WES

Wetumpka Elementary School principal Dr. Bonnie Sullivan checks cars coming in to pick up students with the new Car Rider Pro system. WES is the first school in Alabama to use the digital scanners.

Picking up children after school at Wetumpka Elementary School should be less time consuming due to the implementation of a system known as Car Rider Pro.

WES is the first school in Alabama to use the program, which scans vehicles of parents and caregivers as they arrive at the school and lets the students know when to come out and get into the vehicle.

Students assemble in separate classrooms at the end of the school day. A real-time digital photo board displays their picture and the arrival of the responsible party is virtually acknowledged by a discretely encoded tag through a pair of tower scanners at the gated entrance of the school.

The digital photo board in the classroom shows the child’s school picture as well as responsible parties waiting to take them home.

“It’s a true safety improvement,” said WES principal Dr. Bonnie Sullivan, who added each child previously had to walk at their own risk between vehicles.

Sullivan said she initiated the search for the system three years ago and credited Elmore County Schools superintendent Dr. Richard Dennis, her staff and faculty for researching it; more than 80 Car Rider Pro SMART board dismissal classrooms exist nationally.

“In this day and age, child safety is paramount, especially with such alarming stories seen in the news and online through social media,” Sullivan said.

The founder of Kentucky-based Car Rider Pro, Keith Botkins, said the idea came from his own experience dealing with long lines at his children’s school. He said it shaves at least 10 minutes off the waiting time and provides increased safety for children.

The first of the child’s security bar-coded personalized Car Rider Pro tags are free. Additional tags for immediate, extended and blended family are $5.