Transportation Communication
OSTA continues to work with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), Ottawa
Catholic School Board (OCSB) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to deliver safe transportation
for bused students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank you for your ongoing patience
as we navigate these uncertain times and will continue to update parents throughout the
summer and the beginning of the school year.
Parents can register for email notifications through the OSTA Parent Web Portal or follow
OSTA on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates, safety tips, bus delays and cancellations.

Information Accuracy Affects OSTA's Planning
Are you moving or changing daycare providers? Considering Extended Day Program part-
time or 5 days a week? Your decisions, and school data, affect OSTA's accuracy when we
plan routes. During these complex times, it is critical that parents give their school the
most accurate information AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
to avoid extended waiting for a
transportation change in the fall. OSTA is anticipating increased operational pressures which
will delay changes. Get your information in soon to be sure your eligible child has a spot
reserved on a bus.

Joint Custody and Transportation to Two Homes

RENEWAL Joint Custody Transportation Forms need to be submitted every year. Only one
parent needs to complete the renewal form, providing there are no changes to the existing
schedule, including access days and stop locations.
Renewal Joint Custody Forms must be submitted NO LATER THAN June 30 th

NEW Joint Custody Transportation Forms, and any joint custody transportation changes,
must be submitted by June 1st, and then, only if the request can be safely accommodated
and there is room on the required vehicle.

The Application form and transportation schedule calendar can be found on OSTA's website.
Samples of how to fill out these documents are also included.

Empty Seats/Courtesy Seating – Possible Suspension
Physical distancing on yellow buses may continue to be enforced for the 2021/2022 school
year. This impact would continue to significantly reduce available seating capacity and
would mean a continued suspension of the Empty Seat program until such time as
physical distancing on school buses is no longer required. We encourage parents to plan
ahead and practice walking their children to school over the summer. Please check OSTA's
website for information on Pedestrian Safety, Walking Routes and Walk-A-Block. OSTA will
resume the empty seat program as soon as it is feasible to do so.

Choosing to Drive? Let OSTA Know

Some parents and guardians may choose to walk or drive their children to school in the fall,
rather than letting them take the bus. OSTA has an online request form for parents to
opt out of transportation during COVID-19
to give those who really need transportation
space on the bus. Opting Out of Transportation is only temporary. Parents and guardians of
eligible students may request transportation be re-instituted by completing a Transportation
Issues form at any time. All services are expected to resume to normal standards once the
COVID emergency protocols have been removed.

Driver Appreciation Day – Thank You Cards
June 11 is OSTA’s Virtual Driver Appreciation Day, a day in which we recognize and
thank our many dedicated drivers and walking school bus (WSB) leaders for getting
students to and from school every day. Help us recognize all drivers and WSB leaders this
year, by sharing your thanks with us so your yellow bus, wheelchair bus, van driver or
walking school bus (WSB) leader gets the recognition they deserve! For more information
visit OSTA’s website.

OSTA Poster and Writing Competition!
Last year’s poster and writing competition was a huge success and that’s why we are
running it again this year! OSTA wants to know how you stay safe on your way to school!
Share your story, poem or artwork and you could win a prize!! Full contest rules and
guidelines are found on our website. The deadline for submissions is June 25, 2021.

School Zone Safety and Walk-A-Block
As parents and guardians decide how to get their children to school, we anticipate there will
be an increase in car traffic around the school. We encourage students to walk to school as
much as possible, but if walking isn't an option, we urge parents who drive their children to
school to add Walk-A-Block to their routine. Try parking away from the school and walk
the last block or two. This summer, take some time to plan your route by finding the five-
minute walk radius around your school using google maps or check OSTA's website for your
school's Walk-A-Block Map. By planning ahead, you'll get a jump start on your back-to-school planning!

Pedestrian Safety – Walk to Your School Initiative
This summer, families in the walk zone are encouraged to safely spend time outside while
familiarizing themselves with their route to school and learn more about the benefits of
active transportation. Walking to school is an excellent way for children to get their daily
quota of physical exercise. It also helps improve student behaviour, and students come to
school prepared to learn. Visit OSTA's Walk and Roll Zone to find information on Walking
Routes and Pedestrian Safety. Learn and practice pedestrian safety skills and discover
routes to school before classes are back in session! #getyourwalkon #ottwalk2school.

Virtual School Bus and Pedestrian Safety Day

OSTA's Annual School Bus and Pedestrian Safety Day will be a virtual experience this year.
New materials are being prepared and will be shared throughout the summer to prepare
new riders and remind experienced riders of how to stay safe on the bus. OSTA will also be
producing materials relating to physical distancing on the bus, as well as hygiene and germ
safety while travelling. Stay tuned for more information to come.

Walking School Bus Registration and Volunteers

Schools with Walking School Bus routes will be registering participants throughout June.
Teachers, parents, high school students and community members are welcome to apply to
be a Volunteer Walking School Bus Leader to help kids learn pedestrian safety and engage
in active transportation for the following schools: St Rita CS and Georges Vanier. Free
training and flexible schedules. Volunteer WSB Leader Registration
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