March 9th, 2017
The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority. This priority extends beyond the classroom when our students travel both within Canada and internationally. It is our responsibility to ensure that every possible precaution is taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff when they travel.
Considering the recent events in many countries, including Canada, the Waterloo Region District School Board has taken the opportunity to review all student trips to determine if any or all should be postponed or cancelled.
After careful review, at this point, we are not cancelling any of our trips.
However, we do want to make you aware of some issues. We encourage you to carefully review your individual travel insurance plans should you decide to cancel at any time.
Trips to Europe
At this point, both Belgium and France are an “elevated” level of risk, according to the Canadian government. The government is advising visitors to “exercise a high degree of caution” due to the “current elevated threat of terrorism.” The Canadian government has not moved to the next level of advising residents to “avoid all non-essential travel.”
There are many student trips planned for both countries, most to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge this year. We have already put additional safety measures in place for these trips and additional precautions are in place by the government and the Vimy Foundation for the celebration.
Trips to the United States
We have also heard concerns relating to students and staff entering the United States. We continue to monitor this situation and we will be in touch with you if changes to the immigration requirements for the United States require us to do so.
International travel is less predictable today than in years past. Please be aware that there could be greater delays at airports, and more time necessary to move through customs and security. It is also imperative to ensure that your child has all their required travel documentation in order and up-to-date.
We know that travel can be an enriching and fulfilling experience. As an education system, we have tried to balance this with the need for student and staff safety. We also need to make you aware that global volatility means that we may need to cancel trips, with little notice, should circumstances require it.
Thank you for your understanding.
Director of Education