Port Arthur ISD approves $250K in school bus upgrades. See the details.

Published 12:09 am Sunday, June 27, 2021

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Buses in Port Arthur Independent School District will see some upgrades thanks to the addition of more cameras and wifi.

The reason comes from the fact that on the 22 new buses there are eight cameras; front, sides and rear. So, the district is upgrading all of the buses to include the additional cameras.

“And they’re installing a camera on the outside of the bus,” Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie said. “We’ll be able to see exactly which way the students have walked in case a student does not make it home in time. We’ll be able to at least tell the parents where the students traveled to.”

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Trustees this week approved the purchase of the camera upgrades for all district school buses. The cameras are from Pro-Vision Inc. for a cost of $119,474.88.

Upgrading the cameras and software with the same brand provides the district with the best value over starting with a different brand, according to information from the district.

Trustees also approved the purchase of wifi bundles for all district buses.

This will allow for a clearer picture from the cameras, allow students to do homework on the buses and allow district officials a way to monitor what’s happening on the buses in real time.

“Real time in meaning that if the bus driver calls us

and contacts us and asks for assist, that there’s something happening on the bus, we’ll be able to see what’s happening at that point,” Porterie said. “Currently we have to wait until the bus returns back to the bus barn and review the tape.

“With the real time view, the district can track buses and periodically look and see what’s going on with our students on the bus and that’s a good thing.”

The wifi bundles from CDW Government cost $131,100.

The district has 70 buses in its fleet, said Kristyn Cathey, PAISD media/communications specialist.

“The purchase of Wi-Fi for our buses will give our students the ability to work on course assignments before and after school; in particular for those students that don’t have access to wifi at home,” Cathey said.