Cleveland City Schools allow parents to track buses through app
Cleveland City Schools purchased a system called "Here Comes the Bus" to streamline communication with parents from their smartphone, tablet or computer.
Cleveland City Schools purchased a system called "Here Comes the Bus." The district will launch new technology that will streamline communication with parents from their smartphone, tablet or computer.
From the moment students get on the bus, from the moment they get off the bus parents can view their location and much more in real time. While some ride the bus, some get dropped off by parents.
"Where the school bus is at? What time are they expected to arrive? How long is my child going to wait?" said Joshua Baggett, parent.
Those are some of the questions this father consistently worries about and why he takes his daughter to school. It’s those concerns that Hal Taylor the Director of Operations for Cleveland City Schools hopes to ease through new technology.
"It would stop a lot of frustration for parents, a lot of anxiety when a bus was late, it would help us identify to the parents so they knew,” said Taylor.
All 37 buses in their fleet are now equipped with GPS trackers that will send real-time information to parents through an app. This means no more waiting unattended or out the in the elements. They can receive a customized notification when the bus is close to their designated bus stop.
"It gets within a notification area that will start notifying the parent that the bus is so far away and the parent can actually control that distance,” Taylor explained.
About 50% of students ride school buses on 31 routes along 1,800 miles each day. The first part of the technology was installed before the Woodmore bus crash. However, there's no doubt that because of the incident safety is top of mind more than ever. This technology is more communication the director of schools says parents want.
"They know that we're taking care of it, that we're going to get their kids home, maybe a little late and that the bus is coming but they know there's no catastrophe,” said Dr. Russell Dyer, Director of Schools.
Back at the district office, they can now watch every move the bus makes.
"How fast they're going, we know exactly where they are, we know when they stop, we know when they're back on the road again. We know when the stop arm is open and we know where students are at all times,” Dr. Dyer explained.
The new system will cost Cleveland city schools $12,000 a year. The district says it will be paid for in fuel savings by reducing buses idle time. Right now, they are the only ones in the state with this technology. It’s one more way to give parents a peace of mind.
Parents interested in downloading the app must first fill out an application and then be approved by district officials. The app is free, and students are able to track their own buses.
For security reasons, only parents will be given passwords and be able to use their students’ IDs to log into the system. The parents can then choose who to share access with, whether that be a grandparent or others.
When you have completed the form and it is received by the school district, and they will send you an email with instructions to activate your smartphone, laptop or computer.
If your registration is received before March 12, 2018, you will be able to activate your account on March 19, 2018. Accounts after March 12 will be activated once a month on the third Wednesday of each month.