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Florida District Improves Student Support, Transportation Efficiency With busHive

Amy Jacob, field trip coordinator for Osceola District Schools, says that two major benefits of using busHive are a streamlined field trip process and improved support for both student riders and transportation staff.

Amy Jacob, Field Trip Coordinator, Osceola District Schools

“I would definitely recommend the busHive program to any other school district as a tool to help streamline their main processes and get things done quicker so these kids can get out there [to] learn and grow and work towards the future,” Jacob declared.

Supporting Students

The central Florida district boasts 53 schools. About 350 buses and over 300 drivers transport more than 23,000 students each school day for a total of more than 6 million annual miles. Students are offered a variety of sports participation options, including: football, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, weightlifting, volleyball, swimming, track and field, and cross-country running.

After closing due to COVID-19, the district went back to offering in-person learning with health guidelines, as well as online options, last August. This fall, it plans to reopen to all students for in-person classes.

Field trips were scaled back during the 2020-2021 school year but athletics came back in full swing, Jacob reported. Not only were the students able to enjoy their chosen sports, but several were also able to qualify for scholarships, an endeavor that Jacob said she is proud to be a part of.

“I would definitely recommend the busHive program to any other school district as a tool to help streamline their main processes and get things done quicker so these kids can get out there [to] learn and grow and work towards the future.”

– Amy Jacob, Field Trip Coordinator, Osceola District Schools (Fla.)

A six-year veteran of the field trip department, Jacob confirmed that busHive has helped make things better for her and her team since it was integrated before the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Jacob added that game schedules change frequently, sometimes leading to games being missed. busHive streamlined the process and helps avoid these situations.

Transportation Staff-Approved

Jacob shared that teachers and coaches at Osceola like that they can now go in and request buses through the busHive portal. District administration is also enthusiastic about the much quicker approval process.

“We really went down from 30 days to three in getting a field trip approved.”

– Amy Jacob, Field Trip Coordinator, Osceola District Schools (Fla.)

“They really appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to streamline this,” she said.
“[busHive] really did clean up the delay, a lot.”

The most significant improvement may be in the time that a field trip or athletic trip takes to get approved – that process is now 10 times quicker with busHive.

Jacob revealed that the slow “snail mail mode” process to set up a field trip or athletic trip used to take up to a month due to all the paper forms that had to be filled out correctly and passed around to the proper channels for approval.

“We really went down from 30 days to three in getting a field trip approved,” she stated.

Number of hours worked and seniority are both considered when assigning trips among the district’s school bus drivers. Driver hours are tracked through busHive so everything is accurate.

Assigned trip information is passed to school bus drivers through their emails rather than appearing on a printout placed in their on-site mailbox – a more convenient system which the drivers appreciate, Jacob said.

Payroll for field trips and athletic trips is done through busHive, as is invoicing and billing. The latter is a “quick and painless” process compared to the previous procedure, Jacob relayed. The seamless online process has sped up response times and keeps everything tracked via email.

The district plans to lean into busHive’s suite of technologies more for daily routing and dispatching, as well as for payroll. The district has started testing busHive’s driver app on summer field trips and is excited to track the reception and results, Jacob shared.

Customer Service

Upgrading the transportation department’s field trip and athletic trip systems was a direct application of the district’s motto, “From Good to Great.” The previous system was lacking in many areas, Jacob said.

“When we saw what busHive had to offer, we wanted to be a part of this team,” she declared. She added that, despite her initial nervousness regarding the switch to a new system, the transition to busHive went smoothly, even though it was during a pandemic.

busHive staff assisted with information uploading and initial setup, making it easy for Osceola staff to make additions or updates as needed. Customer service is prompt and helpful in assisting with the district’s technological transformation, including making any needed customizations.

Learn more about busHive’s solutions and schedule a demo.

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