Gretna(KPTM)-Using high-tech security methods is nothing new for Gretna Public Schools. The district already requires students to wear key cards on lanyards, and provides security cameras.
Now, a GPS tracking system keeps administrators up to date on the locations of school buses and the students who ride them. "Once a child is on the bus, they are tracked and we know where they are all the way until the end of the day," said the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kevin Riley.
"Before I get on the bus and off the bus, I need to scan it ," said Kindergartner Payton Bush of her key card. Bush is one of two thousand students who depend on the district's bus service to get to and from school each day.
Bus driver Everett Schnell said the new system could be very valuable should something go wrong with his bus or one of the others. "They know where I'm at and how to get there precisely," said Schnell.
Parents also say the extra push for security gives them peace of mind. "My middle schooler comes home sometimes by himself," said Tanya Gifford who added "It's nice to know if his bus is late that I'd be able to call them and they'd be able to tell me where his bus is at."
The added security cost Gretna Public Schools fifty thousand dollars. The money had already been set aside for the project.
Other Nebraska school districts have considered implementing a similar system including Omaha Public Schools. "O.P.S. reviewed that initiative about a year ago and felt that there were too many variables, including cost; however the district has not ruled it out for the future," said Director of Communications, Todd Andrews.
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