Communication and Alert Systems


Parental Notification Systems Used By School Districts and Contractors

Transportation managers today are increasingly turning to the latest technology to alert district parents of school closures or schedule changes. In addition to relying on websites, email and automated phone systems to spread the word, they are using a host of new tools to keep parents connected and informed. Some districts have their own systems, utilize social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, or use third-party technology, such as the following:

  • AlertNow: a service of Blackboard Connect that allows school and transportation officials to quickly send out voice calls, e-mail or short message service (SMS) notifications. During an emergency, such as an impending hurricane or school bus accident, it’s critical to be the first to reach parents, staff and the community with the right information.
  • BusBoss: BusBoss generates post cards to notify parents of their child’s transportation information. Listed are the school name, pickup and drop-off bus numbers, pickup and drop-off stop descriptions, and pickup and drop-off times, according to the company.
  • Connect-ED: automatic telephone notification system offered by Blackboard Connect that enables districts to send personalized messages to thousands of parents, faculty and staff in minutes, according to the company.
  • an online service that provides customers with as close to “real-time” news as possible on incidents affecting schools and the wider community, including weather alerts, disease and health reporting, etc.
  • ParentLink: a notification system that enables district administrators and transportation professionals to quickly contact groups or individuals during an emergency or other incident requiring instant communication. Also available as a mobile app.
  • SafeStop: a parental notification system that works through GPS and enables parents to monitor the progress of their child’s bus along its daily route from a computer or mobile device.
  • SchoolConnects: a mass communication tool offered by Synrevoice Technologies Inc. enabling district administrators and school officials to quickly send voice, e-mail, and SMS text messages to parents and/or staff.
  • School Messenger: an automated system that enables school officials to send emergency telephone and/or e-mail messages to the families of students and to staff. It works with VersaTrans RP.
  • Zonar ZPass+: a school bus rider notification service that provides parents and guardians with student-specific ridership information via their smartphone or the secure website

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