Norristown Area School District debuts school bus tracking app

Thursday, August 29, 2019
Norristown Area School District rolls out school bus tracking app
Norristown Area School District rolls out school bus tracking app: Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News Mornings, August 29, 2019

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- School officials in Norristown are on a mission to give parents peace of mind.

The district plans to launch a new school bus tracking app on the first day of school. The app will allow parents to view in real-time where their child is.

School officials said this will also alleviate some of the stress surrounding transportation issues for staff.

"The first two weeks of school we really spend an enormous amount of time and energy on transportation. It's kind of all hands on deck including myself answering calls because the volume of calls is overwhelming," said Anne Rohricht, CFO Norristown Area School District

Superintendent Norristown Area School District Christopher Dormer said, "We will have the parents call us and they're like 'where's the bus?'"

Parents, understandably, want to know where the bus is. Is it late? Is my child still on it? All questions that take time and resources to answer.

The new tracking app, created by First Student, aims to both ease parents' concerns and free up staff by providing real-time bus tracking, ETA's, schedule changes and more.

"The parents can log on they put their own personal information they put the route number in, it tracks right to the GPS right to the bus and the parents know in real-time right where that bus is sitting," said Dormer.

Dormer acknowledges that there's a gap in communication after the time students are sent off to school.

"Parents transfer the right of supervision and responsibility for their children the minute they leave the door," said Dormer. "We can control, as a school district, the minute they get to our school. But there's that time in between when we legally have the responsibility but we don't know what's going on."

Dormer says this will be particularly useful during severe weather when busses can be significantly delayed and parents are worried about their children's whereabouts.

"This allows us to take a step closer to providing a better secure and safe environment for kids," said Dormer.

The new app goes live on the first day of school, but if parents or guardians have any questions either before the launch or after you are asked to contact school officials they will be on hand to answer any concerns.