Herricks to roll out bus tracking app for parents by next year, says board

Brandon Duffy
Herricks Middle School is currently replacing their gym floor after flooding from Hurricane Ida. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

The Herricks Board of Education is testing a new bus tracking app that will allow parents to monitor the status of riders and trips.

The app was described last Thursday at the first board meeting since the school year began.  The board also provided updates on COVID-19 and on damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. 

Installed on every bus in the district is a GPS system called Edulog, short for Education Logistics, a school routing software that lets users track the status of riders and trips. For now, the transportation office is in control of the monitoring, but a system giving parents access as well is in the works, according to Lisa Rutkoske, assistant superintendent for business.

Last spring, Rutkoske said the program was being rolled out and tested by administrators in each building. The software was put on hold because of the COVID pandemic but there was reportedly  good feedback from the test group. Mark Medina, the new director of transportation, who has a screen with each bus’s location in his office, is making the necessary changes. 

Following the administrators, a parent group will be used in the same way in preparation for a full rollout of the app in January after all the field testing. 

Also at the meeting, Superintendent Fino Celano said flood damage as a result of Ida has required the middle school to replace the wood floors in the gym due to much of it being warped. The damage has been reported to the district’s insurance carrier.  Repairs are under way and it is hoped they will be  done in the next four to five weeks, he said. 

In regard to Gov.  Kathy Hochul instituting a mask mandate for all  school districts in the state because of the pandemic, Herricks has been following all protocols it announced in a reopening plan a few days after the governor’s decision. 

For athletics, a new directive says that masks be worn by athletes, coaches, officials and spectators at indoor athletic contests, consistent with the district’s plans. “As tolerated” is no longer part of the regulation, and any athlete who wishes to remove a mask must be removed from the game and be addressed by a trainer or coach.

The move, coming from Section VIII of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the governing board of Nassau County athletics, corresponds with the district protocols, according to  Celano.

Before adjournment, the board reminded those in attendance about the homecoming “Football Kickoff” event on Friday at 6 p.m.

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