Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Public School buses have gone hi-tech for the new academic year.
Nearly 60,000 students hopped onto county buses and headed to class Monday.
For those students grumbling at the thought of no more endless summer hours browsing sites online, all those buses now have Wi-Fi for them to link up to.
A real time GPS system was also rolled out. Dispatchers can now track the exact location of the buses, at all times.
Soon, an app will be available for parents to monitor their child’s bus.
“I have four all together; two in high school and one in middle and one elementary. Hopefully it’s a good safe and they learn a lot this school year,” said Erika Grajalva.
In Broward, some students said they were sad summer was over but glad to be back at school.
Ten days before the start of the new school year, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho checked out the buses during a dry run operation at the school district’s Southwest Miami-Dade garage.
He says bus drivers and administrators have worked hard all summer to make sure the first day of school goes off without a hitch.
On Sunday, he began visiting schools across the county as they make their final preparations for the new school year.
“This is like Christmas, Hannukah in August,” said Carvalho. “This is the most fantastic day of the year for me. It is literally the equivalent of reawakening the sleeping giant, amidst a summer nap.”
The superintendent toured some of the schools where new choice programs are being inaugurated, like Miami Central High School and MAST Academy in Key Biscayne.
“We are opening this school year with 53 new choice programs; robotics, computer science, coding, engineering, language programs,” said Carvalho.
He will continue visiting the schools with new choice programs on Monday as well.
“Our teachers and leaders are going to be ready with the three R’s of reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic,” said Carvalho. “What we are asking parents is to meet us in the middle and be responsible for their three Rs of respect, responsibility and restrain. If we can do that, we’re going to have a fantastic school year.”
Miami-Dade Public Schools, which has a budget of 4.8 billion dollars and employs 48,000 staff members, is the largest employer in Miami-Dade and second largest in Florida.
The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus and motor vehicle crashes.
For a helpful list of tips courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation, click here.