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New GPS System Can Track School Bus for Parents

Updated: Friday, October 18 2013, 12:58 AM EDT
DENVER, Colo. (Rick Sallinger, CBS) -- About 25 million students ride school buses every day and every so often, something goes wrong.

Children are occasionally left behind or get lost on the wrong bus route.  Now schools are using technology to bring parents some peace of mind.  Rick Sallinger reports from Denver, where districts are rolling out school bus GPS.

When students ride the school bus in Denver, they scan on and then off.  That logs them into a new GPS system so the schools can track the whereabouts of every child. 

Did my student make it on the bus?  Are they at school?  Has the bus arrived at the stop yet?  Schools can now answer that very accurately by the end of the year, parents will be able to access the system from home.

So far the program is getting rave reviews.  So much so that calls are coming in from around the country about how to implement it similar systems are already popping up across the nation. 

Two California districts are launching GPS programs.  And Bostons is already up and running allowing parents to track their children online.

In districts without GPS, families are taking matters into their own hands.  Betty and Norman Tsang created a free phone app for Westport, Connecticut called "Where's Our School Bus."  Parents post updates as the bus moves through the route, so those down the line know exactly when to expect their kids.  About 20 other towns have already adopted the app.

Cincinnati Public Schools tell us they are working on a pilot program with an elementary magnet school.  It's called Z-Pass.  The program helps track students on the bus by placing a chip on their backpack.  Parents must give permission.

Watch video HERENew GPS System Can Track School Bus for Parents

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