The district’s new Edulog Parent Portal securely displays the location of a student’s bus and sends time-sensitive alerts for changes to a student’s transportation schedule.

The district’s new Edulog Parent Portal securely displays the location of a student’s bus and sends time-sensitive alerts for changes to a student’s transportation schedule.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools

RCS launches ‘real-time’ bus tracking app for students, parents

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published September 7, 2022


ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Students and families in the Rochester Community Schools district can track their school bus with the help of a new smartphone app this school year.

The Edulog Parent Portal app — developed by RCS alongside Durham School Services — is a free, optional smartphone app that provides parents, caregivers and authorized guardians with the GPS location of their students’ assigned bus.

“Years ago, when the community passed the bond, we committed to bringing our bus fleet up to really being world-class — and that includes putting GPS on the buses and all the buses also have cameras on them with audio,” RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said. “This is really the next step in making sure that we communicate with families in real time and really give them a real sense of confidence that they know where their students are at.”

App users can see the location of their student’s bus, receive arrival notifications, and get time-sensitive messages from the transportation department, including alerts about substitute drivers or delays. The technology also gives users the option to send a push notification when their bus is nearing a designated stop.

RCS Executive Director of Business Operations Matt McDaniel said there is a lot of information on the app.

“There is a feature called ‘Where’s My Bus,’ so if you pull the app up, it will take you to a Google Map and it will show where the school bus is. There are notifications for when it comes within 2 miles of a student’s stop, or half a mile of the stop — or whatever it is set up to be. You can also get a notification and get some information as to what the pickup time is, what the vehicle number is, what the route number is, and then there is a tab that you can go to the transportation schedule, which again, shows that same info,” he explained.

The district piloted the app at the end of the last school year and officially launched it for the 2022-23 school year.

“We piloted it, and that was successful, but when you implement something like this on a full scale, it certainly doesn’t come without hiccups,” Shaner admitted.

One of the challenges with the app, at times, is that the information in the parent portal has to be “exactly precise” for everything to work, according to McDaniel.

“There’s some additional security and built-in processes just to make sure that we’re not having any issues or giving information out to parents that shouldn’t have it,” he said.

The district, Shaner said, always puts safety and security at the forefront of its thinking.

“One of the things that was a huge challenge in this app was to make sure it was secure. … That’s why the information has to be so precise, so the information is going to who it should go to, and only who it should go to,” he said. “Sometimes that security comes with inconvenience, unfortunately.”

The district, he said, continues to use parent feedback from the “Talk to Us Feature” on the district website to make adjustments to the app.

“We feel really, really good about rolling the app out and giving parents this opportunity to know where their students are at in real time,” Shaner said.

The app is free to RCS parents, caregivers and students who have permission to access student information in ParentVUE and StudentVUE within the district’s Synergy system. It can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Durham School Services, which supplies the district with bus drivers, is currently hiring additional school bus drivers. For more information on how to apply, call (248) 726-5925.

For more information on the new app, visit