Here Comes the Bus: New program allows parents to track their kid's school bus
Gananda, NY - The Gananda Central School District is set to launch a new program aimed at helping parents make sure they never have to worry about their children missing the bus again.
The district has equipped nine buses with GPS technology and tracking software. The program is called Here Comes The Bus.
"Parents will now be able to see through an app on their phone if the bus is 15 minutes away, 20 minutes away or maybe they missed the bus and it already passed by," said Gananda CSD Superintendent Dr. Shawn Van Scoy.
The program also allows parents to track when and where their kids get on and off the bus through the app. Each student will be given a badge to swipe on they can scan, or students can download the app on their phone to check in.
The district is the first in the state to use the program. One major concern from parents initially was security. With all of the information stored online, Dr. Van Scoy said each parent will need to register for the program. From there it takes two separate access codes to log in.
Dr. Van Scoy, who has three kids of his own in the district, said that information on the site is protected.
"I can only see my three kids," said Van Scoy. "I can't see any other kids as a parent. The bus company also does not have permission to share that with with anyone so it is solely Gananda's data."
Dr. Van Scoy said the initial idea actually came from a frustrated parent a few years ago. That parent said his the bus kept skipping his house and leaving his child behind. Since then the district has been looking around to see if this type of GPS technology existed.
The program cost about $12,000, but the district said Tuesday 90 percent of that is paid for through state funding. It's a cost some parents, like Abby Hanson, believe is worth it.
"It's always been safe here but I like the idea that they are accounted for right from the beginning and all the way through until they are dropped off at our house," said Hanson.
The program is set to launch on May 1st.
Dr. Van Scoy said other districts in the area have reached out and are considering adding the program.