SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Springdale Public School District announced that it has implemented a new bus routing system and parent portal ahead of the upcoming school year.

The district says that the portal will allow for better communication with families and to further improve student safety.

The system, dubbed “BusQuest,” operates using barcodes.

“When a student is registered in a building, they are issued a bar code number,” Conkin said. “It is the same one that is on their lunch card.”

That code will be printed by schools and attached to elementary student backpacks and adhered to middle, junior and high school name badges. Student passengers will be scanned as they get on and off the bus to help keep parents, schools and the transportation office informed through the BusQuest system.

The system will allow families to track the location of a bus in real time, receive notifications if a bus is running behind or ahead of schedule and receive updates to their overall bus service.

The system also gives the transportation office the ability to see where students are sitting on the bus and who they may come in contact with, receive changes to student addresses to update bus routes daily, scan students to understand who is on buses at all times and to see when and where students get on and off of buses.

The district says that drivers will have information at their fingertips for young students who may not remember their address.

Kevin Conkin, the Springdale Schools Transportation director, says that the new system is a “game changer,” and that parents have been eager to get signed into the system.

“We have sent the parents the link to the parent portal,” Conkin said. “In just a matter of minutes of sending the link, we started seeing them signing into the portal.”

The district noted that, for safety reasons, not everyone will have access to the system.

“Use of the routing system’s parent portal is optional and isn’t accessible to anyone who isn’t registered with a district building, school or e-school,” the release from the district said.

“For safety reasons, not every parent will have access to the portal,” Conkin added. “There is a list of questions they will have to answer and a screening process.”

To register for the system or to view an informative video about the system click here.