Central Texas school district rolling out new bus check-in system

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 8:12 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - A new school year means new technology in some parts of Central Texas.

The Temple Independent School District is in its initial phase of rolling out a bus monitoring system aimed at making sure its students get on and off at the right times. It is a step to add more safety for the students.

“We’ve been actually working on this for a little bit over a year,” said Kent Boyd, assistant superintendent for facilities and operations.

Called the Smart Tag system, it uses I.D. tags for students to check in and out when getting on-and-off buses.

“It’s only from getting on the bus in the morning to getting off at the campus,” said Boyd. “And then when you get back on the bus in the afternoon to getting off at the stop.”

Students will scan their tags, and the system checks to make sure they are on the right bus.

While getting off, drivers make sure the kids are tagging out. That way they know if they are at the right stop.

It will be used for all students in the district, from pre-k to 12th grade.

“I do think, obviously, with your elementary students, your younger kiddos, it does probably help a little bit more,” said Boyd.

After more than a year of planning and a cost of around $85,000 the district is now in its early phase of the system roll-out.

Once all bus-riding students get their tags, then school principals will get information from the system. That will include things like traffic delays.

That should happen about a month after school starts.

“But they will be able to monitor in real time, where their student is,” said Boyd.

Then later in the semester, parents will be able to monitor their students’ tag activities online.

“No one else will be watching them and knowing movements, here and there,” said Boyd. “It is only during those times when the system will operate.”

Tags are available until Aug. 19 at the TISD Transpiration Department Office at 919 N. 31st St.

Below are other specific times and locations from TISD:

The tags will also be available for pickup at the 6th grade orientation at each of the three middle schools on August 17th. Tags will be available at the 9thgrade parent meeting at Temple High School on August 16th. Ninth graders may also pick up their tags at orientation at the high school on August 18th. Elementary school students may pick up their SMART tags™ at Meet the Teacher Night at their respective schools on August 18th. Pre-K students may pick up their tags at Meet the Teacher Night at Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy on August 22nd. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the transportation office at 254-215-6966, or visit the district’s SMART tag™ website at: Smart Tag – Transportation – Temple Independent School District (tisd.org).

For a transportation system with more than 100 buses and dozens of drivers, it adds more precautions to make sure kids get where they need to go.

“But there are times when the bus driver may not know the child yet. The child may get off with friends that not the correct stop… those are the kind of things this program will help alleviate,” said Boyd.

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