If you're having trouble understanding FirstView terminology, search our glossary to get a better understanding of what everything means. You can use (Ctrl + F) to search for specific terms located on this page. If you think there's a term that needs editing or should be added, reach out and let us know!


  • Actions (Column) - Can be used in the DistrictView Dashboard to apply certain restrictions and permissions in the Dashboard. 
  • Alert Time - The time that a service alert was created and sent out to parents.
  • AM (Morning route) - Indicates a route that is run in the morning. AM stops are visible on the app until 1:30 PM local time.
  • Arrival/Arrived - Indicates that an AVL was captured within the geofence for an assigned vehicle that entered a stops geofence within its time threshold. 
  • AVL - Stands for Automatic Vehicle Location. AVL's are sent out from GPS devices every 15-30 seconds.


  • Back-end - Used to denote automated processes and information that reside in software systems. These are typically specialized processes that occur "behind the scenes", allowing the app to function and perform calculations that provide the user information. 


  • Calendar Event - An event that is added to the FOCUS school calendar. Calendar events instruct the FOCUS system to make automated changes on the day of the specified event. For example, a depot may add a "No School" event to their FOCUS calendar on a day that the district has a holiday. This would instruct FOCUS to automatically cancel all tasks on the day of that event. 
  • Charter - A route specifically dispatched for extracurricular activities. Charter vehicles must undergo additional requirements before they can be tracked using FirstView.
  • CSA - A member of the dedicated FirstView customer support team. Customer Support Analysts respond to 100% of feedback and help to resolve any technical FirstView related issues. 


  • Dead zone - An area identified as having poor GPS connectivity, mainly due to environmental factors.
  • Departure/Departed - Indicates that a vehicle has left a location to proceed to the next sequential stop in the route.
  • Depot - The depot is the local First Student branch/office that manages busing for a district. They are the locations that house vehicles and perform operational processes that FirstView relies on.
  • Dispatch - The specific departure of a vehicle from its initial location to the first stop on the route. Often used in reference to the "Morning" or "Afternoon" dispatch.
  • DistrictView Dashboard - A platform for administrators that allows tracking, reporting, parent notification features and more. The DistrictView Dashboard enables administrators to gain insight on their routes, and more efficiently communicate with parents. 
  • Driver - The person who is assigned to drive a specific vehicle and route. Dispatchers work to ensure each route has an assigned driver.


  • ETA - Stands for estimated time of arrival. This indicates what time the vehicle is predicted to arrive to the specified location. ETA is calculated using an algorithm that considers a variety of variables that could impact a route's performance. As these variables change, the algorithm reacts and adjusts the ETA accordingly.


  • FirstView - A platform for transportation engagement among First Student, our customers and directly with consumers. Created by First Student and the industry leader in transportation software development, uTrack. FirstView provides bus tracking, predictive stop arrival times, custom user notifications and much more.
  • FOCUS - A proprietary system used to formulate and update vehicle, route, and driver info. This is then matched up with student files to create a database that powers FirstView. FOCUS is utilized by depots and the FirstView team to ensure accuracy within routes.


  • Geofence - A virtual geographic boundary, defined by GPS technology, that enables software to trigger a response when a GPS unit enters or leaves a particular area. Each stop/school/depot has a geofence, allowing the app to capture the vehicle's arrival.
  • Go-Live - This refers to the date in which a district is scheduled to release FirstView to their users. 
  • GPS - Stands for Global Positioning System. GPS technology is vital to our success, and we work with Zonar to ensure quick and accurate GPS data is powering FirstView. 
  • GPS District Code Registration - A ParentView App configuration that does not require student/stop data or routing software. The app is accessed via a FirstView generated district code. Student data is user created in the app via route search/selection for tracking. 
  • GPS Student ID Registration - A ParentView App configuration that does not require stop data but does require basic student data. The app is accessed via Student ID generated by the school district. Users set up tracking via route search/selection.
  • GPS Signal -  Satellites broadcast signals to enable GPS receivers on the vehicle to determine location, time and other data that powers the app.
  • GPS Unit - The physical Zonar brand GPS device located on each vehicle. This unit receives GPS signals and interacts with satellites to provide the data needed positioning data to make tracking possible.


  • Historical - Used to reference information that has been recorded and stored in a database. Often used in discussion to denote that data is not coming in during live tracking. As an example, the Route Replay feature uses historical data, while the Route Summary page uses live data.


  • Live Feed - Refers to data or information that is transmitted during the tracking window. If data is missed in live time, it fills in historically. 
  • Logic - A system or set of principles underlying the arrangements of elements in a computer or electronic device so as to perform a specified task. 


  • MID (Midday route)- These routes overlap from AM to PM dispatches, and typically service kindergartners or preschoolers.
  • Mobile App - A software application developed specifically for use on small, wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers.


  • No GPS - This may indicate that there was a bus reassignment at the depot.  Some more technical reasons may exist as well.  GPS works by connecting the GPS device to a number of overhead satellites and then measuring the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel between your device and the satellites.  Sometimes, factors out of our control affect the bus’s GPS signals.  Environmental factors such as dense trees, steep hillsides, tall buildings or even heavy cloud cover can interrupt the travel of the GPS signal between your device and the satellites.  This will cause “No GPS” in certain areas.  It is not because the driver has turned off the GPS unit. Just like a call can be dropped on your phone due to a lost signal, the same can happen with a GPS unit on a bus.


  • Out of Sequence - Used to describe a route where the driver visits stops in an incorrect order. If visited out of sequence, stops may not register and the app will display "See Map".
  • Owner - The user with the highest permission settings on the DistrictView Dashboard.


  • ParentView App - Refers to the parent-facing FirstView mobile app, which parents can use to track their student's bus. The ParentView App can also be accessed using a web-based version. 
  • Ping - A query from another computer on a network to determine whether there is a connection to it. Typically referenced when discussing GPS technology.
  • PM (Afternoon route) - Indicates a route that is run in the afternoon. PM stops are always visible on the app.
  • Push Notification - A message that pops up on a mobile device. App publishers can send them at any time; users don't have to be in the app or using their devices to receive them.


  • Reassignment - Occurs when the original vehicle that is set to run a route can no longer do so, and a new vehicle must be assigned to the route. If done correctly, FirstView can still track a vehicle that has been assigned to a new route. 
  • Replay - Used to indicate the historical view of a route or other information/data relating to a route. Typically done through use of visual representations, such as GPS pings plotted along a map.
  • Route - Term used to describe the stops and path that make up a bus's schedule for the day. Routes can be compromised of AM, MID, and/or PM dispatched, and typically consist of multiple runs or tiers. The depot must have the correct vehicle assigned to a route in FOCUS in order for FirstView to properly track.
  • Run - Term used to describe a specific portion of a route. Each run usually has several stops. Also known as a "tier".
  • Run End - Refers to the ending of a specific home to school segment within a route.
  • Run Start - Refers to the beginning of a specific segment within a route, usually either beginning or ending with a school stop.


  • Scheduled Stop Time - The time that the vehicle is scheduled to arrive at a stop. The scheduled stop times are provided to us by the depot or district, and uploaded into the FirstView system.
  • School Calendar - A calendar in the FOCUS system where the depot can add events such as school closures and early releases. 
  • See Map - When a GPS signal is detectable, but the vehicle isn’t following the scheduled path, the app goes into a recalculation mode.  We are able to determine where the vehicle is on the map, but are unable to identify when the bus will arrive at the next schedule stop since it is not following the intended path.  Road closures/detours, traffic conditions and newly added student pickups can cause the bus to deviate from the route.  However, you can still view where the bus is on the map in relation to the stop.  “See Map” does not indicate an issue with the GPS unit.
  • See Route Replay - Arrival status of "No GPS" or "See Map". Unable to determine run end. See Route Replay to review vehicle path.
  • Stale Data - When a processor changes the value of an operand and then, at a subsequent time, fetches the operand and obtains the old rather than the new value of the operand.
  • Stop - A specific location that has been identified as a stop on the route. Each stop has a geofence and time threshold that help to ensure accurate reporting of arrivals and departures. A stop can be a school, depot or student's home.
  • Street (or School Code) Registration - A ParentView App configuration that does not require student data or routing software for the app and instead is accessed via a FirstView generated school code. Student data is user created in the app via stop search/selection for tracking. 
  • Student (or Student ID) Registration - A ParentView App configuration that requires student stop data and electronic routing software. Student's are associated with an assigned stop in FirstView via their district's student ID.
  • Subscribers - These are the parents who have registered and been confirmed to use the FirstView app. These are the users who are able to receive push notifications from FirstView.


  • Task - Refers specifically to the FOCUS number associated with the route.
  • Tier -  Term used to describe a specific portion of a route. Each tier usually has several stops. Also known as a "run".
  • Timestamp - An indication of when something was created or occurred. A timestamp is often recorded automatically by a computer system. 
  • Time Threshold - A specific window of time that the vehicle must arrive to a stop within. If the vehicle enters a stop's geofence within the time threshold, the stop will register on the app.
  • Tracking - The use of GPS devices and other technical instruments to gather and record data, allowing the user to visualize where a specific vehicle has visited.


  • Unknown Vehicle - Indicates that the route does not have a vehicle/asset assigned in the depot's back-end system that is feeding FirstView or that the assigned vehicle is not transmitting GPS data within the parameters of the route.
  • uTrack - An industry leader in transportation software development. Based out of the UK, uTrack is a partner to First Student and helps power the FirstView app. 


  • Web App - A software application developed specifically for use on desktop or laptop computers, rather than small, wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets,


  • Zonar - Zonar Systems is an American telematics company that produces fleet tracking and management solutions. The company's tracking technology uses data generated by engines, and on-board sources such as GPS systems.