Every third week in October, school districts throughout the country observe National School Bus Safety Week to raise awareness of the importance of school bus safety.
IDEA Public Schools also leverages the week to highlight the impact of our transportation team, honor our bus drivers and share important safety tips across the various modes of transportation for our scholars- bus riders, car riders, and walkers.
IDEA bus drivers transport more than 16,000 students and drive more than 11,000 miles daily.
To improve the safety and efficiency of bus transportation, IDEA’s Transportation Department is now utilizing an innovative mobile app for parents titled, Here Comes the Bus. Powered by software from Synovia Solutions, parents and students can customize bus routes and always track the bus’s location as one would on any GPS platform.
Parents can use a single account to track several children’s route activities and can even see when the bus has entered their neighborhood stop’s proximity and get real-time notifications each time a child enters or exits the bus from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
“As soon as you enter the bus, there is a scanner,” says Estevan Bautista, Campus Transportation Manager at IDEA Alamo. “Each student has a sensor attached to their lanyard or backpack and scans themselves in as soon as the board.”
The Here Comes the Bus® website and app are also encrypted to keep students’ scanning activity and data secure.
Bautista says that while the app does offer effective real-time communication with parents and boosts safety and accountability, it is also a useful tool to ensure that transportation routes are as efficient as possible when it comes to tracking gas, route times, mileage, and even the number of students being transported.
The bus app can also come in handy when communicating information to parents regarding delays due to traffic or weather.
Vicente Rodriguez, a bus driver at IDEA Alamo says he drives the same route each day and gets to know students and their parents very well. As a father himself, he says he takes his responsibility for safety of all students very seriously.
“My own kids ride the bus to school,” says Rodriguez. “And when I am working, I try to always meet the same standards of safety and efficiency for our families that I would expect as a parent myself.”
Rodriguez says he realizes the importance of his role as each of his passenger’s days begin and end right there on the bus.
“We are the first ones to see our students in the morning, and the last ones to say goodbye at the end of the day,” he continues. “We have the ability to make the first and best impact on their day and helping them look forward to coming to school safe, happy, and ready to learn.”
Here at IDEA Public Schools, we’re tremendously proud of our transportation team members. Thank you for your passion, dedication and your commitment to keeping our students safe.