BALLARD, IOWA — The Ballard Community School District is using a system this year that allows parents to track their kids school bus trips. The system is called Traversa 360, its attached to a software platform which is currently used by the district to route busses to get them to where the students are, and need to go.

“They were two priorities that attracted us to this product,” said Supt. of Schools, Ottie Maxey. “They are, safety for students and communication with parents, and every district is trying to approve upon those things.”

The District spent $60,000 to purchase the system, which includes a reader and tablet computer in every bus. Students are given a fob to pass by the reader, and it notes when they are on, and off the bus. If a student forgets their fob, the driver can enter their information manually.

“I really like it because I have two kids and there’s transferring that goes on for both of them,” said Amber Bloome, a Ballard Parent. It’s nice to keep tabs to see where they are at all times when they get to school when they leave school.”

This system is viewed as a huge improvement over last year, when drivers manually kept track of students.

“There’s a few times where we get phone calls that they didn’t have our son or daughter, and when in reality, they adjust mis-identified the child for another child when they got on the bus,” said Joanna Nieman, a Ballard Parent. 

Also if the student will not be riding the bus, the app can communicate that direct to the school district office.

“This gives parents an opportunity to let us know directly if a child isn’t going be there or is changing a route,” said Maxey. “In the past we’d just circle through the email this is much more efficient and timely.

South Tama School District was the first to adopt this technology. Maxey said he beleives more districts will soon adopt this type of technology.