A Trusted Partnership

A Trusted Partnership

Community Consolidated School District 54
Schaumburg, Ill.


Overview

Community Consolidated School District 54 in Schaumburg, Illinois, began their first transportation partnership in 1952 with Schaumburg Transportation, which was later acquired by First Student, providing standard busing service to the school district. 

Developing solid, long-term district and community relationships built on trust has always been important to First Student. Historically, every three years the decision for District 54 to maintain its decades-long partnership with First Student was strongly tied to Illinois’ low-bid requirement, with work awarded based solely on lowest price. While First Student was consistently the low-bidder, we also continuously delivered solid results. Recent changes in Illinois legislation allow school districts to focus on their other important district-specific needs, including solid safety ratings and processes, high service levels and extensive value-added tools.

Challenge

Schaumburg is ever evolving. As the district changed and grew over the years, so has our partnership and the district’s needs for a variety of services and buses. Adding new schools, managing fluctuating student numbers and the increasing need for special needs transportation have all become ritual and part of our relationship. Today, First Student provides service to the district’s 27 schools with 186 buses. 

Delivering the Solution

First Student has always responded to District 54’s needs as they arise. We do this by delivering advanced routing and technology solutions, stringent safety practices, commitment to customer service and establishing high customer service standards for District 54’s local First Student team.

According to Assistant Superintendent Debbie Ancona, “First Student is consistent, professional, and we have a wonderful, reciprocal relationship with them.” “First Student empowers me to be a leader in my role, but also, I can support the schools,” Ancona added. “I know I can call First Student, or the supervisor of transportation, or any of the staff in that department. I know them by name. We have a long-going relationship.” 

First Student deploys our resources to accommodate the changing local transportation needs of District 54. The district enjoys well-managed, efficient fleet operations allowing it to share transportation resources between its numerous branches because buses and parts are always available. In addition, First Student’s advanced route-planning and bus-tracking technologies, including Zonar, FOCUS®, GPS and Versatrans, increase efficiency in planning and scheduling routes and provide peace of mind to District 54’s parents through real-time monitoring of their child’s bus location.

Community Return

The partnership extends into the local community as well. First Student believes strongly in giving back to the communities in which they serve, whether it be providing service to a small church-group outing or a large festival that draws thousands of people. 

Ed Rafferty, (recently retired) superintendent of District 54, speaks highly of the district’s relationship with First Student. Rafferty began with the district 37 years ago as a special-education teacher, and First Student was the transportation provider for his students. “We have always been extremely fortunate to have a great relationship with First Student, and we know that we can depend on First Student for whatever we need, whenever we need it. The partnership enables us to do what we need to do, and our primary job is to teach and educate our students.”

First Student is the provider of choice for District 54, and both the school district and First Student look forward to a successful partnership for many more years to come.