School buses have always had issues with misbehaving students. Picture it. You have 50 or 60 students from various grade levels in a confined area, before or after school, with little adult supervision. After school, kids are restless and ready to be home. If you’re the sole adult on the bus it can be hard to control kids who may be yelling, bouncing around, and being rowdy.
(We know not all buses are this way, but remember when you were a restless kid on the school bus?)
Now imagine a bus where all students are seated safely – and quietly – for the entire ride home.
Most people would say that can’t be done. But perhaps they haven’t embraced the right tools.
Looking to Improve Bus Behavior? Get Connected
Installing Wi-Fi on school buses is the golden ticket to helping improve student behavior. With filtered, education-only Internet, students are focused on school work or educational games. They have a way to pass the time, whether they’re on the bus for 20 minutes or two hours.
And, with the Kajeet SmartBus™ solution, the Internet is filtered, meaning no social media or streaming video for the whole ride.
As more districts move to 1:1, students will be toting laptops and tablets back and forth to school to complete homework. If they have Internet access on the bus, they can put those devices to use and focus on educational activities.
A bus driver for Spencer Community School District (CSD) in Iowa reported, “The bus ride home is a lot quieter because kids are working.”
Even in a school bus Internet survey, school administrators ranked the following as potential benefits of Wi-Fi on school buses:
- Opportunity to complete homework to/from school.
- Decrease in bus behavior incidents.
- Increase in bus driver retention.
- Ability to ‘park’ the bus as a possible Internet hotpsot.
With students focused on school work, they’re less likely to act out or cause trouble on the bus because now they have something to hold their attention. This is especially important for buses with long routes.
School Bus Driver Retention
A 2015 School Bus Fleet magazine survey revealed 92 percent of school districts have a shortage of school bus drivers. Of the respondents, only eight percent said their shortage was desperate, 18 percent were server, 36 percent moderate, and 30 percent mild.
School bus drivers are in high demand, but low supply, so it’s important to keep the drivers you have happy. Most people with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) just have to transport cargo. But bus drivers’ “cargo” is very different, it’s lively students.
It can be difficult or frustrating for bus drivers who are trying to focus on safely transporting students, while keeping those 60 kids under control. With students working on homework or playing educational games, instead of causing distractions, drivers can spend their time focusing on driving safely instead of disciplining kids.
And a quiet trip can be a happy one for these drivers.
“The bus driver has a great time with the kids,” said Julie Nemmers, Director of Transportation, Spencer CSD. “The bus ride home is a lot quieter because kids are working.”
Driving Toward Better Behavior
If you are looking to implement Wi-Fi on your school buses, check out these recommendations to get started:
- Reach out to the following people to implement bus Wi-Fi in your school district: Director of Transportation, Superintendent, and the CFO.
- Ensure students are using Internet for educational purposes. Keep students secure and data usage low.
- Select a safe, affordable broadband service that will provide coverage throughout the bus route.
We can help you with your bus plan as well. The Kajeet Education Broadband™ solution extends the classroom and can keep your students focused with Kajeet SmartBus.
“What happens on the bus has a large impact on the rest of a student’s school day. We tend to look at buses only as vehicles, but they are always an extension of the classroom and the school environment."
Gary Lambert, Director of 21st Century Learning, Beekmantown Central School District, NY, Kajeet SmartBus Customer
Our bus Wi-Fi solution uses CIPA-compliant filters to keep your students focused on educational activities, and provides an extension of the classroom.
Take advantage of those hours spent on the bus by providing filtered Internet for kids, and a quieter, more focused environment for bus drivers.