New technology coming to Bentonville buses

Jaime E. Love

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In the hopes of possibly shortening your child’s bus ride and having fewer delays as students get off and on the bus, the Bentonville School District unveiled some new technology today to their bus fleet.It’s hard to believe that we’re just a few weeks away form the first day of school and here in the Bentonville School District, there’s going to be a change for students as they get on and off the bus, they’re gonna have to check in and district officials say it’s all to provide additional safety for your children.Nearly two-thirds of students ride the bus to their designated school in the Bentonville school district. But this upcoming year will be different. The district has partnered with transport technology for a first in the state system to keep track of students and busses. Each student will swipe an ID card as they get on and off the bus, allowing the driver to focus on the route. “Now today this enhances all that and takes away the concern and the questions by simply, when the bus starts the route, the notification in the app will state, bus 124 has started it’s route, when students get on the bus they swipe on they get the message when they swipe off they still get the message so parents will have a much better understanding of where their students are at at all times,” said Jason Salmons, director of transportation, Bentonville SchoolsThe district says when needed they will continue to send email and text notifications to parents when a bus is delayed. Route coordinator Kristen Callaway says the new technology should make their jobs easier and make bus trips quicker.“Right now, we have to manually check kids on and off the bus on paper which takes a long time until you get to know the kids, now their gonna scan on and off, it’s gonna take so much less time and kids will get home a lot faster,” Callaway said.Once the bus is empty and the driver finishes their route they have to come to the rear of the bus and clear it, make sure all the students are safely off, and they do that by pushing two buttons, this then sends a signal to the computer saying the bus is clear of children and that the bus can safely be turned off, if they forget to do this, the horns will start sounding reminding the driver to check the bus.But what about parents? 40/29 News spoke with Serene Graves whose daughter attends Ruth Barker Middle School.“It’s wonderful. I think anything that improves communication with parents and the district in knowing where our students are and what they’re doing is a positive thing,” Graves said.District officials want to stress that this is a brand new system there will be some growing pains and they expect to have those growing pains, pretty much in the first two months of school, but they say by October the system should be running nice and smooth for everyone. The district says if a student loses or forgets their card the driver can manually tell the system the child has boarded or exited the bus.Students should get their new cards during the first week of school.

In the hopes of possibly shortening your child’s bus ride and having fewer delays as students get off and on the bus, the Bentonville School District unveiled some new technology today to their bus fleet.

It’s hard to believe that we’re just a few weeks away form the first day of school and here in the Bentonville School District, there’s going to be a change for students as they get on and off the bus, they’re gonna have to check in and district officials say it’s all to provide additional safety for your children.

Nearly two-thirds of students ride the bus to their designated school in the Bentonville school district. But this upcoming year will be different. The district has partnered with transport technology for a first in the state system to keep track of students and busses. Each student will swipe an ID card as they get on and off the bus, allowing the driver to focus on the route.

“Now today this enhances all that and takes away the concern and the questions by simply, when the bus starts the route, the notification in the app will state, bus 124 has started it’s route, when students get on the bus they swipe on they get the message when they swipe off they still get the message so parents will have a much better understanding of where their students are at at all times,” said Jason Salmons, director of transportation, Bentonville Schools

The district says when needed they will continue to send email and text notifications to parents when a bus is delayed. Route coordinator Kristen Callaway says the new technology should make their jobs easier and make bus trips quicker.

“Right now, we have to manually check kids on and off the bus on paper which takes a long time until you get to know the kids, now their gonna scan on and off, it’s gonna take so much less time and kids will get home a lot faster,” Callaway said.

Once the bus is empty and the driver finishes their route they have to come to the rear of the bus and clear it, make sure all the students are safely off, and they do that by pushing two buttons, this then sends a signal to the computer saying the bus is clear of children and that the bus can safely be turned off, if they forget to do this, the horns will start sounding reminding the driver to check the bus.

But what about parents? 40/29 News spoke with Serene Graves whose daughter attends Ruth Barker Middle School.

“It’s wonderful. I think anything that improves communication with parents and the district in knowing where our students are and what they’re doing is a positive thing,” Graves said.

District officials want to stress that this is a brand new system there will be some growing pains and they expect to have those growing pains, pretty much in the first two months of school, but they say by October the system should be running nice and smooth for everyone.

The district says if a student loses or forgets their card the driver can manually tell the system the child has boarded or exited the bus.

Students should get their new cards during the first week of school.

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