Toronto District School Board
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Snow/Cold 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 236,000 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/caregivers make the final decision on whether to send their children to school and they can keep children home from school if they choose. 

TDSB's Procedure for Severe Weather

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 and TDSB social media by 6 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 93 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, 236,000 students would not be able to go to school and thousands of parents are left to make childcare arrangements at a moment’s notice — something we know will not be possible in every case.

Does the school board lose funding when schools are closed due to severe weather?

No. Funding remains at the same level during a severe weather-related closure.

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 or a shortened recess due to inclement weather (rain, extreme cold or heat, 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.