The Huntsville, Ala. school district is conducting a pilot program that will track when and where students get on and off the bus. Currently, three schools–an elementary, middle and high school–are involved in the pilot.
The program, which kicks off next month, involves the 300 students tapping their ID card against a reader installed in each bus. If successful, said a district spokesman, the program could be expanded district-wide.
The system, called ZPass, will enable school administrators to keep better track of those students who ride the bus and is designed to keep children safe. Last August, on the first two days of school, two elementary students briefly went missing after taking the wrong buses.
Each student in the program will be assigned an RFID-enabled card, which they will use each time they enter or exit the bus. Coupled with GPS technology, the card reader records the location of the bus at the time of the swipe and loads that information onto the district’s computer network. At any time, administrators can pull up the data–including a map–and see where a student either entered or exited a bus.
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