In April 2018 uTrack Software in collaboration with First Student launched the FirstView® District Dashboard and Parent App, which was then and still is the industry’s most comprehensive and secure bus tracking, communications and engagement platform, helping districts and parents better manage the many moving pieces of the hectic before- and after-school rush.
Districts can streamline daily decision-making through centralized, real-time fleet reporting and can efficiently alert parents about school delays or issues. Parents can also receive their student’s bus status and district messages to their fingertips from both their mobile phone and desktop. This revolutionary software is now being used by close to 200 school districts across North America.
“Technology is woven into nearly every aspect of the school day. Student transportation should be no different,” said First Student President Dennis R. Maple.
The District Dashboard and parent app (part of uTrack’s schools solution suite) have seen a 667% increase in users over the 2018-19 school year. The platform is also currently being used by school districts across the U.S. to track more than 350,000 students across 4,200 schools.
The Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) has said that one of the benefits of using First Student to provide bus service for Hamilton County Schools was access to FirstView and how it would allow parents to track buses on their routes as well as be able to set the app up for notifications.
The product would also provide increased communications about bus service to parents, school administrators, and transportation management.
Another early adopter of Firstview has been the Anoka-Hennepin School District which is one of the largest in Minnesota, serving approximately 38,000 students.
The district is spread across 172 square miles, which makes its student transportation the largest and one of the most complex operations in Minnesota.
“It’s difficult to have students brave the Minnesota elements when they’re waiting for the bus,” said Keith Paulson, transportation director at Anoka-Hennepin. “It’s a game changer for parents and the district alike to be able to see in real-time when a bus will arrive. We believe it could set the new standard for how parents are informed about transportation.”