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By Dakota News Now Staff / Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – The Sioux Falls School District announced a parent/guardian app called Stopfinder will help accurately track their children’s school bus location in real-time.

The easy-to-use app is secured so only authorized users will have access to school bus information.

Stopfinder, which is tied to the district’s bus routing software, is free to parents and guardians and allows users to customize when they receive alerts about their child’s bus location. SFSD transportation leaders can target communications to specific locations in the city to communicate information that may only be relevant for that area. For example, if a road is closed and a bus will be late, only parents/guardians of students affected by that closure will be contacted.

Those in the child’s primary household will receive an activation invite today. At that time, smartphone users should download the FREE Stopfinder app to set up their student’s profile and enable GeoAlerts to receive push notifications as the bus approaches your stop location.

When a student “swipes” the Stopfinder card with its unique 7-digit number as they enter and exit the bus, information such as date, time, and location is transmitted to a secure database available for immediate access by parents, school, and transportation leaders.

Superintendent, Dr. Jane Stavem says, “We are pleased to be offering this service to parents and guardians in our district. Student safety is among our highest priorities. Stopfinder allows parents and guardians to be kept up to date about travel changes, delays, or weather situations. Knowing this information should provide additional peace of mind.”

SFSD Transportation Coordinator Missy Braak says, “This tool will help the transportation office become even more efficient and responsive because Stopfinder will answer that most important question parents have: ‘Where is my child’s school bus?’ The ability to see this information in real-time should strengthen the ties we have with our families.”

With 35 schools and 9,000 students who receive transportation services, implementation of the Stopfinder App is very complex and will be done in three parts. We ask for patience as this is rolled out incrementally to families. A staggered implementation allows the District and School Bus Inc. to better manage call volume, troubleshooting, and questions as they arise.

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