ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Thousands of kids are getting ready to go back to school and many of them will be riding school buses once again.

LaTonya Brooks is the new director of transportation for ECISD and says she is ready for the school year and Brooks and her staff have been preparing for foundational excellence on of the districts pillars.

“I’m feeling optimistic about this school year with my staff and the things that we’re doing to improve certain things,” Brooks says.

Nationally there has been a bus driver shortage before the school year started and ECISD is working to combat that issue.

“Last year we came into the school year we were 32 drivers short however the staff has been really geared up in regards to recruiting so this year we’re starting only 15 drivers short we are still actively recruiting drivers,” Brooks says. Also, our shop area has about four openings in that particular area so we’re still out here hunting and looking.

Technology is another update for the district by adding a GPS tracking system for accurate bus travel times.

“To actually track in real time it allows us to see how fast the driver is going it allows us to see where the driver is going also it allows us to see what direction and whenever they start to put their amber lights and things of that nature when they’re loading and unloading

While the bus transportation department is doing their part in school readiness, Brooks says parents can too by being prepared ahead of time.

“Register as quickly as possible because it is a process of getting them registered what we do we e-mail the parents and let them know their bus stop,” Brooks says.

To register check out the ECISD website.