by Sherry Wu, Samsara
As the academic year starts amid COVID-19 concerns, school districts around the country are being challenged to provide students with safe, reliable access to learning opportunities. While 74% of the nation’s largest school districts have chosen remote-only learning as their instructional model, many districts continue to adjust their operations based on guidance from their communities and local public health departments.
Reopening classrooms in this environment is no easy feat. Whether districts are resuming in-person education on a rolling basis, delaying start dates, or taking instruction completely virtual, K-12 transportation departments need to prepare for a variety of scenarios. They need to plan routes that maintain social distancing, deliver meals and homework to communities, perform contact tracing when necessary, and keep parents up to date.
Now, more than ever, school districts need to be able to make data-driven transportation decisions and serve their communities with agility. That’s why we are excited to highlight our partnership with Edulog, an industry leader with over 40 years of experience serving North American school districts. Together, Samsara and Edulog are introducing an integrated solution for enhanced student safety, route planning, and parent communication. With this new integration, our shared customers will be able to leverage Samsara data directly in the Edulog software and Parent Portal, helping them:
- Keep students safe with the ability to design routes that support social distancing guidelines and perform contact tracing with visibility into student ridership.
- Streamline parent communications by proactively sharing real-time ETAs, route updates, and more in an easy-to-use mobile app.
- Plan safer, more efficient routes with easy-to-use modeling tools, backed by granular data about true ridership, fleet utilization, and route performance.
Keep students safe
Edulog’s powerful and intuitive routing software makes it easy for school districts to create routes that accommodate different bell times and capacity considerations for social distancing (such as the need to have only one student per row). With Samsara ID Card Readers and real-time GPS tracking, schools can capture data on when and where students board and disembark from their buses. Whether schools need to respond to an accident, locate a missing child, or perform contact tracing, access to real-time ridership data and route histories helps transportation officials quickly track down which route students are on, locate the bus, and confirm who else is on the bus.
Streamline parent communication
Parents today demand instant information and two-way communication. Without the right data and the right technology, K-12 transportation departments can spend hours responding to questions about bus locations and route updates. The new Samsara and Edulog integration streamlines parent communication by making it easy for parents to access real-time, accurate data in an easy-to-use Parent Portal app. Samsara automatically transmits real-time GPS and ID card data to the Edulog platform. Transportation departments can use Parent Portal to proactively notify parents of any changes in route plans, send messages instantly to a target audience, and create custom alert zones to notify parents when the bus is approaching.
Operate safer, more efficient routes
Once you establish routes, you need to monitor performance to determine whether or not your routes are feasible and efficient. Samsara provides granular GPS trip histories and historical ID card scans to help you track trends in on-time performance, vehicle utilization, and student ridership. To streamline your workflows, you can access Samsara data in your Edulog software. From there you can make route optimization decisions, model what-if scenarios, and adjust plans based on “true ridership” (how many students actually ride the bus, as opposed to how many sign up). Once plans have been adjusted, the intuitively designed Samsara Driver App provides drivers all the tools they need to access their assignments, perform necessary inspections, and navigate through their days.
Roger Miller, Transportation Manager at East Allen County Schools, has observed a noticeable difference in the quality of his operations. “This school year, agility and accountability were especially important as we prepared to reopen in the face of COVID-19. By working with Edulog and Samsara, we were able to optimize our route plans and move from hard-wired telematics devices to a driver-friendly, tablet-based solution,” said Miller. “This solution helps us transport students safely and efficiently.”
“We were able to train drivers to use the tablets in two hours. With COVID-related driver absences, this new system gives us faster re-routes, resulting in better performance for students and parents. We are also implementing Edulog’s Parent Portal app, giving parents an immediate way to see the status and location of their bus. So important in these turbulent times.”
Investing in our communities and our partners
“Samsara’s integration with Edulog is part of our ongoing commitment to empowering organizations with more accessible and actionable insights,” said Rushil Goel, VP of Product at Samsara. “We are excited to continue working with our K-12 partners, including Edulog, to help schools improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of their operations.”
“For school districts, having accurate, real-time data is critical for responding to parents more confidently, improving the quality of their transportation, and keeping students safe. But just as important is having a route management system that is the foundation for this data—you have to plan, analyze, and manage what is best for students and the community, as Edulog clients have been doing for 40 years. The Edulog and Samsara integration will give schools, students, and parents the data and planning tools needed for a safe and efficient return to school this year,” said Jason Corbally, Edulog’s President.
If you are a current Samsara and Edulog customer, contact your Edulog account manager to learn how you can get set up. If you are not yet a customer, please get in touch for a free trial!