Frequently Asked Questions
Why PickUp Patrol & How Does it Work?
In this technological age, it’s hard to believe that parents are still writing notes and making phone calls to change their children’s dismissal plans. It’s even more disconcerting that school secretaries must spend so much of their valuable time tracking all those changes. Most importantly, manual systems are prone to error, which puts the safety of our children at risk.
PickUp Patrol calms the chaos of after-school dismissals by automating the entire process. Parents love the convenience, teachers appreciate having fewer classroom interruptions, secretaries thrive on the automation and oversight the system provides, and principals and superintendents applaud the efficiency and accountability it generates in their communities. But most importantly, with PickUp Patrol, everyone can finally trust that our students are getting to their after-school destinations—safely.
Parents submit plan changes for their children from our free app on their smartphones or on a computer. Once a day, a list of plan changes is automatically sent to teachers, who then pass the information along to their students. Schools can customize lists of changes for the car line, buses, after-school activities, etc., that can be distributed to dismissal personnel so everyone knows who's going where. PickUp Patrol also automatically prints bus passes and tracks absences, too.
To learn more about how PickUp Patrol works, check out our Watch A Demo page.
Your office staff can save an average of 2 hours a day, which adds up to about 45 days a year of productivity that can be spent in other, more meaningful ways. In addition, PickUp Patrol reduces classroom interruptions which increases instructional time for your teachers and students.
A week or so before your start date, let your parents know that you’re going to be using PickUp Patrol through your usual communication channels (we provide you with suggested text.) Then, when you are ready to begin, you will send out "Welcome to PickUp Patrol" emails from within the application to all of your parents. The Welcome Email includes a secure, unique link from which they can set up their individual accounts, and instructions on how to use PickUp Patrol.
More and more, parents are using smartphones and computers to take care of their day-to-day business. They only need one of these options to use PickUp Patrol. But for those with no access, the office staff can always enter plan changes into PickUp Patrol on the parent's behalf.
As for emails, families need at least one parent email on file with the school in order for them to use PickUp Patrol. If you don’t already have these emails gathered, we can provide a form to help aid in the process.
PickUp Patrol allows you to set a daily cut-off time for when parents can no longer submit plan changes for their children. If a parent tries to make a plan change after that time, the system will not allow them to do so. The cut-off time is clearly stated in the app to help remind parents, and over time, our schools find that their parents plan accordingly.
Of course, if there is an emergency, parents can still call the school and the office can make the plan change for them.
Teachers receive just one email each day that contains a compiled list of all the plan changes for just their students. It comes at the same time every day, so they become accustomed to checking for it. In fact, because PickUp Patrol significantly reduces the number of disruptions they experience over the course of a school day, we find that teachers are very receptive to PickUp Patrol.
With the click of a button, you can print out your absent teachers’ daily dismissal lists to distribute to their substitute teachers.
As soon as we receive your signed agreement, we'll typically have you connected in just a few minutes. Then, it will take your office staff an hour or two to set up and customize the preferences for your school, plus any time needed for your technical staff to create the report for importing student data into PickUp Patrol from your student information system.
Once you’ve set up your school, how fast you roll out is completely up to you and what your school is most comfortable with. We’ve had schools sign up and start using PickUp Patrol within a day; and others, a week. You can choose to use PickUp Patrol with just your office staff and teachers for a couple of weeks before inviting your parents in, or you can jump right in after letting your parents know that you are going to adopt PickUp Patrol as your new, convenient dismissal management system.
Typically, a staff member from your office or technical department will create a report from your student information system using a guide that we provide. Once the report is ready, it’s a simple upload into PickUp Patrol. For some schools, an automated import from your student information system is an option as well.
PickUp Patrol is designed to be easy to learn and use. For parents, general instructions are provided in the parent introductory email, and the app contains a quick tutorial to get them started.
The school's office staff usually needs about an hour to become familiar with the application. Demo videos are provided on our website, and instructions for use are built right into the application itself. For most of our schools, this built-in guidance gets them up and running. We also offer a live, online training session at no additional cost and provide customer support by phone or email for any questions that may arise.
Here at PickUp Patrol, security and safety are our #1 priority. The system is password protected, encrypted, SSL secure, and FERPA compliant. All data is stored in a secure cloud environment. Since your data comes directly from your school’s student information system, only authorized guardians can gain access to their own authenticated accounts. Parents receive a confirmation email each time a plan change is made, and non-custodial parents can be blocked from using the system.
PickUp Patrol is cloud-based and can be accessed through smartphones. So, even if the school’s power goes out or your internet goes down, end-of-day teacher emails will still be sent. Teachers can access their daily email notification by logging into their school email account via their personal smartphones. For those teachers who don’t have a smartphone, the office staff can verbally relay the information to them after having accessed the dashboard through a smartphone.
Pricing & the Free Pilot
PickUp Patrol is affordably priced at $2/student/year on an annual subscription basis. For schools with enrollments over 750, we cap the price at $1500 regardless of the size of the school's population. We also offer District Discounts. See our Pricing Page for more details.
PickUp Patrol calculates your school's enrollment just once a year at the time of invoicing to allow it to fluctuate naturally.
We offer a Free Pilot so that you can see if PickUp Patrol is a good fit for your school. You will have full access to the system as well as our customer support team. We will contact you at the end of your pilot to see if you would like to continue with PickUp Patrol.
Questions Frequently Asked by Parents
PickUp Patrol eliminates the need for you to send in notes, write emails, or call the school to change your children's after-school plans. From a smartphone or computer, you can make plan changes anytime, anywhere—days, weeks, or even months in advance. It's simple and convenient to use, which is a definite plus in our increasingly busy lives. But most importantly, with PickUp Patrol, you are assured that the school knows your child's dismissal plan, which helps to keep your kids safe.
Once your school is ready for parents to use PickUp Patrol, you will receive a Registration Email that allows you to set up your account. Parents can access PickUp Patrol from a phone or computer. After registering, add the PickUp Patrol app to your home screen for easy access.
Making plan changes is easy: Simply select a date, one of your children, choose a plan change option, add in a note if needed, and submit. Each time you send in a change, you will receive an email confirmation letting you know that the school received the change. Then, towards the end of the school day, your child's teacher will be automatically notified of the change and will communicate the change to you child.
You can contact us and ask us to provide information to your school on your behalf and/or you can discuss it with your PTA/O as something they may want to consider funding.
The PickUp Patrol App is not downloaded from an app store. Our app is a mobile app accessed through the web. Click on THIS LINK and then add it to your homescreen. Instructions for how to do this for your particular phone are easily located on the web. Please be advised that the app will only work if your school is using PickUp Patrol and you have already completed your registration online using the emailed link provided to you by your school.
Click on the blue button in the top right-hand corner of this website that says "Parent Login" or click on this link.
You will have just one account and be able to submit changes for all your children from there. PickUp Patrol keeps track of the various cut-off times and dismissal options available at each of your children's schools for you.
PickUp Patrol in Other Settings
Absolutely. For middle schools with class schedules that are the same each day, PickUp Patrol works the same way it does in an elementary school setting. For middle schools with rotating class schedules, PickUp Patrol has several options. Contact us to learn how PickUp Patrol can work for your school.
Since high school students are more independent, we recommend PickUp Patrol as a way of verifying that all attendance and dismissal messages are coming from an authorized parent. PickUp Patrol provides your office staff with a streamlined way of tracking these types of communications and gives you a layer of accountability when dismissing students with alternate plans.
Yes, it can. Contact us to discuss your unique needs and how PickUp Patrol can help.