New Bus Attendance System in Play at BH-BL

This  school year, the BH-BL Transportation Department has changed how our bus drivers now take student attendance. We have shifted from the antiquated paper and pencil rosters and route maps to a more efficient and accurate digitized system.

Much like the school and class attendance practices, we have always taken daily bus attendance for safety purposes and to help us know where all students are while they are in our care. The new bus attendance software, known as Tyler Drive, now helps drivers more quickly identify which riders get on and off the bus, and their specific bus stops. It allows us to know exactly who is on our buses at all times.  This is done by providing students with an ID card (no pictures, names are on the cards) that they simply tap on the bus’s computer tablet when they get on and off the school bus and it logs them on and off.

Along with other local districts, we have found that the new system is more helpful and safer, especially for substitute and new bus drivers, because the bus’s tablet screen is easier to see and it displays the driver’s routes and the students’ drop-off and pick-up locations.

An added benefit for parents is that the software program also supports a mobile app, Traversa My Ride K-12, for those who want to see where their child’s bus is located in real time during the route. This can be particularly helpful if there are unexpected traffic or weather-related delays impacting pick-up or drop-off times. However, it is not necessary for parents to download the app to their mobile devices. The app is just an added convenience and simply provides parents with the bus’s location, and if their child boarded and deboarded the bus. It does not provide a child’s specific location as there are no GPS chips in the scan cards. If you would like to use the mobile app, you can download it from GooglePlay (Android) or from the Apple Store. If you are unsure of your child’s student identification number, please contact your child’s school or the Transportation Office at 518-399-9141, #7.  View the Tyler Drive FAQ section below to learn more about the software and our commitment to student data privacy and protection.

Additionally, having your child use a scan card is voluntary/optional. Our drivers will continue to manually mark when students board and deboard our buses by touching the tablet screen themselves, if you choose to not have your child use the scan card.

Bus Attendance Software Frequently Asked Questions

The protection of student data and privacy is of the utmost importance to our school district. We are fully compliant with New York State Education Law 2-d (Ed Law 2d), which governs data security and privacy policies for educational agencies. Ed Law 2d requires encryption of personally identifiable student data, restricted data sharing only with authorized parties, data security protocols, governance policies, and full transparency around data collection and protection steps with parents and the community.

As part of our comprehensive Ed Law 2d compliance, we want to provide full information about our new student transportation ID tracking system. Please see the FAQ below addressing common questions and detailing the limited data collected, strong security protections, and parental choice options regarding this system.

Q.  What is being tracked and when?
A. The system tracks when a student scans their ID card when getting on and off the school bus. It records the time and location of the bus at that scan point. This allows the transportation department to know that the child got on or off at the expected bus stop. It allows us to have accurate real time attendance lists on our buses.  The system then tracks the location of the school bus according to GPS data. Location is only being tracked for the bus itself.

Q. What data will be provided to the company through this system? What will they store?
A. We provide the software company with the bare minimum data necessary for the process to function: the students name, school ID number, bus route information, and the time/location data of when they scanned on/off the bus. This information is stored by the software company on secured servers.

Q.  How long does the company keep the collected data?
A. According to the Data Protection Agreement, the contractor agrees to destroy all PII (Personal Identifiable Information) when the purpose that necessitated its receipt by the contractor has been completed, no later than 60 days after termination or expiration/termination of the initial Service Agreement. Data backups would be deleted no later than 13 months upon expiration/termination of the contract.

Q. Is the ID card able to be tracked getting on/off the bus only, or is it providing information on the location of the card at any point in time?
A. The system only tracks the point and time at which the card is scanned on a bus. It does not track the location of the ID card or the student at other times. The card uses a technology called Passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).  They have a number on them unique to that card. There is no other electronic information in the card.   The number on that card is only translated into actual information about a particular student by the attendance software on our computer system. The cards are simply a quick way for the student to “check in” to the bus. It is only the bus that is being tracked.

Q. If a student was lost with the ID card, would it be trackable?
A. No. The system is not designed to track cards.  Tracking is limited to the location of the bus itself based on GPS data.

Q. Is there an opt out procedure?
A. With the introduction of this system, BH-BL will now begin electronically recording all student entry and exit onto our buses. If the student does not swipe, it will be entered manually by the driver. This process is similar to the manner in which we take attendance on our student management system when students enter and leave school buildings. Parents can opt their children out of receiving the self-scan ID card by contacting the transportation office.

Q. What happens if the company’s data server is breached and student information, schedules, and bus routes are compromised?
A.  In this age of cloud-based storage, the possibility of data compromise is always a serious consideration and BH-BL is committed to ensuring data security and privacy protection is a priority. Our transportation routing and student management systems both contain information similar to the new transportation tracking software. Many other educational and management software tools also collect and store PII. While no system is 100% secure, we ensure that the companies we contract with take substantial precautions to protect student data and prevent unauthorized access. These measures are outlined in contracts we sign with every company that collects out students’ PII. (View our data privacy agreement with Tyler Technologies.) Even so, we share only a very small amount of data and we feel strongly that the safety benefits we will realize by streamlining bus attendance processes far outweigh the risks of data breach.

For more information on the district’s commitment to student data privacy, please see the BH-BL District Data Security and Privacy webpage. Please contact your building principal, Administrator for Student Transportation Katria Hitrick (, or Data Protection Officer Doug Carlton ( if you have any other questions.