- Orbit Software's BusBoss, a product that tracks school bus delays and routes, is now able to integrate with Blackboard's mobile parental notification app, ParentLink.
- The new integration means that it will be possible for districts to inform parents about delays and changes to bus routes by sending info directly to the app on their smartphones.
- Pennsylvania's Gettysburg Area School District is now using the app and reports a positive response from parents.
Tech coordinator Jeffrey Williams of the Gettysburg Area School District tells District Administration that rolling out the new app went smoothly and that it requires little to no maintenance. It can provide updates in real time, as well as informing families about school bus route changes over the summer, instead of in the fall. The app could also be useful in emergency situations to let families know if something like a traffic accident has happened.
New tech has been used to track other information related to student commutes and school buses. In Missouri, the Summit School District uses a tool called Transfinder to track how heavily used its different bus routes are. That data has enabled the district to reduce stops that aren't regularly used by students.
Other products like Transfinder, Edulog, and Versatrans can be used to make regular reports on maintenance. Some require bus drivers to perform a daily safety check on their vehicles before starting their morning routes. That lets districts respond to problems and increases their odds of successfully preventing delays or safety issues.