CINCINNATI — School bus contractor First Student has introduced the FirstView District Dashboard and Parent App, a bus tracking, communications, and engagement platform.

FirstView is designed to help districts and parents manage the many moving pieces of the before- and after-school rush. Districts can streamline daily decision-making through centralized, real-time fleet reporting, and can efficiently alert parents about school delays or issues, according to First Student. Parents can receive their child’s bus status and district messages through the app.

“Technology is woven into nearly every aspect of the school day. Student transportation should be no different,” said Dennis R. Maple, president of First Student.

First Student collaborated with five school districts and 115 parents across the country to determine the design and functionality of FirstView. Currently, 18 school districts use the parent app and district dashboard.

One early adopter of FirstView is the Anoka-Hennepin School District, one of the largest in Minnesota, serving approximately 38,000 students.

“It’s difficult to have students brave the Minnesota elements when they’re waiting for the bus,” said Keith Paulson, the district's transportation director. “It’s a game-changer for parents and the district alike to be able to see in real time when a bus will arrive. We believe it could set the new standard for how parents are informed about transportation.”

Here are more details on FirstView's features:

•    Centralized data: FirstView centralizes important operational data such as school arrival and departure times, route changes, and route replay.
•    Real-time bus tracking: Districts can access real-time bus tracking by school, route, and stop. By downloading the FirstView Parent App, parents can track their student’s bus in real time to get an estimated arrival time. They’ll also see when the bus arrives and departs from school.
•    Custom parent alerts: Districts can quickly message FirstView Parent App users across the district, a school, or a specific route.
•    Secure student data: The FirstView District Dashboard can be configured for different district users and managed within a district’s existing security protocols. In addition, districts can manage Parent App user accounts.
•    Built-in customer support: A dedicated FirstView customer support team is available Monday through Friday via the District Dashboard’s “Help” section or the Parent App’s “!” button, a toll-free number, or email.

For more information on FirstView, districts can go to firstviewapp.com. Parents can find the FirstView Parent App in the Apple App Store or in Google Play.

Watch a demonstration of how the FirstView app works below.

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