Jefferson County Schools are set to use Versatrans My Stop app through Tyler Technologies to better communicate bus stop schedules for parents.
Versatrans My Stop app, which the district will being using March 1, facilitates communication of school bus schedules for parental use. Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson, Jefferson County Schools superintendent, said transportation operations originally relied on the district's automated school calling system to communicate arrival status to dispatchers and whereabouts of student passengers onboard to parents.
The school bus app eases communication for parents with it’s GPS positioning system. It takes into account the location of the bus in relation to its bus stop and refreshes any updates on routes between three and five minutes, depending on user internet speed. Updates include early or delayed arrival times.
Gibson said she believes the introduction of the Versatrans My Stop app will reduce parental anxiety around the arrival of their child’s school bus. According to Gibson, the district ran a nine-month test of the to work out any potential bugs, and she reported a successful reception from parents willing to try out its functionality.
“What we worked through is creating an app where parents or students can download it straight to their phone and know the exact time their child’s bus will actually be there.” Gibson said. “That way, students won’t have to be standing out in the cold or parents can track when their student should actually leave to the bus stop. Parent’s won’t have to feel anxious and worry and call-they can just pull up the app and check.”
The app is free to download. Parents are required to register themselves and obtain an assigned username and password before accessing JCS school bus schedules (i.e., arrival times and departures). Gibson has also indicated that there are limitations to the system, such as the lack of tracking a substitute bus after immediate schedule changes. But overall, the app still functions as an efficient form for parents to monitor their children.
“We think this will be a great convenience for our families,” stated Gibson. “They can reduce their child’s wait time for the bus in inclement weather and accurately gauge when to meet them.”