Mount Airy City Schools has been chosen for a pilot program aimed at making the school bus ride safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The third round of state COVID-19 relief legislation, which cleared the General Assembly in House Bill 1105 on Thursday, provides $115,000 to the state Department of Public Instruction to establish the Smart School Bus Safety pilot program.
The Mount Airy system was chosen in part because about 1,300 of its 1,700 students are being instructed in-class during the 2020-21 school year. About 500 students are bus riders, according to system Superintendent Kim Morrison.
The program would begin Nov. 23 and end on Jan. 1, 2024. The funding is required to be spent by Dec. 30. When the program concludes, the system would keep the equipment.
According to the bill, the purpose “is to transform and improve the transportation of public school students through technology in response to