News

Grand Erie Prepares for Winter with Inclement Weather Reminders

With the first glimpse of snow this year, Grand Erie District School Board is reminding students and families of how the Board deals with inclement weather.

“While we typically average just one or two snow days a year, last winter Grand Erie had seven of them,” said Brenda Blancher, Director of Education. “While we hope last year was an anomaly, we feel it’s important for our community to understand how the Board responds when Mother Nature throws snow, ice or freezing rain at us.”

Grand Erie’s Inclement Weather Policy (FT7), found on the board’s website here, was updated in May 2019. The policy outlines the procedures for the cancellation of transportation services, which typically triggers school closures – either by zone or across the whole district.

Student Transportation Services Brant Haldimand Norfolk (STSBHN) provides transportation services for Grand Erie students as well as those from the local Catholic and French Catholic school boards. During the winter months, STSBHN gathers information on road and weather conditions from various sources, including City and County road crews as well as weather specialists. These road and weather conditions are then discussed with the Superintendents of Business at each of the three area school boards.

“Our focus is always on the safety and well-being of our students,” said Rafal Wyszynski, Grand Erie’s Superintendent of Business. “The decision to cancel student transportation is made when we believe the forecasted road conditions will not allow for the safe delivery of services during the morning or afternoon travel times when we have thousands of our students on buses all across Grand Erie. Transportation is also cancelled when visibility is expected to be significantly impacted.”

When student transportation services are cancelled due to inclement weather, there are two options: closure of all Grand Erie schools or closure by zone. Grand Erie has four zones: Norfolk County (Zone 1), Haldimand County (Zone 2), Brant County (Zone 3) and City of Brantford (Zone 4). Zone 2 includes Grand Erie students from Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

When student transportation services are cancelled due to inclement weather, Grand Erie schools are closed to all students and staff.

The decision to cancel student transportation services due to inclement weather is made by 6:30 a.m. If Grand Erie schools are closed, the decision will be posted on the board’s website (www.granderie.ca), Twitter account (@GEDSB) and shared with local media. STSBHN will also communicate the decision to riders, post on Twitter (@STSBHN) and share on their phone line (519-751-7532, ext. 7).

“We understand the decision to close schools puts enormous pressure on parents who have to scramble for last-minute child care,” said Blancher. “However, the safety and well-being of our more than 25,000 students must remain our focus. We don’t want to see any of our students injured or put in harm’s way.”

New to Grand Erie’s Inclement Weather Policy in 2019-20 is the option to cancel transportation services when there is extreme cold weather. In this case, student transportation services would be cancelled, however, all Grand Erie schools would remain open to students and staff.

Extreme cold weather negatively impacts the operation of buses. Extreme cold weather in Grand Erie’s Inclement Weather policy is defined as -30 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill) at 5 a.m. or a high risk of frostbite (10 minutes or less) as of 5:45 a.m.

Grand Erie District School Board represents more than 25,000 students in 58 elementary and 14 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk.

June 7, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Re: Report of an incident and suspicious male in the Ryerson Heights area

In the interest of community safety and to best ensure the safety of our students, the Brantford Police Service has provided us with information about the report of an incident in the Ryerson Heights Elementary School area.

On Monday, June 6, 2016 at approximately 4:55 p.m., three primary school students who were at the after-school program at Ryerson Heights School on Dowdon Ave, observed a man outside of the school fence line acting in a suspicious manner. The man was described as holding a sharp object in his hand, which possibly was a knife. The man was reported to have had blood on his hand. The man did not approach the students, however made some negative comments to them before walking away from the area.

The man was described as white, 40-50 years old, with a bald head and wearing a black t-shirt.

Police are continuing in their investigation. Anyone who has information regarding the potential identity of the man or may have witnessed the event is urged to contact Detective Laureen Bird of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit at 519-756-0113 ext 3001.

To help ensure the safety of our students, please talk to your child about what to do if a ‘stranger’ or ‘strangers’ approach them for any reason. Teachers will also review safety protocols in class about how to stay safe in the community.

Click here for more information about street safety.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Jane Goldspink

Principal (Acting)

Bus Incident

On February 29th, 2016, during the Grade 3 Swim to Survive Trip, the bus was pulled over by police at Conklin and Blackburn. The police had received a report about the driver's abilities. The bus company sent another bus to bring the students back to the school. The students were supervised by the teachers until they met up with their parents. An investigation was carried out by the bus company and communicated by the transportation department. I can tell you that outside influences, such as substances, were not a factor in the driver's abilities. The bus company will take their own action. The driver will not drive for our school moving forward. I am sorry that this happened to our students on their trip. It was upsetting for them and their parents as they waited. Please contact me with any concerns.

Thank you. Mrs. Clara Anderson

Santa Visits WGES

Santa made a special visit to the students of WGES. Students and staff made Christmas crafts and celebrated the season with our Adoptive Grandparents from John Noble Home. Thanks to the School Council for organizing this event.