November brings plenty of changes to American school districts. Leaves are falling, temperatures
drop and Daylight Saving Time ends. Even though shifting our clocks back initially brings more daylight to the bus stop, it’s short-lived as we lose up to a couple of minutes of daylight each day until winter’s first day at the end of December.
Sending a child out to the bus stop can be stressful, especially over the next few months. Is the child late, or will they be waiting out in inclement weather? Are cars driving past the bus stop able to see children as clearly? Without question, getting to the bus stop too early this time of year isn’t ideal.
With these concerns in mind, let’s examine the high cost of students frequently missing the bus. Then we’ll consider how your district can help parents know exactly when their child’s bus will arrive.
Missing the bus can be costly
No parent wants their child to get to school late. However, even the best-laid plans can go awry, and before they know it the bus is here and gone, and their child is still at home. While that’s a frustrating way to start a morning, missing the bus can have far greater consequences.
The school bus is not just the safest way to get students to and from school; it’s also a school’s greatest tool to help prevent tardiness and absence. About 480,000 school buses nationwide transport more than 25 million students safely and on time every school day. A missed school bus often leads to a tardy arrival, or a missed day altogether. That can really add up.
Missing just two days a month will negatively affect a child’s academic performance. That’s chronic absence, and by sixth grade those absences become a good indicator that a student won’t finish high school. It starts off early in some cases. One in 10 students in kindergarten and first grade are chronically absent, and poor attendance can be the difference between reading proficiently and being held back by third grade.
Know exactly when the bus arrives
Fortunately, parents don’t have to choose between early and late. All they need is a tool like Here Comes the Bus® – the only app available in the U.S. that alerts parents when their child’s bus is near.
Here Comes the Bus enables parents to track their child’s bus in real-time on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. They can set up alerts to tell them when the bus is near – allowing them to choose exactly when to send their child to the bus stop. The Synovia app directly connects to the GPS tracking systems in your bus fleet, meaning it’s powered by our proprietary tracking data.
As the seasons change, parents don’t just lose daylight, or degrees on the thermometer. They lose degrees of safety for their kids once they send them out the door. They also risk tardiness or absenteeism if the timing isn’t right. When it’s something that important, every little bit counts. Protect children from danger and truancy. Make sure they get to the bus stop at just the right time – every time.