The Transportation Department at Loudoun County Public Schools transports over 60,000 students to and from their classes every day. With such a high volume of children traveling on buses daily, it’s essential that the district provides an easy, quick, round-the-clock way for parents, students, and community members to submit complaints and comments.
Issuetrak provides the district with a way to gather this information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Prior to working with Issuetrak, Loudoun County used an internal database to manage complaints and comments submitted via email. However, with a growing student population and a need for more granular reporting and insight, the school district soon realized it needed a more powerful solution. Issuetrak had everything the district needed most: detailed reporting, easy-to-read dashboards, and automatic notifications and alerts to keep response times speedy.
Loudoun County Public Schools’s Webform
Loudoun County Public Schools captures complaints and concerns regarding its transportation department using an Issuetrak Webform. The Webform, called the Concern Registry, asks submitters to provide contact information and details about their complaint or concern -- including the date, the school involved, and the bus number if applicable. The form also asks submitters to identify whether they are the parent of an LCPS student.
Working with the Issuetrak development team and product experts, the schools designed the form to capture the most important information from each submitter. Unlike an email submission where submitters can write any information they choose, the form has certain mandatory fields that the submitter must fill out in order to proceed to the next page.
Once submitted, the Webform works with Issuetrak’s API to directly push collected data into Issuetrak. Immediately, Issuetrak populates an issue and even creates a user for the submitter based on the email address that they provide. (That way the district can identify submitters with multiple open issues, as well as see a history of a particular submitter’s issues.) Then LCPS staff can begin the process of responding to the problem.
LCPS’s Webform provides Loudoun County residents with a 24/7 portal for submitting student transportation complaints and concerns. The around-the-clock nature of the portal is especially appealing, both to community members who want their voices heard immediately and to department employees hoping to manage issues as quickly as possible.
“When folks really have an issue, they want to see it sent as soon as possible,” said Jean Marie Ciaci, Transportation Operations Specialist. “Anyone can wake up at 2 AM and tell us how we’re doing. We’re offering a 24 hour service that helps us stay on top of what the community wants.”
Another benefit of the Webform: submitters don’t need an Issuetrak username and password to submit their issues. Anyone who has the link can write in a complaint or comment, allowing LCPS to receive submissions from the community at large -- not just parents who have been provided a login.
The department has seen plenty of time saved since implementing the Webform. With the API creating issues from submitted data, employees no longer have to go through and edit or supplement missing or erroneous information. The process has become much more simple and efficient.
“All we have to do is review [the submission] and assign it,” said Ciaci. “It’s absolutely saving us a lot of time.”
Beyond the Webform itself, Issuetrak provides LCPS with plenty of additional benefits and usages, including multi-layered visibility options allowing only certain staff to see certain complaints. In addition to managing and responding to complaints and issues, the team also uses Issuetrak to track their accident response process -- the program keeps documents and information in a single place. And Issuetrak’s Knowledge Base hosts a library of transportation policy documents, keeping the information close at hand for when it’s needed.
Overall, LCPS’s Webform has provided a substantial improvement over the department’s previous solution. With the help of Issuetrak, Loudoun County Public Schools can help more parents, students, and community members every day.
About Ashlyn Frassinelli