Bus Handbook

How to apply for busing

Please note applying for busing is a separate registration from your school application.

To Apply for busing, please use the following link: Parent Portal. Go to Online Forms and Requests and then choose the Bus Application Form.

  • For new families to the Division applying for transportation, please access the Online Forms and Requests on the main page banner under PUBLIC to access the bus application form.
  • If you do not know your child’s Alberta Education ID number, please fill in the AB ED ID field with 000000000. This will only work for a new student who is not already in the system.
  • If you need assistance, please call the transportation department at 780-459-7711

How to Cancel Your Child’s Busing?

Step 1. Complete and submit the online Bus Cancellation form in the Parent Portal
Step 2. Return your child’s bus to the school office to return to the Transportation Department.

*Please note that notification of cancellation can only be made after the above two steps have been completed.

The notification of a bus driver or the child not riding the bus or not scanning does not
constitute cancellation and will not result in reduced fees or a refund.

Cancellation has been communicated only upon completion of steps 1 and 2. After cancellation is completed, the Transportation Department will evaluate whether the student is eligible for a refund or reduction of the fees assigned to your child’s Parent Portal Online Account.

Will I receive a refund?

1. If your child remains in the Division and will no longer need to take the bus, you may be refunded the full months remaining if the following is met:
a) You completed and submitted the required bus cancellation form before the last day of January for any school year.
b) Your child's school has returned The bus pass to the Transportation Department.

2. If your family is moving from the Division to attend another school outside
of the Division, once both the physical bus pass and form have been submitted
through the Bus Portal, you MAY be refunded the full months remaining in the year.

2024-2025 Fee Schedule

Urban & Rural K-12 Pass Monthly fee
An individual over 1 km grades K-6 an 1.6 Km 7-12 from the designated school $175
An individual under 1km Grades K-6 and 1.6 km Grades 7-12 from the designated school $245
*Access to 2nd bus fee  50% of the applicable fee
Cross-Boundary $300
Out of Division (contact us for information on availability)  $325
Replacement Cover  & Loop only $5
Replacement Pass includes cover and loop $20

Please Note:
Transportation for noon kindergarten will be arranged for schools where the Transportation Department has received registrations from five (5) or more a.m. kindergarten students requesting noon busing services.

*Cross-Boundary and Out of Division families are not eligible for family fee

Large items on the bus

Please be aware that large items cannot be transported on school buses.
According to the School Bus Operation Regulation (16) of the Motor Transport Act, large items cannot be carried on school buses unless they can be secured and do not block the aisles.

The School Bus Operation Regulation of the Motor Transport Act (437/86)states the following:

Luggage equipment and tools
16(1) When luggage, equipment, or tools are carried on a school bus, they shall not be taken in the interior of the school bus.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where it is not practical to carry luggage, equipment, or tools other than in the interior of the bus, they may be taken in the interior of the school bus if they:
a. Are stored under the seats where possible
b. Do not block the aisles or emergency exits, and
c. Are stored, lodged, or secured so that they cannot be dislodged or moved about when the school bus's brakes are applied, during acceleration, or in the event of an accident involving the school bus.
(3) The person operating the school bus shall ensure that any luggage, equipment, or tools carried on the bus are transported per this section.
AR 437/86 s16.

This means that Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools and their contractors must adhere to the regulations and policies regarding the safety and well-being of their students while riding on school buses. Tubas, French horns, guitars, saxophones, trombones, hockey sticks, hockey bags, skateboards, curling brooms, etc., are not allowed on the bus. Items must be held on a student’s lap and not go into the aisle, above the seat, or into another student’s space.

As seats are 39” wide and there are often three students in each seat, the article should not be more than 13” x 13” x 23”. This would apply to buses regularly transporting students to and from school on fixed runs.

Pre-Kindergarten/Pre-School Programs and Transportation

Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools does not transport young students to pre-school programs due to the following reasons:

1. School buses have been designed for school-age children, not for young children (2 ½ to 5 years old).

2. The latest findings of NHSTA (National Highway Safety Transportation Administration) indicate that pre-school-age children should always be transported in car seats.

  • Recent school bus crash tests with pre-school-age children indicate that young children should always be transported in car seats.
  • Pre-school-age children are too small for compartmentalization (see 3).
  • They often cannot climb up the steps onto the bus.
  • They often cannot climb up into the seats.
  • They cannot see out the window.
  • They often do not stay in their seats.
  • Management and safety problems can arise if the students do not remain seated.
  • School buses were never designed for these young children.

3. School buses are designed using compartmentalization as a means of protection for school-age children. This is information from Transport Canada:

"Federal standards currently call for high-backed seats made of soft, energy-absorbing materials to retain occupants in their place in the event of an accident. Information from all types of school bus collisions demonstrates that the current school bus design provides a high level of protection to occupants. Based on its accident research analysis, Transport Canada has determined that seat belts
may adversely affect the safety of children on school buses.

For example, school bus crash tests conducted by the department revealed that lap-belted occupants would be more likely to sustain severe head and neck injuries than would unbelted occupants in frontal collisions. The department also believes that combination lap and shoulder belts could pose problems because they cannot be adjusted to restrain more minor children safely, and any slackness could injure a child. In addition, these seat belts would require the presence of stiff seats for installation, which could cause injury to an unbelted child."

4. Adding seat belts to buses manufactured without them would not be CMVSA (Canadian Motor Vehicle Standards Association) approved and presents the following concerns:

  • The school bus manufacturer must be contacted to determine whether retrofitting lap belts is plausible and safe and whether the installation is by specifications.
  • If a school bus is retrofitted with seat belts, the school bus owner must ensure that seat spacing is sufficient for the use of the CSRS (Child Safety Restraint Seat). Compartmentalization calls for the bus seats to be spaced close together. The seats should be farther apart if a seat belt/car seat assembly is used.
  • The school bench seat does not have the same construction due to
    compartmentalization, which is firmer to accommodate seat belts and car seats.
  • Car seats must be correctly installed, i.e. rear anchor points, and the correct size for the child's size and weight.
  • Someone must ensure the child is secured in the car seat and the car seat is correctly installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Due to the number of car seat manufacturers, this poses a problem for drivers to be knowledgeable about all brands of car seats.
  • No students should be placed in the seats directly behind students who have been secured.
  • A written safety plan must be in place for evacuating pre-school-age children from CSRS in the event of an emergency.

5. Lloyd Sadd, the vehicle insurance provider for the Alberta School Board Insurance Exchange, strongly advises assigning a monitor to buses transporting preschool-age children.

School Boards are not required to arrange transportation for students attending pre-school programs within their divisions. However, Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools offers access to available transportation funding for parents interested in entering into a Transportation Agreement with the Board. Additionally, several school divisions in Alberta are reassessing their policies and procedures concerning the transportation of preschool-age children in school buses lacking proper tether attachment-ready seats.

Student Conduct

A safe ride depends on the bus driver being able to give their full attention to watching the road. Distractions and disturbances make it increasingly difficult for drivers to concentrate on safely transporting students to and from school.
Students riding on the bus must remember that they will be held accountable for their conduct on the school bus. Continued violation of any of these rules may lead to losing riding privileges.

  • The driver is in full charge of the bus, and the directions must be followed.
  • The driver will report any misconduct to the school principal, who will take appropriate action.
  • Students must always scan their bus pass daily to board their assigned bus and can only ride the bus they are registered to.
  • The driver may assign specific seats to students at any time. Kindergarten and Grade 1 students sit in the front seats.
  • Students must not extend their arms or heads out of windows, try to get on or off the bus or move around within it while the bus is in transit.
  • Students must not throw paper or other waste materials on the floor or out of the windows of the
  • While on the bus, students must behave quietly and courteously, showing consideration for the comfort and safety of others.
  • Scuffling, fighting, eating, drinking, smoking and the use of obscene language on the bus are prohibited.
  • Students causing willful damage to a bus will be held fully accountable.
  • Articles that cannot be stored in a gym bag or backpack, such as snow skis, skateboards, tubas, hockey sticks, guitars, etc., will not be transported. Parents are responsible for the transportation of these items. Ice skates must be in a gym bag or backpack with the blades covered. A plastic or paper bag is not acceptable.
  • Loose articles such as baseballs, golf balls or marbles cannot be transported on the bus. If a student wants to bring these types of articles to school, the articles must be securely contained within a gym bag or backpack. Coat pockets or cloth sacks are not acceptable.
  • No animals will be transported on a bus unless a service animal.
  • No firearms or knives will be transported.
  • Students should go directly home from the bus stop at night.
  • In order to be let off the bus, kindergarten and Grade 1 students must be met by a parent/guardian in the safety zone at the bus stop.