The OCDSB is working with the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to develop a transportation plan for eligible students on buses and vans that protects the safety of both students and drivers. OSTA is also working with student transportation consortiums across the province to review transportation protocols that best meet student needs while addressing health and safety.

At this time, the following parameters guide our planning:

  • OSTA released a Transportation Opt-Out Survey to facilitate contact tracing of students who are actually using transportation services
  • OSTA recommends that all students wear masks to protect all riders and the driver, if possible. However, only students in grades 4 to 12 are mandated to wear masks.
  • OSTA will be partnering with parents/guardians to train their children on new transportation safety protocols prior to accessing yellow buses, vans or public transit through updated communications and materials available on
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  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to consider active modes of transportation such as walking or biking. If parents/guardians plan to drive their children, they should consider parking away from the school site and walking part of the way.
  • No changes to busing eligibility have been recommended.
  • Empty Seat/Courtesy Seating Program has been suspended due to complex contact tracing protocols.
  • To the extent possible, students will be grouped by household or by classroom on vehicles. Each school is responsible for creating a seating plan that reflects classroom bubbles on each bus. Plans for loading and unloading students will also be developed to ensure physical distance is maintained.
  • An expanded partnership with OC Transpo services may be required to meet the requirements of the altered secondary school day. (Students that use OC Transpo services will be required to follow the safety protocols established by the City including wearing a mask on buses and trains).
  • Enhanced cleaning practices will be put in place for all vehicles used for student transportation.
  • Deployment of transportation services in September may be delayed due to changing circumstances throughout OSTA’s planning cycle. OSTA will update parents/guardians regarding routing and timings as soon as possible.
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