New system will allow parents to monitor arrival times for their child’s school bus
New system will allow parents to monitor arrival times for their child’s school bus
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Pattonville parents will be able to monitor bus arrival times, as well as when their children get on and off the bus, thanks to a new program being implemented by Pattonville to enhance school bus safety. The Pattonville school board awarded a bid for a GPS bus tracking solution to Synovia Solutions. Synovia’s system includes an app that parents can download to their phone, tablet or desktop to track the location of their child’s bus using a secure sign-in. Schools and the transportation department can also use the app to monitor arrival times and the location of the buses. The system is currently being piloted at Bridgeway and Parkwood elementary schools.

“The transportation department has been researching and evaluating strategies to improve student safety,” said Jennifer Simpson, director of transportation. “One area of focus is ensuring that we know exactly when a student enters and exits a school bus as well as where buses are located in the community.”

Bridgeway was the first pilot school, and Parkwood was recently added, with the goal of having the program fully integrated at all schools by the end of the school year. In addition to the app for parents and schools, the GPS system will provide the following services for the transportation department:
  • Electronic pre-trip inspection documentation;
  • Live GPS to monitor bus locations;
  • Dashboard tablets for route sheets and student attendance;
  • The ability to electronically check students in and out when they enter and leave the bus;
  • Vehicle monitoring (idle time, speed, use of warning lights, etc.);
  • Turn-by-turn directions on a dashboard-mounted tablet to help the driver navigate through the route; and
  • The ability to provide information to the mechanics regarding diagnostic issues.
Students use an ID badge with a barcode to scan when they enter and exit the bus. Parents will be able to sign up for the system to monitor when their children get on and off the bus using a computer, tablet or smartphone. The system will also enable them to view real-time GPS data so they will know when the bus is arriving their bus stop location. This will enable families to know when a bus is approaching to reduce time outside during adverse weather conditions or to prevent students from missing the bus altogether.

“In the past, we monitored student attendance on the bus manually,” Simpson said. “Synovia will allow us to more accurately monitor bus attendance, enhance bus safety and provide a new level of service for our families.”

More information on signing up and using the system will be provided to families as the system is rolled out to the schools. Parents will need their child’s school ID number and specific school information to sign up for the service.