Norristown Area School District (NASD) wanted to reduce costs and find an easier, more efficient way to transport their students to school. Before their partnership with First Student, NASD was working with five outside contractors to manage their student transportation needs.
Working with an excessive number of providers was costing the district too much money and created additional administrative workload for the district.
NASD engaged with First Student in July of 2019 with two main goals in mind: the first being a routing re-design project to find efficiencies in their current plan. First Student’s Routing Center of Excellence was able to work with the district to consolidate routes for NASD. First Student was able to consolidate 130 van routes into 80, which resulted in significant cost savings for the district.
Secondly, the district wanted to reduce the administrative burden and cost associated with managing multiple vendors. Under their previous model, NASD had the challenge of managing five different student transportation contractors. Because First Student was able to re-design the district’s routing plans, and provide all of the district’s vans, NASD was able to use First Student for all of their transportation needs. This provided the district with significant cost savings and a more streamlined student transportation operation.
Prior to introducing vans service with First Student, NASD implemented the FirstView parent app in January of 2019. To date, over 2,239 parents have subscribed to FirstView in Norristown Area SD, and currently 1575 parents are actively using the app. District Operations Manager, Bob Malkowski, says FirstView has been an overwhelming success. “It was flying off the shelves,” he describes.
In addition to the routing consolidation and cost savings elements, NASD also appreciates First Student’s specialized van and SPED training programs as well as the individualized, curb-to-curb capabilities First Student Vans has to offer.
“By partnering with First Student, we have been able to streamline our transportation services and provide more consistency for families,” said Norristown Area School District Superintendent, Christopher Dormer. “First Student Vans combines a personalized experience, which is ideal for students with unique needs, with all the peace of mind First Student delivers as the recognized industry experts in student transportation.”
Location manager, Amy Huffman, agrees. “When there’s pain, we feel it together. And when we have successes, we share that too,” she says.
“We try to act as one,” Malkowski confirms.
By partnering with First Student, transportation is more streamlined and provides more consistency for parents and for the district at NASD. The transformational changes First Student was able to offer to NASD have been so successful, other school districts in the surrounding area are interested in following in NASD’s footsteps.