[Video]: Tolleson Union High School District Case Study

Tolleson Union High School District in Tolleson, Arizona, is home to five traditional high school campuses and nearly 12,000 high school students. Thanks to a unique partnership with HopSkipDrive, the district has been able to offset staffing shortages, provide reliable transportation to out-of-district students, and get more students to school efficiently and on time.

Using HopSkipDrive’s innovative technology-based solutions, Tolleson Union High School District has also been able to build trust with parents by giving them real-time visibility into ride progress, so the district — and parents/caregivers — always know where their students are.

In the case study video below, Tolleson’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeremy Calles, and Director of Grants and Federal Programs, Dr. Rosalva Lagunas, talk about the many ways the partnership with HopSkipDrive has benefitted district staff, students and families.



Jeremy Calles:

Hi, I’m Jeremy Calles. I’m the Chief Financial Officer for the Tolleson Union High School District. I’ve been with the district for six years now.

Dr. Rosalva Lagunas:

My name is Dr. Rosalva Lagunas. I am the Director of Grants and Federal Programs. I’ve been with the district for four years.

Jeremy Calles:

Prior to HopskipDrive, we faced many of the same challenges that many districts are facing right now in transportation. One of those being staffing shortages.

Dr. Rosalva Lagunas:

HopSkipDrive has provided that opportunity for our students to attend school. That consistency, which eliminates that worry of: Am I going to miss school? Am I going to be tardy to school?

Jeremy Calles:

The other area where HopSkipDrive is helping us out is our hub-and-spoke model. And with the hub-and-spoke model, we’re targeting open enrollment students who live outside our boundaries but want to come to our schools. 

These students typically have to rely on their parents to provide transportation in order to come to our schools. But now with our partnership with HopSkipDrive, we’re able to offer them a CareDriver to help bring them in.

Dr. Rosalva Lagunas:

Our parents and students have shared positive feedback that HopSkipDrive has been a lifesaver.

Jeremy Calles:

Some of the best aspects of our partnership with HopSkipDrive is the flexibility. We never know which challenges are gonna be coming down the road and what we’re gonna face — what we’re gonna see with staffing shortages, with rising costs and minimum wage, losing drivers to competition that’s outside the school district arena. And what has been demonstrated by HopSkipDrive is that when those challenges do arise, that we have a partner with them and we’re able to quickly and dynamically change our offerings and our models to make sure that we can address all the students that are here at the district. And HopSkipDrive remains a partner in that approach. 

The technology that HopSkipDrive brings into this partnership helps increase trust with our families. So it’s more modern to look at applications on your cell phone and be able to track a ride when you need a ride to the airport. Well now you can be able to do that when your students are getting a ride into the school. And so a parent has that flexibility of being able to know at all times where their child is at. It’s helped increase the trust with our parents. 

It also helps increase the trust with our parents when they know that every HopSkipDrive CareDriver has gone through the same extensive background check that we would give our own employees, our own bus drivers. And so that has definitely helped raise the trust with our community.

Dr. Rosalva Lagunas:

This partnership with HopSkipDrive has really increased our flexibility with our homelessness students and foster care students because they have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. They can also participate in tutoring. This is really beneficial for students because one of the important things about staying in school and graduating is building those relationships with their community, their school, other students, as well as staff members. So when we see that students are participating in after-school programs, we know that they will also be successful during the school year in their academics.

Jeremy Calles:

I think it’s very important that many districts start looking at things that are outside the status quo when they’re thinking about transportation. Thinking of the typical school bus as being the only means for bringing students into school is a dated philosophy. I think there’s different aspects that they have to consider. 

One is the efficiency of it. So it doesn’t make sense to send a school bus out 10 miles, pick up one student, and then drive back 10 miles to be able to get back with the rest of the population. So when you have these students who are outliers on your boundaries, it’s more efficient to send a smaller vehicle out to bring that student in than it is to send out a large school bus to be traveling with just one or two students on it. So the smaller vehicle makes sense in those cases. 

They also have to look at the needs of the student. So our experience has been that with HopSkipDrive, we’re able to offer more on-demand services for students who we’d like to be able to have the ability to participate in after-school activities. That’s not something that you’re typically gonna be able to do with populations that live outside your boundary. But with this partnership with HopSkipDrive, we’ve been able to make that available.

Want to learn more about how HopSkipDrive can work with your school district to help solve your transportation challenges?



Interested in learning more about HopSkipDrive’s non-routine student transportation solution?

Get A Quote