(Update 09-01-2023) I looked around and it seems another app was not not working (it seems the app is called My Ride 360, I never used it btw). It seems “Here Comes the Bus” is more widely used and thinking maybe worth to explore more with them (Android app, iOS app).
(This was written last year 2022) We live in a relatively safe area, and both our school districts and our bus drivers are solid (knock on woods on this one though, as nobody can really avoid accidents or incidents). In the past few years, we (at least I) mostly rely on the mobile app SafeStopApp that tracks the school bus for morning pickup and afternoon drop off. The app is not perfect, as you can see from the customer reviews for android (google play) and iOS (Apple). You may notice I put a nice word for their iOS app, it’s mostly for encouragement purpose 🙂
This school year, I also got a new tool: the Apple airtag. I found airtag very helpful, as it can anonymous talk to nearby cellular / wifi devices and its location is usually updated frequently. Both my girls have an AirTag with them.
I also found another kid in the neighborhood has an apple watch, and talked to parents after getting off the bus, this is very cool. I used to give iPhone to my old daughter, but smartphone could be too much distraction for the kids. So Apple Watch (with cellular) is a good compromise in this sense. Actually I offered my old daughter and asked if she wants one, and she said No so far (I offered credit card to her too, and she politely declined as well). The offer is still on the table.
I wrote this post after I read the story below.