MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCBD) – School districts across the state rolled out ways for parents to stay connected to their child’s school bus. But many of the apps have experienced glitches, causing headaches for parents and schools.
“We had an app, Ride 360, that we were utilizing. But unfortunately, it was not working for our parents,” said Tyra Ramsey, the Berkeley County School District’s director of transportation. “We want to be consistent, so we had to push that to the side and luckily our communications department had another option for us.”
BCSD already uses the “ROOMS” app, and the district decided to just create specific rooms for each school bus. About 14,000 parents were sent an invitation on Wednesday to join the “rooms” for their child’s school bus.
If there is a problem, like a delay, the parents who have students on that bus can be sent a message. And beginning on Friday, the district will start using the tool across the board.
“Communications is pushing it out to the parents- they are receiving emails. I’m a parent myself; I received the email, and I added my two students and I’ve already gotten an email. We had a delayed bus this morning. We’re practicing with it to make sure we’re ready to go on full on the 15th, so I got the message this morning that said the bus was delayed by 10 minutes and that was great. So, I was able to let my high school students know the bus will be behind,” said Ramsey.
The rooms app is secure. Officials say parents must sign up with their child’s information to get into the bus rooms.
“You have to have your student’s information in order to do that. So, I had to have my student’s name, date of birth. Not everybody is going to have that information as well as the power school ID number. We use these things to kind of filter out to make sure no one else is getting that student’s information.”
District officials say they believe the rooms system may work well enough that they don’t have to move to another system in the near future.
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Author: Raymond Owens