Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO) has announced a modification to their bus schedule to align with the new bell times being implemented by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CSBEO) and the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) starting September 2019.
The unified bell times are being implemented to create a standardized length of the school day across Eastern Ontario. The elementary school day will start between 9:15 and 9:30 while high school bells will ring at 8:00 sharp.
The STEO is reporting that bus schedules will only shift by about 10-15 minutes. Both the CDSBEO and the UCDSB recognize that the change in bell times could require parents to use before and aftercare services that they may not have needed in the past. “We recognize that this may mean changes for some parents who will have to accommodate a new drop-off and pick-up schedule into their daily routine,” said UCDSB and STEO Board Chairman John McAllister. “To address these concerns, each board is actively working with parents and childcare operators to assess the need for additional support.”
The new bell times will be implemented across the Northern portion of the CDSBEO and UCDSB catchment area as of September 2019. This will affect schools in Smiths Falls, including Chimo Elementary School and Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute which service parts of Merrickville-Wolford. Schools located in the Municipalities of North Grenville and Merrickville-Wolford will be affected as of September 2020.
Parents are encouraged to go online at www.steo.ca/belltimechanges to learn more about the specific changes to school bus service in their area. STEO has also set up a call centre that can be reached at 1-885-441-1589 to help parents navigate the online information.