Florida District Implements ID Scanners on School Buses for Student Tracking

Manatee County School District ordered 180 keypads and barcode readers to help track when students enter or leave a school bus. The test equipment is planned to be installed during the 2019-2020 school year. (Photo courtesy of Bradenton Herald.)

The Bradenton Herald reported that Manatee County School District in Florida is installing new equipment through 2020 to track students who ride the school bus.

Elementary students there were known to board the wrong bus, and school buses sometime run late. So their parents have been looking for more and better information.

The new system tracks when students enter or exit the bus, and keeps parents and school officials informed with quick and accurate information.

The new equipment was ordered last year for $56,500. The equipment requires that students sign-in using ID cards. These are the same ID cards that are currently used to buy school lunches, as the cards that are used when they board or exit a school bus. A computer program will give dispatchers a better idea of what school bus the child is riding on that day.

The scanners will work with an existing application, WheresTheBus, which generates an estimated time of arrival for parents. A test group is scheduled for the first half of the upcoming school year, and if all goes well, the launch of the scanners will be implemented in the second half.