Houston’s Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District will introduce two major technological components for the 2015-2016 school year that will enhance and streamline busing efforts for more than 1,100 employees and 78,000 students. All buses will now include GPS transmitters to improve parental communication and boost student safety.
In a report from the Cypress Creek Mirror, nearly half of Cypress-Fairbanks students will receive identification cards as part of the new initiative. GPS-enabled buses will enable the school district to pinpoint bus locations in real-time, with school administrators being able to more efficiently manage pick-up and drop-off procedures at each campus.
The identification cards will allow campus and security personnel to quickly and easily identify students that belong on each campus. School buses will be equipped with ID card readers, allowing students to “tap” cards to record the time and location of each boarding and departure.
Cypress-Fairbanks’ software provider for the system is Zonar, who is installing its Z Pass+ application that works on a variety of platforms and is free for parents. The solution enables parents to receive text notifications whenever their child taps the reader getting on or off of the bus that also include the time and location of pick-up or drop-off. Parents also can log in from a desktop computer or tablet to get notifications. The computer application will display a map of the physical location of the pick-up or drop-off.
The ID cards are also expected to boost efficiency for the of CFISD’s nutrition services department. The new ID cards will allow child nutrition workers to quickly access the student accounts in lieu of the previous method that saw students type in a six-digit identification code. School libraries will also leverage the cards.