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Nye County school board approves new tracking system

The Nye County School District school board approved unanimously on Wednesday evening to implement a new tracking system for their buses and students who ride the buses.

This tracking system, set to be implemented before the 2022-23 school year, will be used as a safety measure for all students who take buses to and from school. The plan, which is contingent upon a full pack grant application, would come at a cost of $45,936 per year, for a five-year lease, which brings the contract total to $229,680.

The way that the system will work is each bus driver will have a tablet to log into and they input the bus number and the route that the bus will be driving. Students and parents will be able to track the location of the bus using an app and can see how long it will take for the bus to arrive.

Once the bus arrives, the student will need to scan a barcode to be let on the bus, then will scan the barcode again to get off the bus. This barcode will be located in the app for each student to scan on their phone or will be printed and placed on an item, such as a school ID or lanyard, that the student must carry with them each day. There will be roadblocks put in place that will prevent students from being able to get on or off the bus at the incorrect location.

“Knowing where our kids are, that is the most important piece,” Mike Hush, director of transportation, said. “The more effort we put into keeping track of them, and making sure they’re safe, I think it’s the best thing we could do. A solution like this is something that would help with that.”

The implementation of the tracking system will help with reducing distractions for the bus drivers so that they aren’t having to communicate their location over the radio while driving. It will also help reduce the amount of phone calls that schools receive regarding the location of a child’s bus because the parents will be able to track it through the app. The information in the app will only be available to students and parents in the school district and will not be accessible by the general public.

The system will be rolled out in phases. The first phase will be 64 buses in the Pahrump area, starting with the buses that carry kids from grades K-5. After seeing how the system is working and getting feedback, more grades and other areas will begin to have the system installed.

“The district I came from in Arizona had the GPS system and it was fantastic.” Dr. Warren Shillingburg, Nye County superintendent, said. “Very well received, gave us great access for students. If there were problems, concerns, we were able to take care of them really quickly. Everything Mike said, I totally support and agree with. It’s really worth the dollars.”

Contact Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com

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