Four Ways to Communicate School Bus Route Changes
published on May 09, 2018 by Sonia Mastros
When it comes to drawing up bus routes, most districts try to do it at the beginning of the school year and stick with it. Sometimes that’s just not possible, and circumstances beyond their control dictate that routes may have to be re-planned during the school year. This brings up a big problem – how to inform parents of school bus route changes and ensure every child still gets on the right bus home.
There’s no “magic bullet” solution here; generally, a range of tactics will work best. Here are some suggestions:
How to Ensure School Bus Route Changes Are Properly Communicated
1 - Start making announcements well in advance of the changeover.
School bus route changes should never be announced quickly. Give students and parents as much lead time as possible to hear the news and react accordingly. Send multiple reminders home with students as the changeover date draws closer.
2 - Have as many ways of communicating with parents as possible.
We know, some parents can be incredibly difficult to reach; you should have as many different communication methods as you can. Don’t rely solely on their personal contact info like phones and emails, since those can change without notice. Also utilize resources like Facebook, Twitter, and the official district webpage. Encourage parents to contact each other as well.
3 - Contact the local media.
Local TV and radio stations are usually happy to cooperate with their school districts. Obviously, you don’t want to broadcast the specifics of your new bus routes for privacy/safety reasons, but the local media can let more people know that the changes are coming. These reports can simply tell parents to contact the district for details.
4 - Utilize RFID student trackers.
If you already have student RFID tracking on school buses, or are thinking of investing in it, this is a good example of how student tracking can pay off in unexpected ways. As long as the bus route changes are properly reflected in your software, the RFID system will alert bus drivers whenever a child attempts to get onto the wrong bus. This will help sort out any last-minute problems with those few children/parents who don’t know about the route changes.
Create Better Bus Routes with BusBoss
If you want to reduce needing to alter your routes in the middle of the year, BusBoss is the school bus route planning software you need. It can optimize your routes within seconds, even taking many different variables into account, while also offering better tracking of your buses' performance.
To learn more about how BusBoss can improve your school bus routing, just contact us for a demonstration!