Operating Procedure: HS-4-008 – Missing Student


In the event a student transported by HSTS is deemed missing or unaccounted for, everything must be done to determine the location of the student.

Schools will ensure that students are placed on the correct bus at the end of the school day and will ensure that student data is kept up-to-date in the board’s Student Information System, based on the information provided by the parent/guardian to the school.

Parents/guardians will ensure the school and their child’s teacher are informed of their child’s schedule and verify the information is correct on BusPlanner Web (haltonbus.ca).

HSTS will provide school bus operators access to BusPlanner Web to retrieve an up-to-date list of emergency phone numbers for all students.

Bus operators will ensure the student lists are secure at all times.


The school, HSTS, the bus operator and the parent/guardian shall put forth a combined effort to locate a missing student.


Responsibilities of the Bus Driver:

  1. As soon as a student is reported missing, immediately notify their dispatcher by radio and give the exact location of the bus;
  2. Move the vehicle to a safe place and wait for the dispatcher’s instructions. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop and keep the radio transmitter turned on;
  3. Ask the students to remain in their seats and inspect the bus, looking under the seats, to determine whether the student is on the bus; and
  4. If the student is found at school, the bus driver shall inform the parent or guardian waiting at the bus stop and ask him/her to contact the school principal in order to arrange for pick-up of the student.

Responsibilities of the School Bus Operator:

  1. As soon as a student is deemed missing by a bus driver, contact the drivers of the other buses servicing the same school, to check whether the student may have boarded the wrong bus;
  2. Contact the school immediately so that the staff can check whether the student is at school;
  3. Contact HSTS to inform staff that a student is deemed missing;
  4. If the student is found at school, notify the parent waiting at the bus stop that their child is still at school and they must contact the school to arrange pick up;

If the student cannot be located after the first search (phone calls made to the school and the parent or guardian of the missing student), notify the police immediately (911) and follow their instructions.

  5. Submit a report to HSTS within 24 hours of the incident.

Responsibilities of the School Principal:

  1. Ask the school staff to check the school premises, including the washrooms and schoolyard; if student is found, inform the bus operator and HSTS;
  2. Ask the staff member who was supervising the loading zone when the students boarded the bus, to check whether the missing student did indeed get on the bus;
  3. Contact the family to find out whether the student is at home or whether someone else came to pick up the student from school; and,
  4. Stay at the school and remain in constant contact with the school bus operator and HSTS until the student is found.

Responsibilities of HSTS:

  1. Maintain contact with the school bus operator, the school and, if applicable, with the police and parents or guardians, until the student has been found;
  2. Assist the bus operator and the school; Contact the other bus operators who service the school to see if they may have the student on board their vehicle;
  3. If possible, request the other bus operators to assist by asking available drivers to travel through the area to look for the student;
  4. If school staff cannot be reached, HSTS will make every effort to contact the Principal or Superintendent of the school and the school bus operator will make every effort to contact the parent/guardian and maintain communication until the student is found; and
  5. Ensure that an Incident report is submitted, outlining the details of the incident.
Revised: November 2020
Operating Procedure: HS-4-008 – Missing Student