Florida school districts to monitor students on buses. Here’s how and why

Osceola County to launch Student Ridership Program while other counties offer similar programs

A new program aimed at keeping Osceola County students safe will track when they are on a school bus, officials said.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A new program aimed at keeping Osceola County students safe will monitor when they are on a school bus, officials said.

The School District of Osceola County will start the Student Ridership Program on Aug. 10, the first day of school, according to officials.

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The new program will require students to scan their student ID card into a tablet when they get on and off the bus, the district said.

Officials said the tablet will be installed next to the bus door, and it will inform school administrators and transportation leaders when and where a student got off and on the bus, helping monitor a student’s movements in the mornings and afternoons better.

“So in the morning, when you think about it, it will tell us ‘Jimmy’ got on (his school’s bus at) Simpson Road and when he scans off, (we see) he got off at Gateway High School,” said Zach Downes, a spokesman for Osceola County Public Schools.

Since the program is new, students will not be turned away if they forget their ID. However, it will eventually be required to ride the bus, similar to school lunch programs, according to a news release.

The district said the new procedure will alert bus drivers when a child is trying to get on the wrong bus or at the wrong stop. The driver will not allow the students to get on or off the bus unless they have special permission from the school administration or transportation leaders.

Downes added he wants to reassure parents the district will give students time to adjust to the program.

“You know, some kids might forget their IDs the first day or they might leave them at home because they are rushing out the house. We will not be turning kids away... we’re just trying to get the kids in the habit of doing that, so it becomes a part of their daily routine,” he said.

The Ridership Program will also help the district determine how many students are relying on school transportation each day and how much funding the district will receive each year, according to a news release.

“And that information is important when it comes to our district funding,” Downes said. “Because it will tell the state how much money to give us based on each child coming on or off the bus.”

To all the parents with transportation questions or concerns, the Osceola County school district just created the district’s Back-To-School Transportation Parent Hotline, according to the superintendent.

Parents can call 407-483-3673 with any transportation questions Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

For non-related transportation questions, parents can submit their inquiries in English or Spanish by selecting the “Let’s Talk” tab on the school district’s website at https://www.osceolaschools.net/.

News 6 reached out to other Central Florida school districts to inquire if they’re implementing similar programs. You can find their responses below.

Seminole County

The Seminole School District will be implementing the program Traversa Ride 360 for the 2022-23 school year, according to the district.

Seminole County Public Schools said the 360 website and mobile app will allow families and students to look up bus route information and see real-time notifications and alerts.

To access student routing information through the Traversa Ride 360 mobile app, do the following:

  • Download “Traversa Ride 360″ from the Google Play Store or Apple IOS Store.
  • After the installation is complete, open the mobile app.
  • When you’re asked to find your school district, search for Seminole School District.
  • Once your district is selected, you’ll be presented with the login page. If you don’t already have a login, click ‘Register’.
  • To register, enter your email address, and create your password and username.
  • After registering, you’ll receive an email confirmation. The provided link will require you to confirm your registration through the Ride 360 website.
  • Login, and then add your child by going to My Students and choosing the + button. This will present the Find a Student screen.
  • Enter the unique information required by your district to find your child. Repeat this step to continue finding students.
  • When all students are added, you can then view transportation information for each of your students.
  • If you’d like to share a student link with another person, go to My Students and either long-press for Android or left-swipe for iOS.
  • Choose which students to share, then enter the email address of the person you’d like to share with. That person will receive a confirmation email, which will then automatically link the student to that user. They will be required to register with Ride 360 if they haven’t already done so.

Sumter County

The Sumter County School District told News 6 in an email that they have been using a “Scan On and Scan Off” system similar to Osceola’s Student Ridership Program to ensure students’ safety since 2019.

Brevard County

Brevard’s Public Schools is introducing ReaXium School Bus Ridership Program for the 20222-2023 school year allowing transportation professionals and school administrators to improve the safety of students by having ridership tablets and GPS units.

Bus riders must have their badges or school-provided barcodes readily available to be scanned while boarding and exiting the bus at all times, according to Brevard District Schools.

For more information, visit.

Flagler County

Flagler County Public Schools are not implementing bus ridership systems at the moment.

Lake County

Lake County Schools do not have a ridership program either.

News 6 reached out to Orange County Public Schools and Volusia County Public Schools but has not received a response yet.

About the Author:

Maria joined ClickOrlando.com in June 2022.