Toronto District School Board

Severe Weather

From time to time it is necessary to cancel student transportation, classes and/or programs due to severe weather. On rare occasions, severe weather makes it necessary to close schools, administrative offices or sites. 



With approximately 245,000 students in our schools and sites each day, any decision to cancel buses, classes and/or programs or to close sites can have a significant impact on thousands of families across Toronto. This decision is not taken lightly. When schools remain open on days with inclement weather, parents/guardians make the final decision on whether to send their children to school and they can keep children home from school if they so choose. 



How does the TDSB make snow day decisions? 

A number of factors are considered on days where severe weather is (or could be) an issue. Very early in the morning, a team made up of the Director, Associate Directors, transportation, and communications staff look at various pieces of information including current and forecasted weather conditions and road conditions. Should a cancellation or closure be necessary, information will be posted on the TDSB website, TDSB social media and provided to local media by 6:00 a.m.



Why are TDSB schools often still open when buses aren’t running?
 

The TDSB is unique when it comes to student transportation. Unlike other schools boards across the Greater Toronto Area, a vast majority of TDSB students — approximately 90 percent — do not use school buses. That means, if school buses are cancelled, it is still possible for students to get to school by walking or other means. However, if schools are closed, 245,000 students would not be able to go to school and thousands of parents are left to make childcare arrangements at a moment’s notice. In some cases, it may not be possible and may result in children being left alone at home without supervision.



How are daycare centres affected by weather decisions? 

The TDSB communicates any decision to close schools to daycare operators, which are independent from the school board. With that in mind, any cancellations or closures of daycares will be communicated to parents by the daycare and not the school board. Any questions surrounding daycares should be directed to the daycare operator.



How are decisions made for school recess being inside or out? 

From time to time, it is necessary to hold indoor recess due to inclement weather (rain, extreme cold, severe icy conditions). This decision is typically made at the school-level depending on local conditions which can vary widely across the city; however in some cases, a board-wide directive may be issued.



How can school activities be affected by weather?

School activities including sport practices/games and rehearsals may also be cancelled due to severe weather. These decisions are typically made on a school-by-school basis; however in cases where board-wide activities and programs, such as Continuing Education classes, are cancelled, this will be communicated on the TDSB website and social media.

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