Granite invests in the student safety with bus tracking appJul 15, 2021 11:07AM ● By Aloyious Soranno
Granite School District partnered with Synovia Solutions to install tracking systems in every school bus operating within the Granite School District. Bus pictured was highlighted during a School Bus Safety Week in 2020. (Courtesy Granite School District)
By Aloyious Soranno | [email protected]
Parents and guardians are naturally concerned for the safety and well-being of their children. The Granite School District recognizes and shares that concern. That is why, as of this January, they partnered with Synovia Solutions (creators of safe and innovative technology specifically designed for schools) to install tracking systems in every school bus operating within the Granite School District.
With the Here Comes the Bus app, parents will be notified when their child’s bus is approaching their stop and when it arrives at school safely. This is the first year Granite has used this technology that has been upgraded since the first launch in 2013.
“We have been investigating various products for several years looking for the best option for our students and families,” Benjamin Horsley, director of communication and outreach for the district, says about the tracking system. Plenty of parents have been using the app since January with no known issues or bugs to report at this time. It is available for download in your phone’s app store or by visiting herecomesthebus.com/schools.
So how does it work exactly? What security risks are involved in regards to personal information being leaked? And can just anyone use the app?
In order to use the app, one must set up an account: name, phone number, email address, school code, etc. Additionally, the user must have a child enrolled at a Granite school because it uses the last name of the student and their student identification number making it as safe and secure as possible.
Horsley adds, “Only the parent/student with the correct credentials can see the bus alerts (not exact location) as it approaches their specific stop,” Horsley said. What this means is that as the bus enters a particular radius around your child’s stop, you will then be notified of it’s approach.
For more information or if you have any questions or concerns, visit the Granite website.
Synovia Solutions recently took their technology a little further by introducing the Bus Guardian. In addition to tracking the bus (again, not exact location), Bus Guardian tracks the student on the bus. It was created as a contact tracing element to this app where the student scans their school identification card while boarding on and off the bus. That way the parent/guardian is notified that their child is actually on the bus and when they leave it. This came about due to Covid-19 and the health risks involved and is used as a rapid communication in the event that a child on the bus tests positive for the virus. In that situation, every parent/guardian with a child on that bus and that has an account with the Bus Guardian will be notified based on the school’s and district’s policy.
Although busses of the Granite School District are not equipped with this upgraded technology, it is an option that one day they may use to further ease the minds of both students and their families.