Parma City School District seeks input about bus-tracking parenting app

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PARMA, Ohio — The wheels on the bus go round and round.

Now Parma City School District parents will know well in advance before their child’s bus rounds the corner to or from school.

“It’s a free app called MyStop and based off of our routing software Versatran,” Parma City Schools Administrative Specialist of Transportation Rashelle Porter said.

“It allows parents to follow the route of the bus and get an estimate of when it should arrive at their house or bus stop”

Currently the district, which operates 101 buses, is employing the app through what is called a soft launch in the hopes that parents provide feedback regarding its ease of use and effectiveness.

“In our original communication we told parents they are helping us evaluate this app,” she said.

“We just want to make sure we get the best product for our residents and the students.”

Users can now track their child’s school bus right from their smartphone to quickly determine its current location and projected arrival time.

By logging on to the fee app, a parent/guardian can see if the bus is on the way or has already passed their child’s assigned stop.

Using real-time GPS data, the program updates the current location of the school bus automatically every five seconds.

As a result, estimated arrival times are quickly recalculated should the bus experience a traffic delay or other issues.

My Stop app is accessible on any internet-accessible computer or available for download via iPad, iPhone, Tablet or Android mobile device.

“Currently we’re not using all of the app,” she said. “I’m looking into the push notifications and a communication piece, but right now we just want parents to give us feedback regarding the routing.

“We’ll continue to watch the feedback over the course of the fourth quarter and make decisions based on the feedback at the end of the school year, whether or not we’ll keep the product or we’ll do away with the product and find something new.”

Parma City Schools Superintendent Charles Smialek views MyStop as another tool making parents’ lives easier.

“We think having information about projected arrival times for our bus fleet can be invaluable, especially in the brutal cold that we often endure in the winter,” he said.

“I’m very grateful to Mrs. Porter for her collaborative approach to getting this app launched.”

Read more news from the Parma Sun Post here.

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