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efficiency, and include parents in the process.


Cody Cox, the director of transportation and fleet services for the Bellville Independent School District in Texas, had this advice for choosing an app that fits your district’s needs. “First, ask for a free trial of their system for three or four months. I’m very lucky in that I have a great superintendent and wonderful support. But you may only have one chance to get this past your school board, and you want to do your homework,” he said. Cox also urged, “Along with that, make the company use your data. I don’t care what school bus data they have from New York City— my district is 720 miles outside of Houston. Our goal is to have parents feel empowered by knowing where the bus is, if their child is on it, and


Misty Pearson, transportation supervisor for Bellville ISD in Texas, accesses route and student information via a tablet.


to reduce phone calls to the school,” he stressed. According to Cox, all of the


district’s buses have GPS. He said the district uses Transfinder, but the parents don’t have a GPS-based student tracking app yet. Cox has piloted several systems,


including tablet-based systems, such as Samsara and SMART Tag, and said he is currently trying out a new stand-alone system called Spot My Bus. With the system, parents or students can set alarms so they can know how far away the bus is within minutes. However, these systems rely


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