3 Tech Solutions Schools Can’t Ignore
September 08, 2020 by
Much has changed since March 2020. Like many other industries, K-12 transportation has been hit hard by the changes stemming from COVID-19. When the world seemed to pause, school buses ran. They were deployed to deliver Wi-Fi, meals, medicine, and even supplies. These creative uses were lauded, but we all hoped buses would serve their original purpose again. We just didn’t know what that “new normal” would look like.
Along with school professionals, government leaders, parents, and students, the Tyler student transportation team has been gearing up for school by planning for the many unknowns. This means paying close attention to the evolving national and regional guidelines as well as to our 2,200 clients who are figuring out how new technology might help.
The following three solutions can work independently or together to solve some of the biggest challenges now facing the K-12 industry.
1. Seating Charts
Already a “nice to have” existing feature, seating charts became a huge priority this summer. What’s new is the ability to pattern-block certain seats as well as assign seats based on back-to-front loading so no students are passing in the aisle. Unlimited customizable templates and easy-to-use visuals make blocking and filling seats intuitive for any unique arrangement. The assigned seat numbers then show up in student records, in the parent app, and even on route sheets.
2. Contact Tracing
To respond to client and community needs, Tyler created the first proactive solution to trace potential coronavirus-positive contact between students, drivers, vehicles, and runs. While existing Tyler solutions can use planned routing data to estimate associated contacts, districts with Tyler’s student tracking solution or Tyler Bus Attendance™ app can also utilize actual ridership data. If a health concern arises, users can export the associated contact lists to Microsoft Excel in one click to begin contacting parents, guardians, or employees.
3. Bus Attendance
Our unique new mobile app, Tyler Bus Attendance™, affordably allows school districts to share ridership data and meet changing transportation needs without implementing on-vehicle hardware. The app enables a bus monitor or aide to select an assigned run and see the planned list of students and stops. An on-bus user can mark each student present as they board, or a staff member at the school can record those present as they unload. The system’s users then receive accurate daily information, which supports a quick response should a health concern arise. Unexpected riders can be added manually to ensure accurate records for each run.
From learning management systems and school-issued Chromebooks to corporate Zoom meetings and telemedicine, technology has been an essential foundation for all of us during the pandemic. School transportation is no different, and it is our goal to support our clients and their communities with the right tech to solve today’s challenges and ensure tomorrow’s success.