SPRINGDALE, Ark (KNWA/KFTA) — Two Springdale students from Don Tyson School of Innovation created a solution for Springdale school bus riders.

Joseph Rouse, 8th grade, and Lucas Keller, 12th grade, developed a website to track and share school bus cancellations, according to a news release from Springdale Schools. With driver shortages and route cancellations creating unpredictable transportation for students, Rouse decided to create a solution for his frustration.

“I got an email about buses, and so I just suggested ‘what about this?’” Rouse said, who would receive messages for all district canceled buses. “I had a thousand plus emails that said ‘this bus isn’t running, or that bus isn’t running.’”

After working with the district Transportation Office, the students were able to create a one-stop website for bus cancelations. Before families and students had to rely on emails and social media messages to adjust to the unpredictable school transportation.

“Initially we thought we would make a static website,” Keller said. “Every hour, the program would generate a static page. It worked, but it was inefficient. But with Ginger, it’s a templatic framework, and instead of having to manually write out each school, we can just instruct the program to create a new page for each list item.”

Don Tyson School of Innovation students Joseph Rouse, left, and Lucas Keller, right, created a webpage to help track Springdale Public Schools bus cancellations. (Springdale Public Schools/Megan Thornton)

The release says the students learned new skill sets with the help of their teacher Mrs. Jessica Mabie, who teaches the programming class at DTSOI. She gave students the task to create something “real and practical for the school.”

“I’ve learned a lot from Lucas about just pulling data from websites,” Rouse said. “We pull data from Google Sheets, and I didn’t know anything about that before.”

Keller, a team captain for Mrs. Mabie’s coding team, was able to expand on applying programs for real-world solutions by meeting requirements and working with people requesting website features.

“I’m just blown away at the hard work that Joseph put into this project. I’m really excited to see what he comes up with in the coming years,” Mrs. Mabie said. “Lucas is a senior, so I will be losing him. I’m excited to see what he does in college and in his career. This is by far one of my favorite student projects this year.”

The release says Springdale Public Schools is the largest district in Arkansas. It surpasses Little Rock with more than 23,000 students and has 26 schools.