How To Keep Tabs With A Student Tracking Sheet

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Despite all the advances in bus tracking, bus routing software, and organization, sometimes the traditional solutions are still the best.

If you're in the business of seeing school kids get on and off busses safely, we don't need to tell you that safeguarding them is among the single most important job responsibilities you hold.  When it comes to keeping them safe, and ensuring that every day thousands of children end up where they need to be, a simple student tracking sheet can be your best friend.

Don't get so caught up with new technology that you forget this old technique.  It's still as valid and as useful as ever.

Creating Your Student Tracking Sheet

A student tracking sheet is pretty much what its name implies: A sheet or, more often, a spreadsheet or database form which lists all the students in your care as well as important information on their school activities.  These sheets usually include:

•  Name

•  School

•  Grade

•  Schedule of Classes

•  Teachers

•  Times on and off campus

•  Assigned bus route (stop description(s), bus number, times)

•  Guardian Contact information

More dynamic versions can also auto-populate with information such as attendance and times in/out, if they've been properly integrated with the school's roll calls.  You can create them to cover your entire bus-riding base, or just to keep track of a couple dozen students on a field trip.

The Service Learning Clearinghouse has a good basic tracking sheet if you'd like to see an example.  Of course, they can also be as complex as your database system will allow for.  

Student Tracking Sheets in Bus Services Management

Simply put, student tracking sheets are about making sure you have the most information possible on the students in your charge, at all times.  When you combine them with , actually losing track of a student becomes extremely improbable.

Let's look at a test example:

Tommy Smith is an 8th grader who rides the bus to school every day.  According to his tracking sheet, he should get picked up by Bus 8 at Stop 17 at 7:15 AM.   He boards the bus as usual, which is noted by the RFID scanner tracking his ID card, so you know he's safe onboard, as is normal.

However, at 8:15, you receive an automated alert notifying you that Tommy didn't arrive for his First Period class despite having gotten on the bus.  You check the records, and his card isn't listed as having left the bus, and no students got off prior to the school.  A quick physical search discovers the card under a seat on the bus.  A quick search of the school grounds then reveals Tommy and a friend hanging out behind the gym, cutting class.  He's quickly put back where he belongs.

It's not hard to imagine how this scenario would have played out without the use of both a student tracking sheet and a physical tracker.  With no way of knowing for certain whether Tommy got on the bus at all, or where he was supposed to be once school began, this could have easily escalated into a serious situation involving parents with too many unanswered questions. 

Instead, by using the data at your command and a little deduction, a potentially major "lost student" incident is simply a minor hiccup. 

Get Peace of Mind Through Student Tracking Sheets

It's a relatively small thing, but a student tracking sheet can make a big difference to your operations.  When you combine them with the robust tracking options available in premiere bus scheduling software, you can create a safety net that's hard for any student to slip out of, accidentally or otherwise.

Everyone who's worked at a school has a couple "lost student" stories, and they virtually always turn out to be harmless even if much fuss was made at the time.  What's your best story?  



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