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SPECIAL REPORT


Tablet Technology: Multifunctional & Useful for Any Operating Environment


Written by Jim Romeo L


ong before the COVID-19 pandemic began, school bus drivers at Dubuque Community Schools in Iowa were able to check into their Tyler Drive tablets. They identified their bus,


signed in, and received route information, student infor- mation and other live data directly before they set out for their morning and afternoon runs. “They can do their pre-trip inspection on the tablets,


they pick out the buses and the routes that they’re driv- ing that day,” explained Transportation Manager Ernie Bolibaugh, as he sat in the driver’s seat of a school bus with a mounted tablet nearby during a video interview with the local Telegraph Herald last October. “They install [the tablets] on the bus. From there, they’ll pick out the


18 School Transportation News • OCTOBER 2020


route and start running the route. The students scan as they come on the bus, or drivers can manually load the students [names] on the bus, at each stop along the way.” Then came COVID-19. Parents as well as teachers were


concerned about reopening. During Dubuque’s July 20 school board meeting, high school teacher Haley Lammer- Heindel spoke in support of a return-to-school hybrid model. Others wanted to return to all in-person teaching. By early August, the district moved its start date back


by 10 days to Aug. 24 with an A/B hybrid model select- ed, wherein groups of students attend physical class on certain days while others remain at home in virtual learning. This model enables 78 percent of the district’s students to go back to school in person, KCRG reported.


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