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OJUSD Transportation Adds Time Saving App
Bus 1227
A new Bus Right Routing System that will be utilized for the Oakdale Joint Unified School District is expected to be beneficial for drivers and riders alike.

School bus riders within the Oakdale Joint Unified School District will soon have an app for that.

At the December meeting of the OJUSD Board, district Transportation Director Kat Songer presented a report regarding the Bus Right Routing System to the board.

“We presented it to our drivers and everybody thought it would be beneficial to our drivers,” Songer of the bus tracking system, which will update parents and students via an app on individual buses’ whereabouts and arrival status. “But then it went in to, it’s going to be beneficial to our students. It’s going to be beneficial to the parents and to our staff.”

Songer further shared as a result of the program, bus routes will become shorter as drivers will be notified prior to students not being at a designated stop.

“You will know exactly when you or your child’s bus will get to you and arrive. You will know when your child is picked up,” she continued during her report, “when it arrives to your house and when you actually make it to the destination.”

The use of the Bus Right Program should make travel time shorter for the student, as well.

“It’s nice to be able to actually account for the stops that we need to stop at,” Songer said, noting that via the app a parent can see the skipped stops which accounts for an updated estimated time of arrival. The addition of the app also promises to help enhance student safety. The updates of bus arrival times will help ensure that students aren’t waiting for long periods of time for their bus to arrive. It will also streamline communication between dispatch, riders and drivers.

“Streamlined means we can send out a dialer. We can do it to all of our bus riders, to a certain individual or we can do it to an entire route. So that was a huge plus for us,” Songer said.

Anything time wise that throws them off, a notification can be sent to designated riders and update/alert whoever has the mobile app on their phone, Songer further shared.

“Also, you can keep track of your kids. I know a lot of our parents leave early, once it’s at your stop location, it will alert you once your child is at their school site,” she added.

Once the program is officially launched, parents of riders will receive an e-mail invite so that they may create an account for their student.

“It’s very awesome to see in real time where these buses are in their routes,” Songer concluded.

As is customary, the meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, this month led by Sierra View Elementary students Benjamin Verschelden, Amaiya Cepeda and Madeline Bonds.

Also during the school board session, the board once again celebrated athletic excellence as the Oakdale High School Varsity Cross Country Team was acknowledged for earning Second Place Overall at the State Championship.

“For the final National Ranking that came out December 7, has this Cross Country Team marked 25th in the entire nation. How about that,” OJUSD Superintendent Larry Mendonca shared with the board and those in attendance at the mid-December meeting.

Mendonca went on to further share and acknowledge the boys team for their commitment and dedication to the support. He also offered kudos to Coaches Guy Fowler and Vic Moreno for their excellence in leadership of the team.

“I’m going to try and put some things in perspective,” Coach Moreno said. “What these boys have accomplished is absolutely unprecedented from any team in our entire area, out of any school ever in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, we’re the only team to have ever won a State Championship. Last year’s team won a State Championship. This year’s team we got second, but they’re faster. That’s the way it works sometimes.

“The skill of what they’ve done is just unmatched,” Moreno continued. “These boys deserve all the recognition they could possibly get.”

The next OJUSD monthly board meeting will be held at the OJUSD Tech Center on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. Open Session will begin at 6:30 p.m.