MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – The state chose Mount Airy City Schools to pilot its Smart School Bus Safety Program in order to combat the coronavirus.

The general assembly awarded the district $115,000 to implement the program. 

"Transportation is probably the biggest hurdle for school districts to overcome when coming back this fall because we have a limited capacity per bus. We can only put one child per seat," Dr. Kim Morrison, the Superintendent said.

Morrison said the program will focus on installing software that allows for contact tracing on the bus.

"There's a card that the child will have on the bus. They'll be able to maintain attendance, they'll be able to check in on the bus, check out on the bus. You know exactly when the child rode and where they rode, who they rode with," Morrison added.

She said this type of software is not currently available and hopes to get it up and running by the spring semester.

It is a three-year program, with the state keeping an eye on the initial semester as it considers plans for a broader roll out.