Kilgore ISD will be implementing a new technology this semester aimed at improving efficiency and ease for parents picking up their kids at Kilgore Primary School.
At Monday’s board meeting, trustees approved a budget amendment which covered the purchase of a CarRiderPro system, which “is designed to streamline the pickup process for elementary schools when students are released at the end of the school day”, according to the manufacturer’s website.
Superintendent Dr. Andy Baker described the technology as an “automated parent pickup system.”
“The idea behind it is our parents are issued tags which you hang from your rearview mirror,” Baker said.
“As soon as you pass the reader in the parent pickup line, once your tag goes through and your reader picks that up, it automatically sends that student number and the name of that kiddo into our holding area at the primary campus so our teachers there in that holding area can go ahead and line everybody up and have them out there on the curb (in time to get picked up).”
Baker said the system works by having “flights” of parents come to the pickup area to get their children.
A flight, for example, could include about 10 cars.
“When that first flight of 10 cars pulls up to the cone and we allow them to come in, we already know what 10 cars are there in the front of the line, so those 10 kids will be waiting. While they’re loading, that second flight of 10 kiddos is already at the door waiting.”
Director of Technology Mark Lane said the first tag reader would be set up where parents make a U-turn by a median at KPS during pickup time.
“That’s where the normal pickup for kindergarten and first grade is,” Lane said.
The second reader will be for pre-K parents and will be located at the entrance to the property just off Hwy. 259.
“Parents will turn off of 259 and they will be read right there, right before they line up for the pre-K pickup,” Lane said.
Board president Reggie Henson asked how the system would work for parents picking up more than one child from the campus.
KPS Principal Tamara Dean said each pickup number can be linked to multiple students.
“If they a sibling on that same campus, we can link them together, so they have the same number,” Dean said.
Dean also said parents can receive two cards when they register their children for school, so each parent will be able to use the system.
Henson asked how the system would work for parents picking up children other than their own, for example, if a parent is picking up multiple students to carpool them to an after-school activity.
“They would have to park and come in,” Dean said.
“We’re not going to release anybody’s kiddo to somebody else,” without authorization, Baker said. He added parents with plans to pick up children other than their own would have to make prior arrangements with the school.
“If they send a note and make arrangements, we can add a note to the system,” Dean said.
She added if a parent regularly picks up multiple students with authorization, they can have those students’ numbers linked to their tag. They can also make arrangements to use the system to pick up other students on specific days.
Students and parents can use the same number over multiple years if they will continue attending KPS, Dean said.
“They do have to turn (the tags) back in. That’s going to be part of their registration. If they don’t turn them back in, then they can’t register their kid next year and they’ll have to pay for it because there is a little bit of a charge,” for replacing a tag, Dean said.
At the Monday board meeting, Dean and Lane said the CarRiderPro system had arrived that day and the district would be distributing information on the new system to parents soon.
“We are getting that installed this week. We should have it up and running by Thursday afternoon and we’ll be testing everything out. We’ll be creating some promotional videos to go along with it,” Lane said.
“We got a handout that we actually acquired from Longview ISD because the Montessori school uses it. So we’re going to tweak that. We’re going to have that same information going out at ‘Meet the Teacher’ and we’re going to have Parent Informational Night,” Dean said.
There will also be an information table on the system set up at One-Stop Registration Aug. 1 and 2. Pre-K Meet the Teacher will be Monday, Aug. 12 from 2 to 3 p.m. and KPS Meet the Teacher will be Aug. 12 from 3 to 4 p.m.
Baker asked if the system would be up and running by the first day of school, Aug. 14 and Dean and Lane said it would.
Dean added relevant staff was being trained on the software right now and the people working the pickup line will be able to use Chromebooks or iPads to access the software.
She also said the two pickup lines used in the past would likely be reduced to one line.
“It’s actually going to speed it up, I think,” she said.
Dean said she will be the point of contact about the new technology. More information will be available by attending the events listed above, by visiting www.CarRiderPro.com or by calling KPS at 903-988-3905.