings with it cold temperatures and inclement weather conditions. Cold weather warnings, snowfall advisories and high wind chill warnings are a regular part of experiencing winter in the city of Calgary. Ensuring children are safe when traveling to and from school in winter weather conditions is of utmost concern.
Dressing appropriately for weather conditions is especially important. For those who have survived many a frigid winter in Calgary, this may seem like common sense. Families who are new to Alberta may not be aware of the specific needs required to keep warm during the season. Children should be dressed appropriately for the cold weather, including a warm coat, hat, mittens and boots during periods of cold temperatures. Dressing in layers and ensuring skin is not exposed is especially important.
Schools will choose to keep children indoors when the temperature falls to such a level that it is no longer safe to be outside during recess and lunchtime. When the temperature drops below -18 degrees Celsius, including the wind chill, children will be kept indoors during lunch and scheduled breaks.
Parents are strongly urged to take extra care when students are traveling to and from school during periods of cold temperatures or winter weather conditions. All students should be well prepared for the extreme cold conditions caused by low temperatures and high wind chills and should not be left unattended at bus stops or spend any extended period of time outdoors under any circumstance. Parents should form an emergency plan with their children so they have clear instructions about what to do if their bus does not arrive.
Just as regular traffic in the city may be impacted by winter weather conditions, parents should be prepared that school buses may also be delayed in arriving. Buses will run as close to schedule as possible but delays do occur and should be expected.
All Calgary Catholic School District schools located within the city of Calgary limits will remain open to provide a safe, warm and secure environment for attending students. Schools in areas outside of the city of Calgary limits, including Airdrie, Cochrane and Chestermere, may close based on weather conditions as they serve a large number of rural students. Driving conditions in rural areas outside of Calgary vary, and schools in these areas may be closed if it is determined there is a safety risk in students travelling to and from school.
Parents are advised to listen to local media throughout the winter months for updates on transportation, school closures and weather advisories.
Janet is a Senior Communications Specialist with the Calgary Catholic School District. For more information visit cssd.ab.ca.