Superintendent visits Livingston schools on first day _lowres (copy)

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Students board a Livingston Parish school bus for the first day of school in August 2015.

A small elementary school in southern Livingston Parish is piloting a bus tracking application that allows parents to follow their kids' ride.

Frost Elementary is serving as a testing ground for the technology, as school officials determine whether it is worth rolling out parish-wide, Transportation Director Jeff Frizell told the Livingston Parish School Board at a recent meeting.

GPS trackers were installed on four buses serving the K-8 school for a month-long pilot. The trackers show parents where the buses are in real-time, so they know if a bus is running late or if its getting close to their house.  School officials can also use the application to respond to parent concerns and track if a driver is speeding or making harsh turns, Frizell said.

Frizell said it would cost $118,000 per year to implement the technology for the full parish. The technology is already in use in East Baton Rouge and Tangipahoa parishes, and Frizell said he'll talk to school officials there about their experience before bringing it back to the school board for its consideration later this year.

Mark Curtis, assistant principal at Frost Elementary, said the app has so far been a hit among school officials and parents.

Curtis said he thinks it is a good safety tool and has been useful on days when car accidents or bad weather cause bus delays. 

Follow Caroline Grueskin on Twitter, @cgrueskin.