Your simple one page guide to the RollCall School Bus Management System
The team at RollCall Safety Solutions are laser focused on delivering the benefits of their cutting edge software to everyone touched by a RollCall implementation.
These deliverables range from improvements in safety and welfare for our most important people in our society, children, through to improvements in efficiencies for schools who adopt the system. Indeed, in the case of student welfare, RollCall often release resources back to the teaching of these young people.
Cutting edge technology
We are confident in describing our system as “Cutting edge” because RollCall has brought together the latest in NFC, software and hardware technology to build a complete school bus management system that is used throughout Australia and New Zealand. For more information, read about our technology partnership with Samsung.
How does it work?
Students use NFC technology, either tokens or smart cards that they touch on and off the smart device at the front of their bus. This device that is placed at the front of the bus is more than just a simple reader it is a full manifest screen display showing the driver which stops they have to stop at, who is due to get on or off at these stops, and when. The scanning of the student’s NFC technology triggers a series of data flows to the key people in their lives i.e. their parents and school staff.
How does it work for parents?
Parents easily log onto a feature rich parent app that gives them the ability to view and track their child’s bus in real time and see the status of their children including the time they scanned on and off the bus. They can also easily manage school absences, bus changes, payments, set key milestone alerts (like scan on and off notifications) and more.
How does it work for schools?
While all the action is occurring out in the field it is being viewed and recorded live on what is regularly described by RollCall clients as a very intuitive user interface. Built in the latest software languages this is truly a live system. Manifest updates are live (no refreshing) bus tracking is by the second and reporting is insightful and relevant to schools.
Deliverables & Benefits
So, what are the deliverables that are passed onto the people who use the RollCall solution?
Benefits for Kids
Let’s start with the children using the system. Even in today’s high tech world when children are on the school bus system there is very little, if any visibility of their movements. Did they get on the bus? Did they get off the bus? What is their current location? Once a student has scanned on or off their bus RollCall delivers this information in real time to parents and the school staff. If student welfare is for all of us our key concern then, RollCall delivers. By recording all this important information we can measure and improve outcomes. Last month alone on RollCall well over half a million trips were taken, delivering an average transit time of 42 minutes per trip per student. How many schools measure this? How many after measuring this, have worked on reducing this transit time? Less time on school buses means kids have more time for learning, extracurricular activities, or simply less screen time!
Again, if the welfare of students is our priority then the safety mechanisms built into RollCall work. Recently reported to us was the instance of an elderly gentleman who as a child boarded the wrong bus home one night. It was a traumatic experience, one that many years later has left him very uncomfortable about travelling on buses. RollCall prevents this from happening with live in cabin warnings to Bus Drivers if a student scans onto the wrong bus at boarding and notifies the Bus Driver which bus they should be on. Again using cutting edge technology to deliver fantastic student welfare outcomes. Many schools who have experienced this unfortunate circumstance all report that after implementing RollCall it has never occurred again.
Benefits for Parents
Why is it so important for parents to have visibility and functionality in a RollCall parent app? We have widespread examples of parents reporting the many benefits of how “life has changed” since the implementation of RollCall.
Parents report that firstly peace of mind is one of the most important benefits. They know that their child has boarded the bus after they said goodbye to them at the door and they walked to the stop on their own. One parent reported to us they felt they had given their child more independence earlier than they normally would have by letting them walk to the bus stop alone. Because they got a notification when their child scanned onto the bus- thanks to RollCall.
Secondly, we have parents who have actually increased their income as a result of RollCall. Recently at a conference a parent walked up to us and commented that her school used RollCall and now that she knows her children have safely arrived home (reassured by the notification on her RollCall App) she could do more hours at work, and as a result increased her income.
Then there are the parents who report they save time with RollCall. They simply wait for the notification their child is on the bus, watch the bus movement live on the screen, and meet the bus right on time to pick up their children in the afternoon.
In addition, parents no longer have to call schools and bus companies to make changes to their child’s bus schedule. They can simply go to the parent app, tap a few buttons and they are done. Plus they receive confirmation notification. Payment of buses is just as easily done. All these great features and more give the parents time back in their busy days and what is most important, peace of mind that their precious cargo is being looked after. Read more parent testimonials here.
Benefits for Bus Drivers
And this last feature is not just a great benefit to the parent. Bus Drivers report more efficient route times in the morning as parents are turning up on time to drop off their children, because they have full visibility of the bus on its way to their stop via the RollCall App. Often overlooked but just as important is the bus driver’s peace of mind. Recently, when rolling out a balance of units to a school bus driver who had been using the system for sometime, he reported that since the implementation of the parent app, more than ever he had parents meeting their children at the bus stop in the afternoon and it had significantly improved his peace of mind.
Benefits for Schools
Schools use a myriad of ways to manage their bus networks. It is usually a concoction of spreadsheet lists (that are usually out of date the moment they were created) to nothing at all. We have even seen schools record the number of buses that have arrived in the morning by moving rocks from one side of a line on a retaining wall to the other. 16 rocks on the left, all the buses are in! All of these antiquated techniques are time consuming systems and don’t address the increasing duty of care obligations schools have.
Efficiency & Money Saving
Let’s look at efficiency first. The RollCall system delivers efficiencies through:
- visibility of all movements of buses
- student scan time
- date and location stamps
- bus stop service times.
One large client has gone on the record to say they reported a drop of up to 80% of inbound morning calls relevant to buses since the introduction of RollCall. Calculated conservatively it comes to a $100k saving. Read testimonials from Schools here.
Smart Route is a unique tool invented and built by the team at RollCall, with the dual purpose of reducing the time schools spend designing bus routes each year and to reduce student transit times on buses. With Smart Route, we have brought school bus route planning into the digital world (no more photocopied maps on large meeting room tables, or pins and cotton). The effect has been dramatic – Route planning that used to take days (sometimes weeks) now takes hours.
We have also seen schools reexamine their routes like never before. Schools are on the record to say RollCall has lifted their efficiency and bus utilisation. Click here to read more about the experiences our clients have had.
Duty of care/legal/risk management
The school’s duty of care is top of mind in today’s litigious world. While schools spend hours managing it for school time it is often overlooked during bus time, even though it is just as relevant. See attached risk profile diagram that illustrates this concept.
As you can see at either end of the day a schools risk profile goes up (when students are travelling to and from school) if they have not got effective management tools in place. As our schools report, incidents not only present duty of care risk, but also a potential public relations disaster in today’s social media world.
RollCall with its feature rich platform provides schools with the tools to manage and prevent situations efficiently. What if a bus is involved in an accident and you’re not sure who is on the bus? With RollCall, simply click a button on the manifest and email will be sent to roadside rescue team with details including:
- The bus driver’s name
- Student names
- Students ages
- Any medical conditions a student might have
What if you need to keep the parents updated electronically and only want to send a message to parents on the affected route? And only to the parents of children involved? RollCall allows you to target the message this way with a simple series of clicks. No need to involve the whole school community and cause unnecessary worry for parents of kids who were not involved.
If it is data that gets you excited then RollCall will not disappoint. From critical bus stop time reporting to bus utilisation reports, RollCall has it all covered. Contract negotiations and reviews of your bus provider can often be tedious as you drag together data from many different sources. The data is often very subjective and can take hours or days to pull together. Rollcall has relevant KPI reporting which means there is a single source of truth. Data collection can be achieved in a matter of minutes of work, and critically it is totally objective. How close to the planned time do your buses arrive at the first stop in the morning route? RollCall knows, and the data doesn’t lie.
With a broad range of benefits, student welfare at the top, it is easy to see why the team at RollCall are laser focused on delivery and continued development of the RollCall solution.
It is also easy to understand why schools are signing up to RollCall in large numbers.
Many schools are right now having the efficiencies delivered in tangibles to their school after the implementation of RollCall, from more efficient planning of routes to the reduction in phone calls taken but the school from parents and much more.
By making the bus journey visible in real time the schools are enjoying an improved position on their duty of care and additionally parents are enjoying peace of mind that their children are being safely transported.
So is it time your school implemented RollCall so you can start enjoying the many benefits that come from this cutting edge software?
Getting started is easy
Low-cost options for implementing RollCall
It’s easy for schools and bus companies to start using RollCall. You can download this brochure for more information. If the school gets in touch with us we can quickly get the ball rolling with a demo and affordable pricing plans. Once the decision is made, RollCall is usually up-and-running within a few weeks.