Ohio County Schools To Offer Bus App
WHEELING — Parents in Ohio County Schools with smartphones soon won’t have to guess when to meet the bus to pick up their children.
The school district is now offering the Edulog Parent Portal Lite app, which provides parents with information on the GPS location of their child’s school bus and sends them a push notification when the bus is nearing the child’s bus stop or other locations that the parent defines — such as the school or neighborhood entrance. The app is provided by Education Logistics Inc. of Missoula, Montana, which also offers a bus routing and planning service purchased by Ohio County Schools.
The combined package cost the school district $31,780, according to school officials.
David Crumm, manager of operations for Ohio County Schools, said the school district is doing a test run of the new app during summer school sessions this month, and at least 30 parents so far have registered with the app.
“It’s still a work in progress, and we’re fine tuning it as we go along,” he said.
Registration codes will be provided to students before the start of the new year, and parents will need to log in with these after downloading the app. The codes denote what school the child attends and what bus they ride, and will be sent home with students at the start of the school year, according to Crumm.
“Once they have the registration code for their child’s bus, they can then set up geofencing to get alerts for when the bus comes within a circle of their house,” he said.
The app can alert families if there is an expected delay in when their bus will arrive, if there is a change in driver or a different bus is coming.
“We have times when we have to arrive late — especially. with all the work that is going on,” Crumm said. “Parents may call the secretary or principal at school to see if there is a problem with a bus, but this way with the app the location will pop up and they can see where it is at.”
The technology also will help those in the transportation department detect when bus maintenance is needed, Crumm explained. There will be alerts when meter readings detect such things as a low battery on the bus, or if it is time for its oil change.
“It will help us with the fleet maintenance,” he said. “There are bells and whistles that do tracking and tell us what needs to be taken care of so we can get ahead of it before it occurs.
“We also can see if a bus driver is calling in when it breaks down, and be able to get right to them.”
The app will be free to parents, caregivers and students in Ohio County Schools.