Frequently Asked Questions

Bus Guardian®


Contact Tracing

Question: What is Contact Tracing?

Answer: Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people who they came in contact with (contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.

Question: How does Contact Tracing work?

Answer: Contact tracing generally involves the following*:

  • Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone they had close contact with during the time they may have been infectious
  • Notifying contacts of their potential exposure
  • Referring contacts for testing
  • Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period

Question: Are schools performing contact tracing?

Answer: Like so much associated with COVID-19, there is no general answer and responses vary widely by state, county, municipality and school district. It’s best to check with your school to best understand if and how your school is integrating a contact tracing program.

Question: Does contact tracing put my personal information at risk?

Answer: No. According to the CDC, your information remains confidential while public health officials or, in this case, possibly a school official reaches out to your contacts.

Please see more from CDC below:

What a person diagnosed with COVID-19 can expect to happen during contact tracing

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with, and ask where you spent time while you may have been infectious and able to spread COVID-19 to others. You will also be asked to stay at home and self-isolate, if you are not doing so already.

  • Your name will not be revealed to those you may have exposed, even if they ask.
  • Self-isolation means staying at home in a specific room away from other people and pets and using a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Self-isolation helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and can help keep your family, friends, neighbors, and others you may come in contact with healthy.
  • If you need support or assistance while self-isolating, your health department or community organizations may be able to provide assistance.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If your symptoms worsen or become severe, you should seek medical care. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.*

Question: Is the Here Comes The Bus app used for contact tracing?

Answer: No, Here Comes the Bus is used only to track the real time location of the school bus and provide arrival and departure notifications. Here Comes The Bus has never collected information from a user’s phone or computer and only uses the school bus stop data provided by the school to deliver its tracking and alerts.

Question: What is Bus Guardian® ?

Answer: Bus Guardian®  is an innovation of our longstanding product, Student Ridership, which functions much like a commercial airline when they check a passenger into a flight at the gate. It simply scans a bar code to create detailed manifests of who rode which bus and on what day and for what exact time. It also associates drivers with their specific vehicle with our Time and Attendance module. And it also uses the Trip Inspection module to provide hygiene verifications.

Question: Can my school use Bus Guardian® without Here Comes The Bus?

Answer: Yes. These are separate technologies that rely on separate hardware requirements to function. While many customers will use both features to improve communications with families, they can be purchased and implemented independently.

Question: How does Bus Guardian® provide contact tracing technology?

Answer: Bus Guardian® allows a school to create an instant report of who rode the bus with a potentially ill student. Again, think of it like an airline. The school knows which students are supposed to be on the bus, just like an airline knows who bought a ticket and checked bags, but the gate scan in the ultimate verification that person is on the plane.

Bus Guardian will tell schools who exactly was on a certain bus since some students may ride a bus one week, but not the next if they are splitting time with two different parents or riding with a sibling, friend or neighbor on certain days.

Along with a roster of which classrooms a student was in throughout their day, Bus Guardian will provide schools with the details they need to communicate with exactly the right people who may have been in contact with an ill student.

Again, this technology does NOT track student via their phone or any other connected device, it simply create the most accurate rider manifest possible.

Question: Does Bus Guardian® or parent company CalAmp collect any of my student’s personal information?

Answer: No. Bus Guardian® only knows which student boarded which bus and that information is provided by the school and stored in our secure cloud server protected by the same technology used by banks for online banking.

Data protection is as serious to Bus Guardian and CalAmp as student safety, and we are continually upgrading our systems to remain as secure as possible.

CalAmp serves some of the largest, most dynamic commercial fleets in the world as well as industrial original equipment manufacturers, which require we maintain the strictest levels of data protection.

All student transportation customers enjoy the same technology we deliver to the brands trusted to deliver packages to your doorstep and industrial vehicles that help shape our earth and build our communities

Question: How is CalAmp able to deliver these technologies?

Answer: CalAmp are experts in vehicle safety thanks to our longstanding role in developing, deploying and supporting fleet intelligence solutions built on GPS tracking software.

We have helped more than 1,000 student transportation customers representing some of the largest school districts in the country develop what is essentially a smart bus that includes a vehicle tracking mobile app, Here Comes The Bus, and the digitization of payroll and vehicle inspections functions. All of this is rooted in our primary focus of school bus safety and creating a safer transportation environment for students, drivers and administrators.

Question: How long will it take to stand up this technology?

Answer: For current Bus Guardian® customers which already have the tablet installed in their vehicles, Bus Guardian can be up and running in weeks or even days. For new customers who will require the installation of telematics device and the tablet as well as the required software training, we normally say it’s a two-month process. School bus technology that supports student safety is our mission and we are committed to move as rapidly as possible to support schools facing this incredibly complex challenge.

Question: What is the long-term goal of Bus Guardian®?

Answer: Our vision is to make the school bus as smart and connected as any vehicle on the road today. School buses are historically considered among the safest vehicles on the road thanks to their color, size and specific regulations around maintenance and inspections as well as driver training. We know that a connected vehicle is a safer vehicle thanks to greater accountability of the driver, the mechanic and the fleet manager when they have access to a wealth of discreet data about driving history, engine diagnostics and mileage.

We will continue to innovate with a focus on student safety, driver accountability and saving customers money while striking the right balance with regards to privacy and data security.

We strive to go far beyond the basic features of a school bus GPS tracking system and continue our industry leading position with solutions that improve vehicle safety and create a safer school environment.

Interested in learning more about Here Comes The Bus?