Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Local News

February 12, 2013

KCS plans Internet on school buses

District spending nearly $200,000 on bus upgrades

— Kokomo-Center Schools will install wireless Internet on all of its 65 buses by the end of this year — perhaps making it the first district in the state to do so, officials said.

The Internet access is part of nearly $200,000 in transportation upgrades planned. Those plans also call for a GPS tracking system in all buses.

It’s a plan officials have been considering for more than a year. And Superintendent Jeff Hauswald believed now was the time to implement it, said Mike Wade, director of operations for the district.

“He had a great vision to provide more opportunities for our students,” Wade said.

Students likely will be excited to have Internet access on the buses, he said.

Officials said the service would be a big help to students involved in after-school activities like marching band, debate, robotics, academic teams and athletics. Those students will now have Internet access in the evenings and on weekends as they travel to and from different competitive events.

“This is huge,” Wade said. “I remember as a coach, driving two and a half hours to Richmond. If I could have done my work, that would have been great.”

Internet on buses is coming at a perfect time.

In three years, every high school student will have a laptop under the district’s one-to-one technology plan, said Dave Barnes, director of communications for the district.

Some homework just needs to be done on a computer, he said. It’s easy for kids to do math or science homework on the buses now, but harder to finish English assignments.

“If I have an essay or a paper to do, I need a computer for that,” he said.

While the students might be excited about the Internet access, it’s the parents and bus drivers who likely will benefit from the GPS technology.

Wade said he saw the technology at work in a Texas school district. He sat in front of a computer screen at the transportation department there and watched as tiny buses moved along a map.

The green buses were ones in motion, and red ones were stopped.

He could see exactly where each bus was on its route, how fast the drivers were traveling and exactly what the driver was doing at that moment.

The program even keeps logs of when drivers are at each bus stop.

That technology will help Kokomo’s transportation department run more efficiently, said Larry Johnson, transportation supervisor for the district.

“This GPS tracking system will enable our transportation department to handle parent concerns in a timely, more efficient manner,” Johnson said. “It will prove invaluable when answering parent questions concerning bus estimated time of arrival and present location.”

The GPS technology will cost $60,000 initially and $25,000 a year after that.

Barnes said the Internet service has a higher up-front cost. It will cost the district $125,000 a year to install.

But yearly service rates are $5,000, and 70 percent of that cost can be recovered through an Indiana Department of Education reimbursement program, Barnes said.

Wade said it’s worth it.

“The Wi-Fi is great,” he said. “It gives you more options.”

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Mac talent show 01 lf Maconaquah students, alumni take the stage for 50th annual variety show BUNKER HILL - When students from Bunker Hill and Clay Township schools suddenly found themselves walking the same halls in the new Maconaquah High School, they needed something to rally around as they formed their new school identity. That's when Pow

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS - KT041714 - Bunker Hill child neglect arrests - CLG - pic1 Miami Co. couple face charges of neglect after children found malnourished BUNKER HILL - Two Bunker Hill children have been placed in foster care after officials discovered they were living in a dilapidated house with no heat or running water and were exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. In relation to the case, police Mon

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Maconaquah School Corp. to add new preschool program PERU -- In an effort to meet the needs of Miami County's young children, Maconaquah School Corp. is set to expand its preschool programs next school year. The school district is starting a "Little Braves Academy" preschool program, in addition to its

    April 17, 2014

  • $3.27M grant will boost technical training at Ivy Tech Kokomo Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region just received a $3.27 million boost from the federal government to expand programs dedicated to preparing high school students for careers in industrial technology. Ivy Tech's Integrated Technology Education P

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS KT 041714 pic traveling diplomat Kokomo senior Craig Simon to be traveling diplomat The chance to travel the globe, earn college credits and get paid sounds too good to be true, but it's about to be reality for Kokomo High School senior Craig Simon. The Kokomo School Corp. board of education approved a recommendation Monday to make

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea deal filed in Kokomo murder-for-hire plot A Kokomo woman accused of plotting to kill her daughter's boyfriend pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday as part of a proposed plea deal. Police arrested Christy Shaffer, 41, in September on a conspiracy to commit murder charge after she alleged

    April 17, 2014

  • Tabitha Mitkus Heroin found in hotel room bust Kokomo police seized heroin, pills, cocaine and stolen property in an early morning, motel room bust. Tabitha B. Mitkus, 24, 2000 block of Pontiac Court, was arrested at Garden Inn, 4021 S. Lafountain St., after hotel staff reported suspicious activi

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North split restrictions on Monday The Indiana Department of Transportation will restrict traffic at the single-lane ramp that connects U.S. 31 to southbound Ind. 931 on the north side of Kokomo — weather permitting — on Monday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remedial repairs along the 200-

    April 16, 2014

  • BK rebuild 04 Peru restaurant B-K West rebuilding after tornado

    PERU -- B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native said. "We used to walk the tracks o

    April 16, 2014 7 Photos

  • Congresswoman Susan Brooks backs manufacturing training efforts Congresswoman Susan Brooks' own personal manufacturing experience may have been limited to three months in a Kendallville caramel factory as a college student, but in her congressional roles, she's having an impact on the skills debate. In Kokomo Tue

    April 16, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries