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School District Launches High-Tech Way To Track Students

MIDLOTHIAN (CBS11) - Midlothian ISD launched a high-tech way for parents and the district to keep track of their kids.

The new system is called "Smart Tag," and it's already been installed in school buses in Midlothian ISD.

With one simple swipe, parents like Allie Voelkel will no longer have to worry.

"There have been times when their bus was 15, 20 minutes late... you're thinking, what in the world is going on," said Voelkel.

Her 6-year-old daughter, Kensington, is one of about 4,000 Midlothian ISD students who take the bus to and from school.

"Smart Tag" knows what bus students should board and if they missed their stop. It even emails parents before their child gets home.

"It relieved a lot of stress and lots of worry. And questions of did your did get on the bus, that sort of thing. It's definitely a sense of relief," said Voelkel.

According to Midlothian ISD, only nine districts across the state are using this technology. In the Metroplex, it's just Midlothian and Grand Prairie.

Bus driver Craig Pelletier said the information will be monitored at the district's transportation department.

"The new system will tell us, 'Hey, little Johnny is still in that vehicle. So don't leave till he tabs off,'" said Pelletier.

Voelkel said she's looking forward to keeping track of all of her kids.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful. It gives the students a sense of security. It gives the parents a huge sense of security just knowing where your kid is," said Voelkel.

The new safety system will cost the district about $100,000. Bus drivers will be trained on it in the next few weeks.

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