Message from the Committee on COVID-19

As fellow parents of students in the IBT program at Allan A. Martin public school, we understand that this pandemic has been challenging and caused uncertainty. We would like to keep you informed of changes, policies and information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Assigned Seating

To aid in physical distancing and to minimize contact between students, students will be loaded onto the bus from back-to-front and unloaded from front-to-back in an orderly fashion. Buses will be loaded to full capacity, and windows will be opened when possible to increase ventilation. The seat behind the driver will remain empty.

The assigned seat number for each student was included in the confirmation email sent at the end of August. The bus seating chart is available here.

The seat assignments may be subject to change, if the school provides a seating plan in accordance with School Board recommendations. We will email with any updates to the seating assignments.


Orientation Days

The school board has announced a gradual reopening of schools with several staggered orientation days, grouped by last name. GGAM IBT busses will run at regular scheduled times on the orientation days. Please be at your stop at least 5-10 minutes before the scheduled pick up time on those days:

  • Tues Sep 8: Busses will not be running. Schools are closed.

  • Wed Sep 9: Busses will run on the regular schedule. Orientation for last names beginning with A-L

  • Thu Sep 10: Busses will run on the regular schedule. Orientation for last names beginning with H-O

  • Fri Sep 11: Busses will run on the regular schedule. Orientation for last names beginning with P-Z

  • Mon Sep 14: Busses will run on the regular schedule. Orientation for last names beginning with A-K

  • Tue Sep 15: Busses will run on the regular schedule. Orientation for last names beginning with L-Z

  • Wed Sep 16: Busses will run on the regular schedule. Schools are open and all students will attend.

Unfortunately, the committee pays the same price for bus service regardless of the number of students riding and will not be able to provide end-of-year refunds for orientation days. However, refunds for days when no busses are running (including Sep 8) will be included in the end-of-year disbursement. See the Bussing Agreement for more details on refunds and end-of-year disbursements.


Masks Required

All students are required to wear a face mask at all times while on board the bus, unless a medical condition prevents the use of a mask. Students are required to be wearing masks before boarding and are not permitted to remove masks until fully disembarked from the bus. Students not wearing masks will not be allowed to board the bus.


COVID Self-Assessment

Prior to leaving home for the bus stop, all students are required to complete the Government of Ontario’s COVID self-assessment. If the self-assessment directs a student to stay at home and monitor health, or to get tested for COVID-19, they must not come to the bus stop and stay home.


Waiting at Bus Stops

Peel Public Health’s physical distancing guidelines must be followed at all times, and students are required to leave space between each other while waiting at the bus stop.


Additional Precautions and Sanitization

In accordance with Provincial and School Board requirements, our school bus service provider, First Student, will:

  • Require drivers to complete a wellness check prior to each bus run

  • Provide masks for drivers to be worn while on the bus

  • Provide a face shield for driver use during loading and unloading, as required

  • Provide hand-sanitizer for drivers and students as needed

  • Sanitize buses twice per day, using a disinfectant spray


Notification of COVID-19 Infection

We ask parents/guardians to notify us in the event of suspected COVID-19 infection as soon as possible by email at contact@ggam.ca or by phone at 647-490-3155 (leave a message.)

When we receive notification (from a parent/guardian, the school, the school bus provider, or any other source) that a student on our bus routes is suspected of a COVID-19 infection, we will notify all bus riders of the infection by email and/or SMS. Where possible, we will also notify students seated in close proximity to the infected student. Note that we will not share the name or any other personal information. We will also work closely with the school to share information about suspected COVID-19 cases, which we will pass on to our riders.


Unwell Students

If a student is feeling unwell while on the bus, the driver will notify the school, bus provider and committee as soon as possible, who will contact the student’s parent/guardian. The bus driver will complete an incident form to capture the date and the names of students that traveled on that route for contact tracing requirements. The bus will also be sanitized before being put back on the road.

In the event that a student is feeling unwell during the school day, the student will not be permitted to ride the school bus. The school will also notify us and our bus service provider for contact tracing purposes.


Absent Students

If a student is required to isolate at home and will not be riding the bus, refunds will not be provided. The bus costs are fixed and we pay the same amount for the bus, regardless of the number of students riding, and as such we are unable to provide refunds.


Transition to Distance Learning

If you transition to distance learning and will no longer require the bus, we are unable to provide a refund for the remainder of the school year. However, the situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis and refunds may be provided if the spot on the bus is filled by another student.


Wait List, Transition to In-School Learning

Our bus routes are currently full and we do not have capacity for additional students. If you wish to transfer from distance to in-school learning during the school year, contact us at contact@ggam.ca to be added to the wait list and we will notify you if space becomes available.


Refunds for 2019-2020

When buses aren't running, we do not pay full price for bus services. GGAM is a volunteer-led non-profit organization, and any funds remaining at the end of the school year are refunded to parents. We expect there to be significant refunds to parents at the end of the 2019-2020 school year as a result of the COVID-19 school closures.

Now that it has been confirmed that schools will not be reopening for the 2019-2020 school year, the committee is working to expedite refunds to parents once the year-end financial statements have been completed. The timing has not yet been determined and we will post updates here as they become available. (Refunds are normally issued in December.)


Application Dates for 2020-2021

Please note that returning students are not automatically enrolled for bussing and must apply before June 2, 2020.

To accommodate changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended our application and processing dates for this school year:

Registration:

  • April 15, 2020: Registration opens for new and returning students

  • June 15, 2020: Registration closes

  • June 30, 2020: Last day to request a full refund

Payments:

  • June 22, 2020: Mailed payments due

Bus routes:

  • August 14, 2020: Bus routes announced

  • August 31, 2020: Bus passes and receipts emailed


Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at contact@ggam.ca .