New bus pass allows some school districts to track kids who go missing

It is a panicky moment for any parent. Their child doesn’t get off the school bus where they were supposed to.

But some Colorado school districts now have new tools to help them search for a missing child.

The St. Vrain Valley School District is the latest district in the state to decide to use the Zonar GPS tracking system.

Students will swipe their bus passes on the device when they get on and off the bus, then the district can track the kids if they go missing.

The system is already in use in Douglas County. “Zonar has really helped us isolate where that student is. It’s a great asset and it really reduces the time we spend trying to locate that student,” said Susan Nowland, DCSD Assistant Terminal Manager, in a DCSD video.

Zonar could save lots of time and help law enforcement during a search for a missing child.

Plus for a fee, parents can sign up for email or text alerts to let them know when their kids get on or off the bus.

That will offer some day-to-day peace of mind. “I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Gary Mares, a St. Vrain parent.

The district got a grant to help pay for the service, but will still have to pay about $114,000.

Whether the child turns up at a friend’s house or in serious danger, the district hopes the new tracking system will help improve safety.