“Now we’re able to keep tabs and know that things have been resolved.”
Transporting an average of 18,000 students on a daily basis to the division’s 32 schools is no small task, and the student transportation department of Stafford County Public Schools deals with plenty of complaints, queries, and feedback every single day. Each month the division receives an average of 30-60 submissions from parents and local citizens, and hundreds more in the month of August as the new school year starts and parents rush to work out issues with their children’s bus transportation.
With so many moving parts and communication constantly flowing into the department, Stafford County needed a more organized way to log and keep track of complaints. For years they had been using paper forms to take down notes from calls, but the forms would often get lost or misplaced. Without a digitized solution, the department was also unable to easily cross-reference what had previously been done to resolve an issue, leading to confusion and slowed response times.
“Issuetrak came in and solved one of the problems we’d been facing, which was not being able to fully track any of the complaints that came into the office,” said Barry Sudduth, Director of Transportation for Stafford County. “Now we’re able to keep tabs and know that things have been resolved.”
Prior to deciding on Issuetrak, the department looked at another complaint tracking application, but it fell short of what they needed as a team.
“I wanted a way to track and have data,” said Sudduth. “I wanted data that we had made contact with the parents [who have submitted complaints], and that we could verify that. We looked at another system that I don’t think was as user friendly. They claimed to do the same thing, but it was quite expensive.”
Issuetrak Webform Collects Key Information
With Issuetrak, the department uses a public-facing Webform that allows parents and citizens to submit issues and complaints through the school district’s website. Through this Webform, they can easily collect key information such as the submitter’s contact information, the student’s name and assigned school, location and time of the incident, and the number of the bus involved.
The issues submitted can range from inquiries about bus stop locations and stop times to complaints about late busses and requests to change bus stops and students’ seat assignments. They can also come from community members who allege to have noticed a driving infraction of a bus driver, according to Ute Haimovici, Office Manager for the transportation department.
Once the issue has been submitted, it is assigned to one of five lead drivers, each of whom has been assigned to certain schools in the division. Those drivers will then reach back out through email or, if necessary, a phone call to resolve the issue. If the problem is more serious, the driver escalates the issue within Issuetrak so it can be reviewed by a supervisor.
“I wanted a way to track and have data. I wanted data that we had made contact with the parents [who have submitted complaints], and that we could verify that.”
With the visibility afforded by Issuetrak, the team can efficiently respond to issues and get problems resolved quickly -- and if a parent or community member calls in stating that their issue hasn’t been responded to, staff can easily check to see whether that’s true.
“[We] get calls saying ‘I never got a call back,’” said Haimovici. With the data logged into Issuetrak, along with the solution’s easy search function and reporting tools, it becomes much easier to review what actions have already been taken on any particular issue.
For Stafford County, Issuetrak provides the tools needed to respond to the community’s complaints, requests, and feedback in a timely and organized manner. Issuetrak helps school transportation departments across the country handle and manage complaints and make school transportation safer for students! For more information on what Issuetrak can do for schools, head to our landing page!
About Ashlyn Frassinelli