Desiring a more accurate student tracking and parent communication system, Teton County School District #1 in Wyoming is switching out their previous solution for Treker.
Several years ago, when an earlier dismissal time for district elementary students resulted in extra bus trips to drop them with friends, family, or daycares in the area, the district saw an increase in the number of kids going missing or ending up at the wrong locations. Seeking a better bus tracking and parental notification system, the district began a student tracking app four years ago.
But the main aspects of tracking and communication that the district needed, they still did not have, said Director of Transportation Ed Ahlum. Despite the previous vendor's claim that the GPS visibility and parent alerts were forthcoming, the product was “unable to accurately communicate student ridership information by text or in the parent app.”
Ahlum said he began looking at other options. For three years, he spoke to suppliers of student tracking systems, researched solutions at the STN EXPO in Reno, Nevada, and had lengthy conversations with vendors. This past year he said he finally decided on Treker, as he said he was “immediately impressed with how knowledgeable the Treker people were and how eager they were to configure their program to meet our unique needs in our district.”
Treker’s main advantage, according to Ahlum, is that its app sends parents more accurate and updated information on the status and location of their child’s bus by way of phone calls, text messages, emails, or app updates. Notifications can be customized and additional guardians looped in to the system.
Ahlum said he appreciates the reliability and effectiveness Treker has already shown, telling STN, “Treker's systems have already worked well for us to track students, where (the previous) tracking never fully functioned and repeatedly gave inaccurate or unreliable data.” Having partially implemented Treker already, the district looks forward to the full roll-out of the system next year.
The Treker Parent App sends alerts on activity and arrival time of selected buses, lets parents know when and where their child boards or leaves the bus, and is highly customizable. With the Treker Driver App, bus drivers can see the most updated information about the children and their stops, send alerts to parents if a child is left waiting at their stop, request a nurse or principal to meet a child at a stop for a medical or disciplinary issue, and notify emergency personnel if needed. The Admin Portal allows effective monitoring of all buses in real time so parents can be told exactly where their child’s bus is at any given time, and also provides vital data on student ridership, bus routes, and more.
Teton County School District has 46 school buses, and the Treker system will be installed on all the elementary school and activity buses.
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