As the Sun West School Division has a large number students living on farms or otherwise outside of the towns and villages where schools are located, buses transport a significant number of students to school. Due to factors including distance, special needs and Pre-kindergarten, buses transport some students within the town of Kindersley.
Sun West operates its own transportation service and owns a fleet of 155 buses of various sizes. In addition, the school division provides transportation for special needs students and students in remote areas of our communities. The Sun West School Division also provides transportation services for the St. Gabriel School in Biggar, which is part of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division.
On a daily basis, 1903 rural students, 294 urban students (Kindersley) and 23 Pre-kindergarten students ride on Sun West School Division buses. These students travel one of Sun West’s 105 bus routes, which cover 20,695 kilometres every school day.
School Bus regulations are outlined in detail in the Sun West School Bus Safety Manual. (A new manual is being produced and will be posted here shortly.)
Families that are new to Sun West and who want bus service need to complete Form 550-1 Student Bus Transportation Request. Click here to complete the form.
While normally buses will run on their designated routes and schedules there are circumstances where a bus may not run. Common reasons for bus cancellations are severe weather and road conditions and mechanical issues.
Severe weather and unsafe road conditions
As the Sun West School Division covers a large geographic area it is possible that severe weather and unsafe road conditions may affect parts of the Division while other parts are unaffected. As a result, Sun West procedures provide for local discretion in dealing with weather conditions.
The decision of whether a bus will operate each day rests with the bus driver for that route. When determining whether a route should be cancelled bus drivers are guided by the following questions:
Should a bus driver determine that a bus should be cancelled they have the following responsibility to notify:
The priority of drivers is to contact families along their route directly. Sun West does not ask radio stations to announce bus cancellations. It also does not post cancellations on its website or social media.
Sun West’s guidelines regarding severe weather can be found in Administrative Procedures No. 125 (Severe Weather). Click here to view the procedure.
If a bus driver experiences a mechanical issue that impacts the operation or safety of the vehicle to the point that the bus driver cannot start or complete their route, the bus driver has the same responsibilities as outlined in the case of severe weather and unsafe road conditions.
If students have already been picked up and are in the bus when the mechanical issue is identified, Sun West will make arrangements for the students to be picked up and either returned home or taken to the school depending on the circumstances.
Sun West maintains a fleet of school buses that travel over 31,000 kilometres per day. Sun West employees over 100 bus drivers as well many spare drivers.
School Bus Student Conduct Report